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Young Rotarians prepare holiday hampers

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Future Rotarians packed holiday hampers last night to distribute to families in need.

The Interact Club, a service and teamwork group made up of more than 30 of Bermuda's students, formed an assembly line in Craig Appin House, filling festive bags with non perishables and food vouchers.

Cathy Bassett of the Hamilton Rotary Club was inspired to revive the Island's Interact Club after attending the Rotary convention in New York last year.

The Interact advisor and mentor said she was drawn to the talks given by the youth members.

Both Hamilton and Pembroke Rotarians donated additional cash for food items and vouchers totaling close to 400 dollars.

A former Rotarian or “Interact's Secret Santa” will distribute the hampers to household's chosen by the Pembroke Parish Council.

“It was the children's idea,” Ms Bassett told The Royal Gazette adding that their initiative for the year was “to render service above self”.

Kayla Dowling, Madison Quig and Grace McNamara were chosen as delegates to represent the Interact Club at Rotary International UN Day in New York last month.

Kayla, 16, said the experience gave her the opportunity to see exactly what is going on worldwide.

The Saltus student said: “You can have a general awareness, but some of these people have been there, so they have a different experience than what's going on TV.

“They're able to share that experience with you.”

Grace, 13, said once of the biggest things she took away from the experience was an anecdote from one of the speakers.

The BHS student said: “Her father told her when she was young that you can either watch a show or watch what's happening around you or you can be on the stage and act, taking a part in making the world a better place.”

Madison, 14, said: “The biggest message that I took away was that we can change if we change how we're thinking about each other.

She described an exercise where they paired up and were invited to try to open their partner's closed fist.

“Only one pair of the 500 participants actually asked, ‘Would you please open your fist?' instead of trying by violent force,” the BHS student said.

“I think it really does matter how we change our thinking into how we're going to change the world.

Kayla added that being part of the club encourages them to be more aware of the community and its needs.

“Sometimes people focus on what's outside Bermuda when we really need to start charity at home because home is where we are,” she said.

Community spirit: the Rotary Interact Club prepares food hampers for the needy (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Kind hearts: Madison Quig, 14, Kayla Dowling, 16, and Grace McNamara, 13, were inspired to help after a trip to the UN conference in New York last month (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 04, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 04, 2015 at 2:00 am)

Young Rotarians prepare holiday hampers

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