Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 11, 2013

Rotary doles out $5,000 to nonprofit groups

The Andover Townsman

---- — The Rotary Club of Andover has awarded $5,000 in grants to help local and international organizations further their efforts in support of stronger communities, families, and health and educational programs.

Several times each year, the Rotary Club presents grants to boost various initiatives. In the past, the club has sponsored international exchange students and members have volunteered at food drives/turkey distributions, delivered holiday presents for children, read to students at local elementary schools and offered a hand building with Habitat for Humanity in Lawrence.

Ray Joyce, director of development of Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence, says in a release that the Rotary’s “Service Above Self” ideal comes to life every day.

“All of the nonprofits are so fortunate to have the commitment of the Rotary Club of Andover, both locally and globally, along with the involvement of local young people via Rotary Interact helping others,” Joyce said.

The most recent grants were awarded to:

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of children through direct services and public advocacy on their behalf.

Young Opera Company of New England, which provides music education in both opera performance and choral music for children ages 8 to 18.

Family to Family, an organization started about five years ago to provide rides, musical instruments, sports equipment, clothing, used bikes, after-school programs and camperships for kids living at the Andover Housing Authority at Memorial Circle, Andover.

Andover Youth Services, which aims to provide young people useful experiences to promote healthy growth and development. Its goal is to build a network of affordable, accessible, safe and challenging youth programs that appeal and respond to the diverse interests of young adolescents and their families.

Lazarus House, which helps heads of households and individuals living in poverty regain their dignity and become self-sufficient members of the community by offering emergency shelter, food and clothing to people in crisis, especially children, and then providing transitional housing, advocacy, health services, education and work preparation to permanently break the cycle of poverty.

Rotoplast International, which provides free cleft palate surgery to children and adults in rural areas around the world. The organization’s all-volunteer medical and civilian corps most recently visited South America.

Shelter Box provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies for families around the world affected by disasters at the time they are most in need. Recent projects include providing relief to Syrian refugees in Iraq.

Trauma Intervention Program of Merrimack Valley, a group of specially trained citizen volunteers called by police officers, firefighters and hospital personnel to provide emotional and practical support to victims of traumatic events and their families in the first few hours following a crisis.

The Rotary Club of Andover is a civic organization of men and women who do good throughout the Merrimack Valley. The club meets Fridays at 7:30 a.m. at the Lanam Club, 260 North Main St.