Serve it Up -- Rotarians Coming Together to Serve A Community in Need - Clarksburg
The first week of the new year kicked off with myriad events.  Our headline should read, “Tournament of Roses Parade, Cyclone Bomb Storm, Food Security Project.”  Where do I start?  Let’s start with the storm.
Everyone in District 5180 has been impacted by the storms. For Mike and I, we need a new fence and to clean up a couple of redwoods that came down. No big deal. But for others, things have been much more disruptive and dangerous.  
As community leaders and people of action, we are partnering with the Red Cross and Salvation Army to help out in any way we can.  In the first days of January, Rotarians procured needed supplies for Clarksburg where many had been without power for a week, helped out at the Elk Grove Red Cross Shelter, and delivered meals to Senior Apartments in Land Park where power has not yet been restored.
Our sustainable food initiative, which I introduced during my Club visits, is gaining a clearer vision.  We reached out to many organizations, government agencies and food banks to understand the food security needs of our communities. Joann Hilton and her committee are currently exploring ways in which we can reduce the burden on food banks by expanding the use of the CalFresh program. This program is under-utilized by many who are eligible, especially seniors.  Would you like to help out?  Just reach out to Joann or me. 
Did you watch the Rose Bowl Parade? Riding the amazing award-winning Carousel Horse float, Jingles, with Rotary International President Jennifer Jones was such an honor.  Jennifer challenged the eight float riding/walking governors to rethink how we describe our organization.  When asked, “What is Rotary?”  Most of us say we are a service organization.  In reality, “We are an organization of community leaders who see a problem and fix it.  We are focused on creating a civil society.” 
Keep up the awesome work, District 5180!
Karen Cendro
District Governor 
Rotary District 5180
Past President
Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise