Caring for kids in need

The Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation provides important services to their own community in northwestern Washington, as well as to underprivileged communities in Latin America. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000.

The Stanwood branch of WaFd Insurance Group is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation. Collectively, the Rotary Foundation has contributed to numerous local events to give back to their community, fundraising for food drives, their regional Oktoberfest and the Stanwood Local Parade. They also built and continue to maintain Freedom Park, a playground in Camano, Washington.

Caring for kids in need 2
Past President Terrence Bedford working hard weed eating in the annual cleanup of Freedom Park that was built through the Stanwood Rotary Club.

Setting children up for success

Children’s education and general wellbeing is extremely important to the Rotary Foundation. They offer a program called Imagination Library, which sends local children a book each month until they turn five. Another program called Coats for Kids provides warm coats to children in need. Additionally, the foundation helped their local YMCA set up a swimming education program for third graders, and they’ve offered a dozen college scholarships to high schoolers.

 

“We want to help offer children a proper education in an area where such a thing is scarcer than it should be.”

—Hans Eskelsen, president of Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation

 

Internationally speaking, the foundation has a working relationship with officials in the Copán region of Honduras. Rotary Foundation members have visited personally to help set up schools. “We want to help offer children a proper education in an area where such a thing is scarcer than it should be,” said Hans Eskelsen, northwest regional manager at WaFD Insurance Group and president of the Rotary Foundation.

Caring for kids in need 3
A photo from one of the various trips working with schools and teaching children in areas that normally would not have received an education.

Giving back to the community

Though many of their endeavors are focused on helping children in need, the Rotary Foundation also contributes other services to local businesses and individuals looking for a helping hand. In particular, they’re well-known for their quarterly office shred-it events, where shredding services are offered for free to those who can’t afford them on their own.

Caring for kids in need 1
The WaFd team helps out at the Rotary shred-it event.

Added challenges amidst the new normal

In 2020, as the world began its battle against COVID-19, the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation had to start thinking outside the box. Many of their fundraising methods became much more difficult to maintain without in-person connections. Numerous members began putting down larger amounts of their own money to make up for the losses.

 

“It’s been very difficult, but we’ve worked hard to maintain the programs, and I’d say they’re more influential today than ever.”

—Nancy Voelckers, treasurer of Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation

 

Though this worldwide upheaval created new challenges for the Rotary Foundation to overcome in order to maintain the programs they’ve historically supported, it also allowed them to pivot in interesting directions. Their recent shred events have shifted to a drive-through format to accommodate social distancing measures. “It’s been very difficult, but we’ve worked hard to maintain the programs, and I’d say they’re more influential today than ever,” said Nancy Voelckers, the foundation’s treasurer.

Caring for kids in need
he Stanwood high school was moving buildings and didn't have money to shred hundreds of boxes of paper. The Rotary club came in and got it all shredded, along with the help of these three young ladies collecting donations.

Thinking forward

In the future, the Rotary Foundation plans to continually grow its efforts, both locally and worldwide. Foundation President Hans Eskelsen intends to expand their Latin American contributions by personally visiting a small town in Guatemala to help implement a public water system.

The 2021 Make More Happen Award includes a donation of $5,000 from Liberty Mutual and Safeco on behalf of WaFd Insurance Group, which will provide significant assistance to children across the world. If the donation is doubled, not only will that money provide free books for a year to 700 children and jackets to another 500 local children, it will also help maintain the school in Honduras, offering a full year’s education to over 30 children.

 

Be sure to vote for these Make More Happen award winners to win an additional $5,000 for the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation by cheering them on with a comment below and sharing their story to social media using the buttons to the left! Learn more about WaFd Insurance Group and the Stanwood Camano Rotary Foundation.

 

 

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Jordan Hermes
1 month ago

This is Awesome!

Hans Eskelsen
1 month ago

This is so exciting!!!

Kristin Swanson
1 month ago

Thank you for all you do! What an amazing cause!

Amy F Moe
1 month ago

This is so awesome!!!

Tom Kasanders
1 month ago

Congratulations to WAFD Insurance and the Stanwood Camino Island Rotary.

Kelly Hermes
1 month ago

Great job!!

Ben Hershey
1 month ago

Great Job

Paula Russell
1 month ago

This is terrific! Thank you for all that you do!

Lisa Sadler
1 month ago

Way to go Guys!!

Drew Colwell
1 month ago

Great job WaFd Insurance group!

Maggie T Reed
1 month ago

I LOVE this! Way to go, guys! Great job!!!

CJ Wiegel
1 month ago

Fantastic work Proud to be associated with your team

Dan Ferrari
1 month ago

What a great way to give back to the community – thank you!!

Dianna West
1 month ago

Awesome. Well done WAFD Insurance.

Vanessa Parra
1 month ago

This is Awesome! Great job WaFd Insurance group!

Dakota Brown
1 month ago

Thank you Safeco!!

Heidi Reeder
1 month ago

Keep up the great Work!

CECILIA CORDOVA
1 month ago

This is a great cause. I have heard about the Imagination Library and it is great.. Good Luck.

Keela Schon
1 month ago

This is awesome, great job everyone!

Joley Garner
1 month ago

This is a great cause!! Awesome!

Jennifer
1 month ago

great job!

Kristine Olsen
1 month ago

Rotary is an amazing organization and I love to hear the good things other clubs are doing. Congratulations and great job.

Mercedes Miller
1 month ago

Fantastic Job! Thank you for your dedication to such great causes! Truly inspirational!

Rick Hughes
1 month ago

Great job!

Pax Kelly
1 month ago

Such a wonderful partnership, doing great things!

Victoria De La Sierra
1 month ago

Love to see this!

Kayleigh
1 month ago

What an incredible cause! Thanks for all you do.

Craig Stephens
1 month ago

GREAT JOB! Such a worthy cause.

Trisha Miner
1 month ago

Thank You Safeco and our Stanwood office WAFD Insurance Group. What an amazing group of people.

Doug Colwell
1 month ago

I am a Rotarian from Boise SW Club. This is a great program. Good Job!

Haley Hayes
1 month ago

This is amazing!!

Sylvia Tam
1 month ago

Great! Support WAFD insurance Group.

Armand Keith
1 month ago

Way to go WAFD Insurance!

Dave
1 month ago

Excellent. You have my vote.

Lydia Prieto
1 month ago

This is awesome!! Great job!!!

Rick Star
1 month ago

Go Rotary brothers and sisters!

Joe Klein
1 month ago

Yes to Rotary!

Joe Klein
1 month ago

Yes to Rotary

Cindy Commons
1 month ago

Great job!

Tracey Racek
1 month ago

Go WAFD and Rotary! Awesome!

Shyla Mitchell
1 month ago

Great job!!

Ami Burnett
1 month ago

Awesome story – thank you for all you do!

Niels Eskelsen
1 month ago

A worthy cause by an honorable organization.

Last edited 1 month ago by Niels Eskelsen
Tika Hawkins
1 month ago

Nice work!

Dave
1 month ago

Great job Duane and team!!

Debbie
1 month ago

Excellent!

Amy Cole
1 month ago

Way to make a difference!!

Dana Hays
1 month ago

Thank you for what you do!

Tammy
1 month ago

Love this!

Anah Brodhagen
1 month ago

Awesome work!!! Way to go!

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