Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Barry Kram
April 9
Thomas R Peterson
April 28
Sue B. Zwart
April 30
Thomas R Peterson
April 14
Paul Winter
April 15
Michelle Dixon
Michael Dixon
April 18
Cara Galbavi
April 21
Join Date
Ted Fuger
April 1, 2011
7 years
Craig R. Bessinger
April 2, 2004
14 years
Cara Galbavi
April 13, 2012
6 years
Paul Winter
April 26, 1996
22 years
Jess Garrison
April 27, 2012
6 years
Evan Llewellyn
April 28, 2000
18 years
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.
This Weeks Speaker
No meeting this week. Have a great Spring Break
Last Weeks Scribe
Spring Lake Rotary Scribes Report:  Friday, March 30, 2018
The People Center
                On the first day of Spring Break, which also coincided with Good Friday, we were visited by Karen Reenders, the Director of a local non-profit called The People Center.  The People Center is located 307 E. Exchange St. in Spring Lake, and Karen is the only paid employee there.  They provide food, clothing and transitional housing to area people that are in need.  The People Center provides a three-day supply of food to needy families up to four times a year, and they also are one of the few area non-profits that do give away clothing.  Donations can be dropped off during normal business hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11am – 5pm, or they can be dropped off in the storage box on the back porch of the building anytime.  
                There are a total of over 65 volunteers, not including the board members, but they can always use more volunteers to help staff and run the facility.  There is a vegetable garden that has been taken over and managed by a local 12-year old girl who has volunteered her time, and that helps a great deal to keep the garden open at the Center.   She has also now recruited students from Holmes Elementary and the Spring Lake Middle School to help this year. 
                Food pantry numbers are down year over year.  In January of 2017, there were 351 people served at The People Center, and this year, there were 255 people served in the month of January.  That decline in numbers served has been a common trend among local food pantries and charitable organizations like Love INC, Salvation Army and others, which is a good thing.  From 2008 to 2009, the year-over-year increase in those seeking assistance from The People Center was 1,000 people, and the numbers stayed high until 2016, when they began a marked retreat. 
                The lack of affordable housing is an issue in the Tri-Cities, as it is elsewhere in the U.S., and this is the main problem that Karen has run into in the last couple years.  The People Center can accommodate up to 6 people with full-time, temporary housing.  Those that do live there are encouraged to move on to their own permanent living quarters within a 6-month window.  The issue over the past couple years is that local rental and housing costs have seen a massive increase, which has made that goal financially unattainable for some that have stayed at the Center.  For example, a three-bedroom apartment which five years ago would have cost $600/mo. to rent now costs approximately $1,800/mo.  The max that one of Center’s temporary tenants can typically afford is about $600/mo. if they are employed. 
                The People Center refers their clients to other local agencies for further assistance, which are Habitat for Humanity, 2 on 1, and Tri-Cities Ministries, just to name a few.  Funding for the services provided by the Center are mainly provided by individual and corporate donations, and there is some assistance from the United Way, as well as some federal grant dollars.  Funding has been ample in the last few years, and there is enough now that Karen is setting funds aside for the next crisis, if and when that arises.    
                If you are able to volunteer time or talents to the Center, or know of someone who might, please refer them to the website here.  Donations can be made through the website link here
50/50 Winner: Chris Burns