Only weeks into its 2013-14 year, the Wellington Rotary Club is already engaged in its first community service project.
Beverly Perham, executive director of “Back to Basics,” a charity that the club has long supported, asked for some hands-on assistance. Rotarians normally donate money to the nonprofit every year and honors Back to Basics at its annual holiday luncheon. This year, club members decided to donate their time and help to assemble and package 8,000 school uniforms for the Back to Basics program.
Many club members donated more than 12 hours each at the warehouse providing Perham with the needed support to complete the project and ensure the uniforms were ready for distribution. “Back to Basics” donates these 8,000 school uniforms each year to underprivileged children attending South Florida schools.
“Back to Basics” and Perham have provided these school uniforms for the past 29 years. The goal, according to the nonprofit’s mission statement, is “to raise the self-esteem of children, which directly relates to their learning, by providing the basic necessities of uniforms, sneakers, socks and underwear.”
Originally, Perham did all of this work in her own home. In 2010, with the help of the Wellington Rotary Club, she was able to relocate to a warehouse in Wellington to better complete the work.
Funding for Back to Basics is all privately donated and 100 percent of the money donated goes to the cost of the school uniforms and the other basic items. The budget for the program is between $75,000 and $100,000 annually. The program is funded by many local churches, businesses, charitable organizations and some anonymous donors. Up until this year, a large donor to the program has been the Andy Roddick Foundation. Because of the loss of this funding, Back to Basics is looking for other ways to raise money for its needs.
The program, which began in 1984, initially supported only 26 school children.
For more information on Back to Basics, or how to get involved with future community outreach projects of the Wellington Rotary Club contact Maggie Zeller at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 715-9262, or Membership Chair Jasmine Velez at email@example.com.
ABOVE: Rotarians Maggie Zeller and Larry Kemp with Back to Basics Executive Director Beverly Perham (center).