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'Rotary Helps' Pocatello kids in need

By By Chris Cole
Published On: Apr 10 2013 10:42:28 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 11:29:43 PM CDT

Organization known for international work

POCATELLO, Idaho -

"We wanted to do something very special in our community," said Dena Green, vice president of the Pocatello Rotary Club.

The Rotary clubs in the Pocatello area have joined together to help the students of School District 25.

The Pocatello Rotary Club, Gate City Rotary Club, Centennial Rotary Club and Portneuf Rotary Club have joined together to help provide basic needs to kids in all area schools.

The project is called “Rotary Helps,” and it works by collecting socks, coats, shoes, and many other items that some kids in Bannock County are going without.

"We learned there is such a need for high school students, junior high kids and even elementary kids,” said Green. “Then, even down to their siblings."

Rotary is known for international volunteerism, but the “Rotary Helps” project is specific to the Pocatello area.

The project began in November, when the Rotary Club contacted the Pocatello/Chubbuck school district to find out what the need was for the winter months.

School teachers and counselors compiled a list of items they saw students in need of - a list that totaled 182 items for about half that many kids.

Rezaii said they were very basic items, like shoes, socks and even underwear. The monetary donations they received from the Rotarians helped pay for each item of brand-new clothing.

They then gave the items to the counselors who distributed the items to the children.

Rezaii said they don't know who they helped, as they never saw any names, just numbers assigned to clothing.

They are also looking to gather school supplies in their fall collection, and will do three more in total this year.

He says even just an extra pair of socks will help.

"Whether it is financial help we get from our Rotary Club members, or donated items,” said Saeid Rezaii, president-elect of the Pocatello Rotary Club, “Every bit of it goes to good use and stays in this community."

Wednesday, the Rotary clubs combined with high school Interact Clubs, which are the Rotary Club's student organization.

Students who attend New Horizons, where the sorting was taking place, also jumped in to help.

There were specific tables for shoes, small children's clothing, and even a table for household items.

Rotarians on site said they understand parents worry about how to pay bills and how to put food on the table.

"It's intended to really help those youth in our community who are in the most need of clothing and hygiene type items," said Pocatello Rotary President Keevan Shropshire.

They also hope it helps kids be more at ease in school where they may be teased for their appearance.

"It lets them go to school and not be ridiculed for not having the money some of the other kids do," said Shropshire.

As it goes with Rotary International, this group of hardworking people is committed to service above self.

"We are doing it this for our own wonderful community," said Rezaii.

If you are interested in donating, you can take your items to Rezaii Galaxy Computers, located at 1424 Yellowstone Ave. or to Green at First American Title Company, located at 2240 E Center St.  

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