600 families fed with annual Thanksgiving Baskets

A group of volunteers gather in a church hall to assemble boxes of food.
It’s the time of year for giving and being thankful for our communities. The Rotary Club of Aggieland celebrated the season by packaging and delivering Thanksgiving Baskets to 600 families in the Brazos Valley community.
Last week, 200 volunteers, including Rotary members, student organizations from Texas A&M University, and other community groups came together at the A&M Church of Christ in College Station, Texas, to assemble and deliver a family feast. Each Thanksgiving Basket contained a frozen turkey, canned vegetables, mashed potatoes, muffin mix, stuffing, rolls, gravy and other Thanksgiving food staples.
600 families fed with annual Thanksgiving Baskets Jennifer Reiley 2023-11-20 06:00:00Z 0

No One Eats Alone

My only hope is that anyone who is alone on Thanksgiving, is alone because they want to be, not because they must be.

Years ago, when I was a poor college student, some 700 miles from home, I couldn't afford to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas like all of my friends, I had to choose one, so I chose Christmas break. All my friends went home to their families and loved ones, and I found myself alone on Thanksgiving, walking around campus feeling as low as an 18-year-old can possibly feel. I ended up eating thanksgiving dinner by myself at a "Luby's" type place, and there were a few of us poor souls in there, eating our pressed turkey and canned cranberry sauce alone and alone in our thoughts. I had recently lost my best friend to a car wreck and my grandfather to old age. It was really hard being alone, feeling alone, experiencing crushing sadness, that was a feeling I never wanted to feel again. It is forever burned into my memory, that melancholy feeling of helpless loss and isolation during what was normally a festive and fun time with loved ones and family.

Years later, while my youngest brother was attending Texas A&M, he asked if one of his friends, a foreign student he had met in class, could come for thanksgiving as he had nowhere to go and didn't really understand the concept of why Americans even had a thanksgiving holiday. I said sure, the more the merrier bring whomever you want. Well, they must have posted a flyer at the foreign student center because that day we had about 10 foreign students for thanksgiving, we demonstrated the true spirit of American Thanksgiving and that's how it all started. Opening our home to those that otherwise had nowhere to go. No questions asked, nothing expected in return.
That was around 97 or 98. In the years between then and now we have had as many as 130 and as few as 1. Every single one of them had their own story and own reasons for being alone. Every single one of them received food, fellowship and kindness. My only hope is that anyone who is alone on Thanksgiving, is alone because they want to be, not because they must be.
Our challenge to you and your club members- If you have the room and inclination, invite people over to your home that otherwise don't have anywhere to go. Advertise at your church, social media outlets etc., get the word out that you have room for them. Most will simply decline, but you might be surprised at who you know that has nowhere to go. That elderly person at church, the guy at your gym, a recent divorcee, your kids sports coach etc., just ask you will really be surprised.
No One Eats Alone 2023-11-15 06:00:00Z 0

Why were the chickens playing Bingo? To support the Brazos Valley!

The Chicken Scratch Bingo banner.
The Rotary Club of Aggieland successfully hosted the 6th Annual Chicken Scratch Bingo Fundraiser on Oct. 6. The evening event raised about $24,000.
All proceeds of The Rotary Club of Aggieland Chicken Scratch Bingo go to support charitable projects right here in our community. Our next big project is our Thanksgiving Baskets in November. This project provides 600+ Thanksgiving Baskets with the fixings to make a dinner for families experiencing food insecurity in the Brazos Valley.  Each box has enough food for a family of six.
Why were the chickens playing Bingo? To support the Brazos Valley! 2023-10-26 05:00:00Z 0

Kits to Save the World for Different Day

Different Day is a beacon of hope for women survivors seeking recovery and healing from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. Through their unwavering commitment, they provide not just a place to live, but a meaningful job and a sisterhood of support that lasts a lifetime. The women of DD are encouraged to journal as a form of therapy, and this is where we can help. We created journal kits which contained a journal, sketch pad, colored pens, comfy socks and beauty products, along with an encouraging note from our members. 
It was an honor to work side by side with Marcy (founder of DD) to create these kits and learn how Different Day impacts the life of these women, and our community.    
Kits to Save the World for Different Day 2023-09-21 05:00:00Z 0

Cornhole Tournament


Bags & Brews

Bags & Brews Cornhole Tournament is complete, and we must say it was a thrilling success! The semi finals and finals rounds had everyone on one edge of their seats. Our final numbers are still being tallied, but we must say, they’re looking great! And we can’t wait to share our total soon. To our sponsors, volunteers, photographers, DJ and so many others, thank you!! And we’re ready to start planning next year’s event. Are you going to play?!
Cornhole Tournament 2023-06-22 05:00:00Z 0

Thank You Beckmans

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Our club wanted to thank Wade and Mary Beckman, owners of Amico Nave, for allowing us to meet during the pandemic, pay as we go, and set up the room for us every week.  Aggieland Rotary gifted the Beckman's with new Salt and Pepper Grinders for their restaurant. Your heart for service and love of people is unparalleled.
Thank You Beckmans Barbara Patterson 2021-06-28 05:00:00Z 0

Vaccine HUB Volunteers

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Julie Randolph and Barbie Patterson volunteered for 5 hours on March 9th at the Vaccine HUB! Our club members sorted/counted supplies and organized the supply room. They had a great time and were able to meet with some great people! On top of this, Julie and Barbiw were able to spend time with Bryan Rotarian AJ Renold!!
Vaccine HUB Volunteers 2021-03-10 06:00:00Z 0

Meals For Healtcare Workers

Our club got with Admiral Catering and ordered 75 meals. We purchased snacks, drinks, and desserts and delivered them to CHI St. Joseph's Hospital and Baylor Scott and White Hospital. We designated these goodies to be given to the ICU/CCU and ICU Covid Units.  The nurses were so excited to get food and goodies and our hearts were full of joy!! We hope to continue this over the next few months.  
Meals For Healtcare Workers Barbara Patterson 2021-02-05 06:00:00Z 0

Thanksgiving Baskets & KBTX

On Saturday night KBTX announced that Aggieland Rotary Club had free Thanksgiving Meals available and you should call the phone number on the screen to apply. This was a misquote, each of the boxes we had on Saturday morning were already spoken for thru a vetting process our club does with United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and the Bridge Ministries. We will be doing the project again next year so if you are in need please remember to contact one of those agencies next fall. I am sorry for any inconvenience and will post other organizations offering food for this year after I have assembled the list. I hope all have a great and Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Baskets & KBTX Barbara Patterson 2020-11-22 06:00:00Z 0
Sign Ups for Thanksgiving Basket Service Project Barbie 2020-11-09 06:00:00Z 0

The Bridge Ministries Produce Pantry 

Volunteers from the Aggieland Rotary Club loaded up cars and trucks with fresh produce!!   We served over 150 families in need in Aggieland while using safety measures and social distancing! 
The Bridge Ministries Produce Pantry 2020-06-13 05:00:00Z 0
Helping the Local Hospital refill the Ronald McDonald Cart 2020-02-27 06:00:00Z 0

Done In a Meeting 

We had a great time labeling and loading dispensers with Aggieland Rotary Pencils.  Delivery will be in the fall for all the local Middle Schools.  This will be the students first introduction to Rotary and what wonderful thinks Rotarians do all over the world.  We can only hope that the students will MAKE THEIR MARK WITH ROTARY!! 
Done In a Meeting Barbara Patterson 2020-02-13 06:00:00Z 0

Change in Meeting Location 

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On December 12, 2019 our meeting will be held at the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce office.  We will meet at Noon in the Board Room and Admiral Catering will be providing our meal.  I hope all can attend.  Our speaker that day will be Avery Martin our Brazos County Extension Agent.  I look forward to seeing you there.  
Change in Meeting Location Barbara Patterson 2019-12-04 06:00:00Z 0

Thanksgiving Basket Project 

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Saturday, November 23rd, the Rotary Club of Aggieland members and volunteers from the community came out to help box up items fit for a Thanksgiving meal.   Fred Patterson, President of Aggieland Rotary Club was a member the very first year they did Thanksgiving baskets.   He says it’s come a long way.   "We started this program over 15 years ago, just 12 baskets, and we've done as much as 500, today's goal is 470,” said Patterson.  Each box will feed up to 10 family members this Thanksgiving.  
Friday, we put boxes together, sticker the boxes, staged all the dry goods in preparation for an early Saturday Morning.  
Saturday morning the turkeys arrived at 6:00 we unloaded and at 7:00 we began assembling boxes.  470 boxes were full and ready for pick up by volunteer drivers by 8:00 AM.  We had over 100 drivers signed up to deliver boxes to the needy in the Brazos Valley.  We had all the boxes delivered before noon.  The most moving part of the whole event is the delivery of the food to the families.  They are always so appreciative, and it can be quite over whelming that $25 worth of food can move them to tears.   It is one of the most wonderful days of the year. 
Our volunteers this year included grown children of the members in our Club.  PJ Hathaway cannot remember a time when he did not help with boxes the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  Ryan Ullman said he can remember helping since he was about 6 years old.  We had many little helpers put stickers on the boxes this year and our hope is that they have the same experience.  What a great way to bring up the next generation with community service and Rotary engrained in them.  
“The Brazos Valley is such a special place, I have received so much, both personally and professionally, that I like to serve where I can, I like to give back,” said Katie Dempsey from Candi 95.
Dempsey says there’s no better way to get in the giving spirit.
"Look at home many boxes we were able to fill, look at how many meals we're going to be able to provide, we do take it for granted but I think the Brazos Valley has a spirit about it, it's so good at giving back to those in need,” said Dempsey.
News footage of the event can be seen here:
Thanksgiving Basket Project Barbara Patterson 2019-11-26 06:00:00Z 0

Thank You to our Chicken Scratch Bingo Sponsors!! 

Posted on Oct 28, 2019
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Thanks so much to all of our sponsors for Chicken Scratch Bingo.  All proceeds go to our charity account to help purchase food for our Thanksgiving Baskets along with many other worthy causes we contribute to.   
Thank You to our Chicken Scratch Bingo Sponsors!! Barbara Patterson 2019-10-28 05:00:00Z 0

Done in a Meeting 

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During our regulary schedule meeting time our club labeled 100 hangars with our Rotary Club of Aggieland logo.   The members of our club donated new or gently used new born infant clothes to the BCS Prenatal Clinic.   The BCS Prenatal Clinic provides an outfit to each of it's clients for the new born babies.  Our donations will be stored on the hangars we labeled with our Rotary logo in a closet the clients can access at the facility.   This wonderful service project provided for children along with promoting Rotary to the staff and clients at the BCS Prenatal Clinic.  
Done in a Meeting 2019-06-13 05:00:00Z 0

Helping people with disabilities make their own music

Music has been an important part of leading an ordinary life for students at the Music School for Children With Disabilities in Honor of Paul Harris in Lublin, Poland. Founded by Rotary members, the school serves 20 students with various disabilities, including Down syndrome, autism, and visual impairments. The Rotary Club of Lublin-Centrum-Maria Curie-Sklodowska has provided funding with help from Rotary Foundation Matching Grants and the Henryk Wieniawski Musical Society, which houses the school.
After their son Mateusz was born with underdeveloped eyes, Mariusz and Joanna Kania looked for ways to help him be active. When he showed an aptitude for music, they looked for a teacher and were thrilled to find the Paul Harris music school.
Helping people with disabilities make their own music 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Finding Safe Haven

For years, Angalia Bianca had slept in abandoned buildings throughout Chicago. She stole. She did drugs. She spent time in and out of jail for forgery, theft, trespassing, and possession of narcotics. But after she landed in prison for the seventh time, something changed -- Bianca knew she wanted a better life. She just didn’t know how to make it happen.
After serving her time, Bianca sought help from a local homeless organization, A Safe Haven, and moved to its shelter in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Bianca followed the program closely -- she attended all the required meetings, passed drug tests, and volunteered at every opportunity.
Finding Safe Haven 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

Saving lives in Ghana

What is it like taking a large team to Africa?  It has probably been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. In mid February, I began leading Rotary members from all over the East Coast of the United States through Ghana. I’ve tried to give the team a warm Ghanaian welcome like I’ve received on my earlier trips. A large trip is a real blessing because each person sees Ghana and our work in a different way.

A highlight for the team was greeting the chief of Sagadugu. The team got excited about buying goats and food for children in the villages where I support eight churches. It was good to see the pastors of most of the eight churches, and I had to explain that we were just passing through on our way to Bolgatanga.
Saving lives in Ghana 2015-05-01 00:00:00Z 0

India celebrates three years without polio

Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011. To mark this historic triumph, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India celebrates three years without polio 2014-02-26 00:00:00Z 0