The Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club is an active group that strives to help its Long Island community.
The Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club recently celebrated their 80th anniversary. It was founded “To give back to the community at that time and it just sustained all the way through for the 80 years,” Jordan Pecora, the vice president of the Rotary Club, said. “You’re always able to find members and clubs and people.”
The club has been a staple in its community for many years, and it continues to run all kinds of community service programs year-round. They frequently donate to food pantries, including the Community Cupboard, a school-community partnership in Bellmore-Merrick, and the Salvation Army.
“We partner with the Salvation Army every Christmas,” McDaniel said. “And we volunteer to ring the bell in front of local supermarkets and raise money for the Salvation Army. We also donate to the Salvation Army around Thanksgiving time.”
The club recently ran a tax seminar, where they educated people for free on property and income taxes. They are prevalent at local libraries in order to reach the community.
They also donate money to the Freeport school district, including gift cards to elementary schools around the holidays and scholarship donations for students in need at Freeport High School.
“We work with Freeport High School to get us names and that type of information so we can donate to the right kids to help them with their secondary schooling after they graduate high school,” Pecora said.
The club runs community activities, like a basketball game at the Freeport recreation center for children with special needs. They also participate in fundraisers, such as walks to raise money for various community groups, prom dress and shoe collections, and their Rotary Day of Service.
“We did a Rotary Day of Service in May, where we helped get undergarments and healthcare essentials to veterans,” McDaniel said.
In addition to their domestic programs, the Rotary Club also runs the Gift of Life program, which provides lifesaving medical procedures to families from other countries. The Rotary Club identifies children in other countries who are in need of heart surgery, brings them to the United States, and helps them get their surgeries.
The club also takes part in a Friendship Exchange program with Rotary Clubs in other countries. The program is an international exchange program for Rotary members and friends that allows participants to take turns hosting one another in their homes and clubs,” according to rotary.org.
Eddy Marc-Charles, an active Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club member, recently took part in the Friendship Exchange with his wife. They went to Sweden.
“Not only [do] you learn about their country and their food, but also their resources and what they’re about,” Marc-Charles said about the exchange program. “I have participated in many of these friendship exchanges, from Sweden, to South Africa, to Australia, to Singapore, to Cambodia, and also to the Philippines.”
To learn more about the Freeport-Merrick Rotary Club and the work they do, visit freeportmerrickrotary.org.