Left to right: Roger & Eugenia Bajorek (Kiwanis), Chuck Bissell (Kiwanis), Jean Mardevsz (Rochester Lions), Tim Duncan (Rochester Rotary), Juliane Morian (Rochester Hills Public Library), Kris Liebzeit, (Eugenia’s 3rd Street Hair Gallery) and David Meyer (Rochester Hills Lions).
 
 
 
Over 115 years ago, Rotary International formed the world’s first service club in Chicago. Today, millions of people worldwide belong to service clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, and Optimists.
Rotary’s mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Founded in Detroit in 1915, Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child, and one community at a time, providing services from adult, college, high school, and elementary school level clubs.   Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world, with over 1.4 million members; strengthens local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects, particularly in the area of low-vision. The Rochester Hills Public Library serves people living or working in Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Each organization focuses on slightly different tasks; however, community service is the common factor. 
People join local service clubs for various reasons, whether for business networking, making friends, fellowship, or learning about their community through thoughtful speakers. Still, surveys have shown that giving back to the community is the primary reason most people join a service club.
In 2021, the international parents of these organizations encouraged local clubs to collaborate to demonstrate this commitment to community service. This year the Rochester and Rochester Hills clubs gathered new clothing necessities (socks, underwear, and pajamas) for foster children. Chuck Bissell, President of the Rochester Kiwanis Club, said, “We are overwhelmed with the community response to this project!” The club took seven car loads of donated necessities to the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care (www.faithcommunitiescoalition.com), which serves the Detroit metro area.
 
Connie Shelton, President of the Rochester Lions, said, “Sometimes foster children are delivered to foster homes bringing nothing but the clothes on their backs. This drive provides them with some immediate necessities to help transition into their new temporary homes.”
 
“Foster children experience great stress being separated from their birth families and friends, for whatever reason,” said David Meyers, President of the Rochester Hills Lions Club. “The lack of clean underwear should not stress these children more.”
 
“Through this project, we harnessed the power of these service organizations and local businesses, all of whom share a passion for taking action and creating lasting change,” said Rotary President Tim Duncan. The Rochester Hills Public Library and Eugenia’s 3rd Street Hair Gallery were extremely generous in allowing the public to drop off items. “We were happy to support this community project,” said Kris Liegzeit, owner of Eugenia’s.
 
Individuals interested in joining one of these service clubs can get more information on membership on each club’s website: www.rochesterlionsclub.org; www.facebook.com/KiwanisClubOfRochesterhttps://e-clubhouse.org/sites/rochesterhills/; or www.rochesterrotaryclub.org.
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