Once described as the “heartbeat of Rotary,” Community Service is a multi-pronged effort to improve the quality of life within Long Beach.
Rotarians have long been making substantial and lasting contributions to their communities. To a large extent, Rotary’s reputation is built
on the Community Service projects undertaken by Rotarians.
Long Beach Rotary Community Service Projects
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade
Long Beach Rotarians get into the community spirit with participation in the annual Belmont Shore Christmas Parade. Rotarians walk the parade route, provide special holiday music with a live band, and remind the community that Rotary is about Service - with a focus on literacy as exemplified by Dr. Seuss' Cat in The Hat.
Rotary regularly recognizes those in Long Beach who are making a difference in the community through several awards programs.
RYLA - Rotary Youth Leadership Award: Long Beach Rotary supports this Rotary International program by sponsoring 4-6 students each year.
Service Above Self: Between 35-40 high school seniors from 8 different Long Beach area high schools are honored every year for their service to others by inviting them to a Rotary meeting and presenting them with an elegant plaque for their Service Above Self.
Easter Egg Hunt
Rotary hosts the Mark Bixby Memorial Easter Egg Hunt at Centennial Park. The event honors one of Rotary's past president's, Mark Bixby, who was instrumental in the building and development of the park. Over 1,000 eggs are hidden to the delight of local children, in addition to face painting, a bounce house, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and selecting a book to take home.
Operation Santa Claus
This program matches Rotarians with families needing a great deal of financial assistance in celebrating the holidays. Families with barely the ability to clothe and feed their children, would go without gifts at Christmas if it were not for the generosity of Rotarians and their families. There is also tremendous assistance with shopping, wrapping, and delivery of gifts by our Interact and Rotaract clubs.
Reading by 9 - Literacy
Since 1999, Long Beach Rotary raised more than $500,000 from club members, placing more than 220,000 books in Long Beach Unified School District and preschool programs. In addition, our Literacy Committee solicits and awards special teacher grants for original reading-related projects submitted by grades K-3 teachers. Grants are also awarded for innovative literacy-related projects to local non-profit organizations.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Each year, Rotarians volunteer for the Red Cross Blood Drive.
Ronald McDonald House
Long Beach Rotarians volunteer at Ronald McDonald House numerous times throughout the year to prepare meals for families with sick and injured children.
Rotary Centennial Park
In 2005, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the founding of Rotary International, Long Beach Rotary partnered with the City of Long Beach to create a beautiful five acre park in a densely populated part of the city. The land was provided by the City on a strip of weed-choked, trash-filled, former Pacific Electric Railway right-of-way. Now a beautiful park filled with grass, trees, picnic pavilion, and play structures - including an educational art installation representing our solar system - Rotarians continue to keep a watchful eye and provide a monthly fellowship and cleanup of what we regard as "our" park.