Our Club engages international and local communities in a number of areas. While Rotarians can be found behind the scenes and on the front line of numerous smaller local projects every month, our notable activities include; the Merced Field of Honor, Rich Miller's Clothes for Kids, sponsoring the UC Merced Rotaract Club, the Merced High School Interact Club, and the long-time international cultural and development exchange with Merced's Sister City - Somoto, Nicaragua.
Merced Field of Honor. This week-long living flag tribute Field culminates on Veterans Day each year. Attended by thousands, we are most proud to organize over 1,000 area middle school students to visit the Field and the American Flag Exhibit to learn the importance of Service from military docents and area teachers. Co-sponsored with Merced College, this grass-roots event grows every year as we find new ways to honor veterans, active duty military and first responders. Any excess funds raised during the event are restricted to veteran causes.
Rich Miller's Clothes for Kids. Named after Past President, Honorary Member and project founder Rich Miller, the Club works with Target, Inc. and area non-profit Love INC, to provide over 100 local young children with new school clothes and shoes. This annual event pairs Rotarians with families as personal shoppers that start the Holiday Season early with compassion and practicality.
UC Merced Rotaract Club. Our Club supports the UC student-run Rotaract Club with mentorship and resources. Getting young people trained and involved in community service starts in high school and college and our intention is to identify and prepare young leaders to take on new challenges and opportunities for the rest of their professional careers. Rotary is famous for this endeavor.
Interact Club at Merced High School. Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. Find out how serious leadership can be seriously fun.
What are the benefits? Connect with leaders in your community and around the world to: 1) Take action to make a difference in your school and community 2) Discover new cultures and promote international understanding 3) Become a leader in your school and community 4) Have fun and make new friends from around the world. Interact clubs organize at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding. Rotary club sponsors mentor and guide Interactors as they carry out projects and develop leadership skills.
Somoto, Nicaragua. Our sister city of 15,000 lies 10 miles from the northern Honduran border in the Nicaraguan province of Madriz. For over 6 years, in conjunction with the international non-profit Hearts Afire Foundation, our Club routinely engaged Rotary International's focus areas of water, health and sanitation efforts in the region. Over time, these efforts became an important cultural and medical exchange benefiting children and other Madriz residents.
Every year brings new challenges and opportunities to our Club.