Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Interact Club members are students of service

Posted on January 3rd, 2024 By: Dan Brown

The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday is both proud and privileged to be able to sponsor three service clubs called Interact, two high school clubs and one middle school club.  Our largest Interact Club is at Gig Harbor High School with over 60 members and the other is at Henderson Bay High School, which we co-sponsor with Rotary North.  Recently, we started the first middle school Interact club at Goodman Middle School.  In addition to providing financial support, we also assist with the students’ various service projects and in turn they assist us with our main fundraiser events, Golferitaville and Harbor Hounds.

At our Interacts’ bi-weekly meetings we Rotarians try to be excellent role models and emphasize the importance of “service above self.” Each school has fantastic student officers and school advisors who help organize and conduct the various projects.  We have seen the students respond by their desire to be of service. Here are just some of the most impactful activities in which these Interact Clubs participated:

  • Assisting with The Race for a Soldier, sponsored by the Permission To Start Dreaming Foundation
  • Assisting with the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsular Suicide Prevention Coalition fundraiser event.
  • Organizing and assisting with a Food Drive for the FISH food bank
  • Preparing and serving meals to the homeless at the Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Filling and then delivering boxes of food for Thanksgiving for the Basket Brigade
  • Collecting canned food and helping with the race at the annual Turkey Trot in Gig Harbor
  • Selling prepared decorated jars with a chocolate chip cookie mix at TideFest to support the Tacoma Rescue Mission and the Etta Projects in Bolivia
  • Conducting a Holiday Toy Drive for the Tacoma Rescue Mission Family Center and FISH Food Bank
  • Mentoring and making Halloween costumes at Discovery Elementary School
  • Volunteering at Gig Harbor Court with the Lifting Hearts with the Arts Program for senior citizens
  • Volunteering and participating at the Communities in Schools fundraiser event
  • Clearing ivy from trees at Wilkinson Farm Park on Park Appreciation Day
  • Assisting with a school-wide Blood Drive
  • Making school-wide Valentines Day cards of encouragement for students and faculty
  • Volunteering at the Night to Shine at the YMCA
  • Working with the students and making improvements at the Opal House in Guatemala during Spring Break
  • Raising money for the Denny Wilford Foundation by having an annual car wash
  • Conducting a Plastic Recycling Drive

In previous years we have also conducted the following:

  • Change for Change drive to raise money for the American Heart Association
  • Making “Smile Boxes” containing school and personal items for students in Uganda.
  • Assisting with the Sock and Blanket Drive for Communities in Schools
  • Assisting with a clothing and school supply event for Food Backpack 4 Kids
  • Writing letters of encouragement to the senior citizens at Heron’s Key during the pandemic

Being able to witness our youth working for the betterment of our community and a few international locations clearly shows that in time we can achieve a more empathetic and loving world.  It is important for Rotarians across the world to invest in our Interact Clubs by being mentors and role models and by encouraging students to actively engage in various volunteer opportunities.  We also urge Rotary Clubs to send students to RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) so they can develop leadership skills and network with other Interact members in our district.  Starting an Interact Club requires very little paper work, but much passion and dedication to live up to the motto, “Service Above Self.”

Our Rotarians at Midday Rotary and our Interact students are always looking for impactful service projects because we know how vital it is to help those in need and we value the opportunity to be of service.

Dan Brown

Youth Service Chair and Interact Advisor for the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday

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