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Eliane Neukermans, and her band of 13 volunteers, assembled book cubbies at St. Elizabeth Seton School, to honor a special wish from Judy Koch. Judy was long involved with this school, where 69% of the students are on food stamps. These cubbies were provided by the Bring Me A Book Foundation, founded by the late PAUR member, Judy Koch.

Rob Jack recognized Ecumenical Hunger Program. He said, they are always looking for canned goods and pantry items. Feeling less than competent in his pantry-shopping skills (he may have bought nothing but bacon, after all) he wrote them a check. He can’t say enough good things about the dedicated and long-time professional managers of this program, praising its “sterling leadership.”

A Club that Serves.
PAUR observes Rotary National Week of Service

Palo Alto, CA, September 20, 2023 – 39 volunteers from Rotary Club of Palo Alto/University (PAUR) contributed 87 hours of service during the Rotary 9/11 National Week of Service from September 10 -17. 23 members also brought food, hygiene products, winter clothing for Ecumenical Hunger Program, WeHOPE Homeless Services, and Karat School Project and raised more than $1,500 for the three organizations. 

“I was inspired by the energy of my fellow Rotary members to join other community volunteers this week, powered by the 9/11 spirit of recovery and resilience. I felt connected in a new way,” said Leif Erickson, future PAUR President (’24-’25), and a lead volunteer. 

PAUR members, who gave their time, and in-kind & monetary contributions, to help make this week a success, shared their experiences and spoke about their service project: how it made a difference to the community, and, most importantly, to them. 

Rotarians, often, volunteered in partnership with local community-based organizations. Sasha Madison, Jyotika RoyC, and Song Wang worked at WeHOPE Homeless Services. Along with three other volunteers from Youth Community Service (YCS), they toured the shelter, the first of its kind in East Palo Alto. Then they cleaned and organized the supply shed, storing the toiletry kits, sleeping bags away, winter and rain clothes. WeHOPE is still in need of laundry pods, feminine hygiene products, and sanitizing and cleansing wipes.

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Photo L-R; Song Wang, Lief Erikson, President Larry Christenson, Mary Chigos, Linda Lenior, Jyotika RoyC, Sasha Madison, and Don MacKenzie.

Ted Mock talked about his work at the Ventura Community Garden, teaming up with Leif Erickson. They spent a few hours on Sunday morning removing weeds and spreading chips with other community volunteers. 

Linda Lenoir, and a youth volunteer from YCS worked at Gamble Garden, promoting a winter clothing drive for Karat School Project. They had only one family visit them who, very enthusiastically, helped her write notes of good wishes for the recipients. Their enthusiasm influenced a random visitor, to the Garden, to give them $100!

Leif Erickson and Jyotika RoyC participated in the Multifaith Peace Picnic and Vigil, held each year on 9/11 in Palo Alto. They, along with other community volunteers from YCS, served food and helped with set-up and removal of chairs and tables. Jyotika wore her Rotary 4-way test shirt which led to some very interesting conversations. 

Debra Cen and five volunteers put together 25 kits used to decorate children’s book cubbies. These kits were given to the young children and grandchildren of the caregivers at Belmont Senior Living facility, along with book cubbies and three age-appropriate books for every child. This project was conceived by Katie Cooney, PAUR member and employee of Belmont Senior Living facility, who was also responsible for the last-mile execution. 

Photo L-R; Rotarians Don MacKenzie, Sasha Madison, Jyotika RoyC, Ted Mock, Debra Cen, Jim Lang, Ted Marston, Richard Schoelerman (with drill), President Larry Christenson, Leif Erikson & Eliane Neukermans.

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Photo L-R; Richard Schoelerman and President Larry Christenson building book cubbies.

Jyotika RoyC, Bob Barrett, and Linda Lenoir asked members to attend the Sibling Cities town hall on Bridging Regional Divides on September 17th at the Mitchell Park Community Center.  Four other PAUR members joined them and had a very engaging conversation with their peers in-person at Palo Alto, CA and virtually in Bloomington, IN. 

Linda Lenoir also mentioned the Interactors and other youth in our community who volunteered side-by-side with the Rotarians at many of these projects. 

While the teams of Rotarians volunteered in-person, many Rotarians also contributed in-kind and through monetary donations. 

Leif Erickson, our President Elect and co-chair of the Community Service Committee, and a lead volunteer, reminded our members that there are many ways to serve including through financial contributions. Our President, Larry Christenson, and Jyotika RoyC, Youth Service Committee co-chair, both reminded people that we could have fun while serving. Service above Self, and with Fun!

Thank you, PAUR volunteers. We are ever so proud of you.

To see the presentation slides,  please see this video.



Jyotika RoyC & Sophie Tsang

Palo Alto/University Rotary

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