Rotary Wraps - This beneficial project was started by Grand Forks Rotary in 1992 as a means to provide new winter outerwear for disadvantaged children in the community of Greater Grand Forks. Each year, hundreds of youngsters are given the opportunity to purchase new coats, mittens, scarves, boots, and undergarments for the cold winter months.
Funds are raised by the Noon Rotary Club, with proceeds used to purchase gift certificates from local merchants. The gift certificates are distributed by the Parent Education Resource Center based on recommendations of need made by staff in the school systems. Children are given the gift certificates to purchase new clothing for themselves. The certificates cannot be exchanged for cash and are not identified as being donated.
More than $10,000 in certificates are distributed annually, to be redeemed using the Rotary Wraps criteria. Grand Forks merchants contribute to this service project by donating an additional 10% for every $100 worth of gift certificates purchased.
Rotary Park - Following the devastating flood of 1997, Grand Forks Rotarians spearheaded the fundraising events necessary to create and maintain the Rotary Park located on the Greenway near the Sorlie Bridge in downtown Grand Forks. A gazebo was constructed in the park, providing a regular setting for wedding ceremonies during the summer months.
Members of the Noon Rotary Club continue to maintain and upgrade the park, providing care and upkeep in partnership with the Grand Forks Park District and the Greenway.
Rotary supports the educational aspirations of thousands of future leaders. The Grand Forks Rotary implements several service projects that are exclusively directed at youth.
Students of the Month and Scholarships - Throughout the school year, Grand Forks Rotary invites two local high school students to attend the Noon Rotary meetings for one month. Weekly engagement allows Rotarians to learn about the high school activities of the students, as well as their family life and plans for further education.
Rotary Students of the Month are selected by the local high school administration and staff. In May of each year, two scholarship recipients are chosen from the pool of Rotary Students of the Month and the recipients are acknowledged during the high school awards ceremony.
Children's Literacy - Grand Forks Rotary has a specific focus on projects that promote literacy in our community such as the United Way's Imagination Library program. Imagination Library was developed in 1995 by country singer Dolly Parton, who is passionate about introducing preschool children to the foundation of a lifetime of reading. Dolly's vision is that every young child in the world will have his/her own collection of books before starting school.
The Imagination Library is currently at work in 1,100 communities in three countries. Each month, from the day the child is born until his/her fifth birthday, a carefully selected book arrives in the home mailbox. More than 560,000 children each month receive books through the generosity of local donors, including the Grand Forks Rotary Club, who provide the funding for implementation of the Imagination Library via the United Way of Greater Grand Forks.
In an additional literacy project, Grand Forks Rotary annually purchases and distributes dictionaries to all 4th grade students in the community. The dictionaries are hand-delivered each year in all schools in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. The Dictionary Program has been a service project for the GF Rotary for more than 20 years. Despite the ever-developing technology of a digitalized world with hand-held communications systems, the students and teachers are very appreciative of the program. Local 4th grade students look forward to receiving their "very own" dictionary each year.
Rotary Foundation and Scholarship - The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation providing worldwide humanitarian grants for needy peoples and worthy causes. There are also educational awards for international exchanges of university students, teachers, professionals, and business people. The Grand Forks Rotary has benefitted through sponsorship of a number of Ambassadorial Scholarships for college students to study abroad in past years.
The Rotary Foundation is supported by donations from individual Rotarians. The program encourages donations over a period of time up to a total of $1000 contributed by each Rotarian. Upon achievement of this level of giving, the member becomes a Paul Harris Fellow and is recognized in the Club's annals and awarded a pin of entitlement.
The Grand Forks Rotary helps its members begin and continue giving via a donation matching program. This fundraising is done through an annual "auction" of donations, with matching funds provided by the club.