It was a double donation day at our lunchtime meeting last Tuesday as Past President Margaret Griffin handed over a donation to Porchlight and to Canterbury Food Bank.
Each year our President selects three charities that we raise special funds for during his or her presidential term. For her year, PP Margaret had chosen Porchlight (a local charity that helps the homeless in Kent), Canterbury Food Bank (which provides emergency parcels for people in short term financial crisis across the Canterbury District) and the Juba Diocesan Model Secondary School in South Sudan (which helps educate local under-privileged youngsters).
Over the year we raised £3,000 for these three worthy causes, meaning each would get £1,000.
Rachel van Hoven, Porchlight's Community Fundraising Manager, accepted our donation to Porchlight on behalf of the charity from Margaret. Our Club has supported Porchlight in a number of ways over the years, and Rachel conveyed Porchlight's thanks for our help. She also encouraged our members to take part in this year's 'Rotary Sleep Out for Porchlight' at St Edmund's School, organized by our sister Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise. The Sleep Out - which involves sleeping outdoors in a tent or carboard shelter in October - helps raise much-needed funds, and awareness, for Porchlight.
Our donation to Canterbury Food Bank was gratefully received by Martin Ward - the Charity's new Chair of their Board of Trustees (and also a Past President of our Club). Martin reminded us how the Food Bank is always in need of funds and donations and is grateful to groups such as Rotary that provide so much support. Phil Abbot (another of our Past Presidents) took the opportunity to remind everyone about Santa's Sleigh (another initiative of the Sunrise Club), which will be out again this December. It's very popular with local youngsters and helps raise funds for local charities and collects food for the Canterbury Food Bank.
Margaret will hand the Juba donation over herself; she has made a number of visits to the school over recent years and has always been pleased to see its progress and how well its students are doing.
Picture: Rachel van Hoven receives the cheque on behalf of Porchlight from PP Margaret Griffin. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury.