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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rotary gears up for Christmas ‘Toys for Tots’ drive

After a successful first-ever garage sale for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan, Saipan Rotary Club is gearing up for its next campaign—holiday presents for the island’s children and youths.

Saipan Rotary Club president Laila Y. Boyer disclosed that club members will be kicking off the organization’s “Toy for Tots” campaign on Friday, Dec. 6.

The drive aims to collect toys for the CNMI’s children in time for the Christmas holidays.

Boyer said all donated toys will be turned over to the CNMI Salvation Army, a non-profit organization that helps poor children and their families.

The Salvation Army-CNMI Chapter, she said, has already identified would-be beneficiaries of the toy drive. Rotarians are encouraging the community to donate toys for infants, toddlers, and youths.

According to Boyer, last Saturday’s garage sale was the first ever conducted by the Rotarians, who joined in the relief efforts for Haiyan victims in both the Philippines and Palau. Proceeds of the garage sale will be turned over to the chartered Rotary clubs in both countries.

“This is the first time, in a long while, that Rotary engaged in disaster relief and we feel that we would like to do it,” she said, adding that Rotary is not in business of emergency relief but “in helping people.”

When asked what inspired members to spearhead the series of community-driven activities and campaign, Boyer said: “It’s service above self. Most of the Rotarians have been in the club for 10 years or more and activities for the community motivated them to share and give…and that’s the core of Rotary Club.”

She pointed out that for the past 45 years, the club has always offered the community the best it can to help. “We want to be more engaged with a lot of issues. As a non-political organization, we want to continue to grow.”

Boyer said the club would also soon kick off its dental clinic project on Rota while it continues to develop and build the first Kagman Children’s Park.

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