“All of them have been in jail. They made a mistake, or two, somewhere along the way. But they are trying to turn their lives around and become productive citizens,” said Rotarian Laura Dietz as she described a vocational service program of the Rotary Club of Newport Beach Sunrise for a rehabilitation group from the Salvation Army.
Founded and chaired by Tim Brown, club president, and in its fourth year, the program has grown in stature and in recognition by the Salvation Army for its hands-on approach.
The program consists of six workshops held over consecutive weeks that are led by Rotarians and focus on various aspects of employment. One week the class of 15 learned how to create a budget: “What do I need to make in order to afford an apartment, transportation, food, etc.?” Then there is the “elevator speech” on how to impress a potential employer about why they should consider hiring you.
In breakout sessions with individual Rotarians, the participants get their questions answered one-on-one while others observe, as many of them have similar questions. Examples of questions typically have to do with large gaps in their employment, unexplained absences, their respective felony, and for them, providing references fully cited.
“We use first names, and treat them each as valuable human beings, that the past does not have to predict their futures, and that is why we are there,” Dietz said.
On May 4, the group met Rotarians at the Working Wardrobes facility to pick out a suit. Some of the men have never owned a suit.
“What do we Rotarians get out of it? That feeling that you can’t buy at Wal-Mart or Bloomingdale’s. To know you are helping another human being is the reward,” Dietz said.
NEWPORT-BALBOA ROTARIANS AT WORK DAY
May 1 saw members of the Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa working on the Butterfly House at the Environmental Nature Center.
Members took on tasks that included pruning, removing dead wood, weeding, raking and cleaning roots, according to Rotarian Bill Hossfield.
“This was a time for everyone to dig in with some back-breaking work,” Hossfield stated.
Rotarians working included President Elect Jerry Morris and Chairman of Rotarians at Work Day John Kerr, who brought Butterfly Docents Nancy Kerr (John’s wife) and Julia Kerr (John’s daughter and the center’s 2008 Volunteer of the Year), Bill Hossfield, Dan Morris, Steve Phair, and Portia Weiss.
The Butterfly House is part of Newport-Balboa Rotary Club’s commitment as a Joint Centennial Community Project with the Rotary Club of Okazaki South, Okazaki, Aichi, Japan, that jointly funded the Butterfly House under then-President Ed Rennie and was dedicated in November 2004.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
SERVICE CLUB MEETINGS THIS WEEK
How are you giving back to your community? Help your community and the world through a service club! For many, service club membership is an extension of our religious beliefs and congregation affiliation. You are invited to attend a service club meeting this coming week to learn more about opportunity for service. Most clubs will buy your first meal for you as you get acquainted with them.
7:30 a.m.: The 10-member Newport Harbor Kiwanis Club meets at Denny’s Restaurant, 290 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.
Noon: The Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona Del Mar, for a business meeting.
5:15 p.m.: The 10-member Rotary Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Ramada Inn & Suites, 1680 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa. Visit www.costamesarotary.org.
6 p.m.: The Rotary Club of Newport Balboa meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for the city of Newport Beach Youth Track Meet Awards Dinner. Visit www.newportbalboa.org
7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi’s Café, 1835 Newport Blvd.
Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach-Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit www.newportbeachkiwanis.org.
Noon: The 95-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Jack Keating — “Upper and Lower Newport Bay.” For more information visit www.nhexchange.org,
The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive.
The 65-member Rotary Club of Newport Irvine meets at the University Club at UCI, 801 E. Peltason Drive. For more information, visit www.ni-rotary.org.
7:30 a.m.: The Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club meets at the Five Crowns, 3801 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar, for a program by Dr. Marcia Whalen — “Foods you need to Eat.” For more information, visit www.newportbeachsunriserotary.org.
COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published Wednesdays. Send your service club’s meeting information by fax to (714) 921-8655 or by e-mail to email@example.com .