Last year, senior Robert Mosher brought the Rotary Interact Club back to WHS. With five members meeting every Thursday morning, the Interact Club’s goal is to give its members opportunities to help out the community.
“What we do is we try to facilitate community service opportunities to our club members,” Mosher said. “For example, a couple of weeks ago, we ran the car show in town, the antique car show, which we run every year and made that an opportunity to get in hours for NHS.”
One of the Rotary Interact Club’s events is going down to Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen, a homeless shelter in Waltham, Massachusetts, where the members prepare the meals that they bring to the shelter and help feed the residents.
“It all starts before we even get there. We spend a couple of hours beforehand cooking all the food. Usually, it’s a spaghetti and meatballs type of deal that’s not too complex,” Mosher said. “We bring all of the food that we make to the soup kitchen where there are some lovely volunteers there who run the place on a day-to-day basis. We help them serve it to the crowd.”
Distributing food at Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen is not the only event that the Rotary Interact Club runs. In the past, they have helped out the community with various events.
“We organized a 5k last year for Bristol Lodge,” senior Kimberly Nicholson, another member of the Rotary Interact Club, said. “We also organized a movie night last year where we showed ‘Elf.’ That was for an organization that helped with refugees at the border between the US and Mexico.”
The Rotary Interact Club is a smaller organization for students, with larger Rotary Clubs found all over the globe for adults. Another such club is the Rotary International Club, who sponsor years abroad, and senior Ben Tremblay took advantage of this program during his junior year.
“I was also part of the club when I was in Colombia. Because Rotary was the sponsor for my exchange, they have a program called Rotary Youth Exchange, and so I went with them,” Tremblay said.
While on the exchange, students will still be able to help out in the community through the Rotary Interact Club.
“We went to this one school and helped give them supplies and raise money for their school in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Cali,” Tremblay said. “There’s [also] a whole displaced Venezualian crisis going on right now, so a lot of people are going to Colombia. So we did this program where we went and we fed them and brought them food during Christmas.”
Reflecting on their roles, members of the Rotary Interact Club described the impact of their work.
“It does make a meaningful impact, and if you go to Bristol Lodge, you’ll see people sitting around the dining table, laughing and eating food that they may not normally have if they didn’t go there,” Nicholson said.