Rotaract Club donation drive benefits Quigley House
St. Johns River State College student and president of the Orange Park campus Rotaract Club, Diana Pizarro, feels like her heart grew two sizes after witnessing the overwhelming outpouring of support for a donation drive the club recently coordinated for the Quigley House. Serving Clay County, the Quigley House provides advocacy and empowerment to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while providing community education to heighten awareness.
Demonstrating the Rotaract’s motto “Service Above Self,” SJR State’s Rotaract Club was on a mission to help victims understand that the community truly cares about them. Pizarro explained that the donation drive was something that the entire College community could participate in, not just the Rotaract members. “We teamed up with the College’s faculty, staff, students, family members, friends and our sponsors, and the project became a really big thing,” she said. “We received a much better response than we thought we were going to get. It joined everyone together for a common cause to help other people.”
Empty boxes placed throughout the campus quickly overflowed with items such as clothing, shoes, toys, games, books and more. When items were still pouring in after the first three weeks of the drive, the club members decided to extend the drive for an extra week. “We definitely got more clothing than we ever thought we would,” said Pizzaro. The clothing items also included professional attire that can be worn on job interviews, Pizzaro said. And Pizzaro was equally as thrilled about the various board games that were received, as this provides a fun opportunity for group bonding at the Quigley House.
Rotaract District Governor Marshall Butler, who recently addressed club members during a campus visit, said he was overwhelmed when he entered the auditorium and saw the large volume of items that had been collected. “It was really incredible to see what the Rotaracters here have done,” he said. “They poured their hearts into this project. Our Rotary theme this year is ‘Rotary serving Humanity,’ and every day we look for ways that we can make a difference in someone’s life. Every day, we look for a way that we can help someone, and I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate our theme for this year than by what they’ve done here collecting these contributions for the Quigley House.”
To the Rotaract Club members, Butler said, “You’re a leader in your community. You get things done.”
SJR State student and former club president Urie Deshommes said it was a wonderful feeling to see the efforts of the current members, all students whom he had recruited to participate in the club. “I’ve always said to the members to be the change they want to see in the world, and they’re doing that every day.”
“They are the future of Rotary,” Butler added. “Rotary has been around for 111 years and we have a rich heritage, so I encourage the members to continue performing ‘Service Above Self’ for the rest of their lives. We look forward to them continuing to be Rotarians.”
SJR State Rotaract Club president Diana Pizarro, left, and Rotaract District Governor Marshall Butler, right, share smiles about the success of the donation drive club members coordinated for the Quigley House. The Quigley House provides advocacy and empowerment to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while providing community education to heighten awareness.
SJR State Rotaract Club members joined by Rotaract District Governor Marshall Butler and Rotarian Michael Kloehn from the Rotary Club of Orange Park Sunrise gather around the large volume of donations collected during a drive club members coordinated for the Quigley House.
Director of Public Relations and Publications