I feel like this year a lot of local community clubs and organizations are working on hosting food drives in East Texas.

There was a great need due to COVID-19, but now there is even more of a special sense of urgency because of Hurricane Laura. Many families have been turning to food banks to help them squeak by in the pantry these past few months, weeks, and days.

I know this may come across as a bit cheesy, but  I know for a fact that East Texas Rotary Clubs have been doing some really positive things for families and children in our community, and that makes me beam with pride for them, even though I am not a Rotarian member.

Fun Fact: I think my obsession with the Rotary began nine (9) years ago. I confess that I used to watch all the Rotary meeting replays on the community access channel when I was at home resting during my pregnancy. That's how much of a nerd I am! I always found the meetings quite interesting and they distracted me from pregnancy pain.

My wish to be at a live Rotary meeting almost came true last year when I was invited to be a guest at a friend's Black History Month event in another state. They had special guests giving speeches and musical performances, some coming from as far away as Seattle and San Diego. The other two Rotary meetings I got invited to attend was due to my affiliation as the Board President of another nonprofit. I was offered free lunch at the meeting plus I got to sit at the table with a fun bunch of local business professionals while we listened to guest speakers. (They had me at FREE LUNCH.)

If you ever get to attend a Rotary meeting, I think you will be delighted to see the room filled with some local movers and shakers banding together with their resources (money, time, networking connections) to bring about beneficial change in the East Texas community.

The only reason I have not become a member of the Rotary is that I cannot commit to being present every week for a meeting. I am barely keeping up with my other monthly philanthropic commitments! Perhaps someday, I will be able to add being a Rotarian into my schedule.

If you are new to the area, there are a few Rotary clubs in East Texas: Pamela Walters is the 2020-2021 President of the Rotary Club of Tyler. I bet she will have the best knowledge of what resources they are putting together to help Hurricane Laura evacuees. Then there's the Longview Rotary Club. They had to postpone their due centennial celebration to COVID -19, but I bet they have been very active in the community ever since. Just a few days ago, they were talking about food donations on their Facebook page Those are just a couple of local Rotaries..

If you need a list of area food banks click here at EastTexasFoodBank.org.

Most recently, Rotary clubs in town have been touting their college scholarship opportunities and student exchange programs for area youth. Good stuff!

If you want more information about Rotary International, here is their website.