The Rotary Club of 
Barre, Vermont
Chartered 1924
District 7850
PO Box 167
Barre, VT 05641


Despite some hoarse voices and a late start, we made it through the usual rituals.  Tony was first to fine Caroline for a one minute late start.  Not to be outdone, Caroline paid that and then put in three more dollars in apology for having triple-booked our speakers for the day.   She was able to reschedule one for May, while we squeezed the other two in for one jam-packed meeting. Liane managed to get in one happy dollar before the program started: she was pleased to be back and almost fully recovered after missing last week due to flu.  She then showed off her bedazzled "I <3 Rotary" baseball cap to segue into talking about her theme of visibility for Rotary in the coming year.  She also brought our attention to the front page news Barre Rotary made this last week when our mural project got the green light from the City - well done, President Caroline!
With those brief announcements complete, we dove right in to speaker number one.  Thomas Longstreth has served as Executive Director of ReSource VT for 22 years - longer than it's been called ReSOURCE!  ReSOURCE's mission is three-fold: job-skill training, environmental stewardship, and poverty relief.  Some of their activities, like the resale store, are well-known here in Barre.  Others, such as their various job training programs, they're still trying to build awareness around.  Over 1,000 trainees have gone through their various job training programs and moved on to full employment elsewhere after gaining valuable workplace skills, and today they have 200-300 trainees enrolled every year.  Each part of their mission supports the others.  For example, someone might donate an old fridge to the store.  Their trainees would work on it to get it functioning more efficiently according to modern standards, then resell it at a deep discount to someone who might not be able to afford new.  That one refrigerator 1) stayed out of a landfill and is now more energy efficient than before, 2) provided valuable job training experience for those refurbishing it, and 3) provided poverty relief to a family in need once it was re-homed.  Another example is YouthBuild, an alternative education program for kids who are not completing a traditional high school degree.  They enroll as Americorps volunteers and are trained in affordable housing construction and weatherization while earning their GEDs.  The one year program includes hands-on learning experience that doubles as community service and includes traditional educational components like financial management that ensure graduates are well-situated to stand on their own after graduation.  YouthBuild is empowering high-risk youth.
ReSOURCE's job training is focused on the idea that everybody can work - they want to see more people with disabilities and alternative educational paths finding stable employment.  Vermont is nearing an unsustainable 1:1 ration of dependents to workers; the more formerly dependent people we can get back in the workforce with meaningful, the stronger our economy will be.  ReSOURCE has a 95-98% rate of employment for graduates of their job training programs.  
For more information, visit
Abigail with the Upendo Mmoja
Our second speaker was Rotaracter and Norwich University Senior Abigail Joyal, along with guest Rotary member and Norwich professor Nicole DiDomenico.  Abigail came to update us on the Rotaract Upendo Mmoja project in Tanzania that our club has supported in the past.  They've completed the main center, kitchen, and barn, which now houses two cows, one hundred chickens, and eight pigs.  All of the children at the center currently have sponsors, though they are looking for new sponsors for the coming year for about six more children.  Sponsorship costs just $400 per year and provides for all of the child's medical, health, educational, and living expenses.  Bob Pope issued a matching challenge after the program, pledging $200 to complete a sponsorship if twenty other Rotarians will pledge $10 each.
There are three groups going over to Tanzania this summer to work on the dormitory and teach carpentry and craft workshops.  They'll also be bringing over more than forty pairs of the "Shoe that grows", a special expandable shoe for the developing world that provides sturdy foot protection for years as it can be adjusted to fit a child's growing feet.  The goals for this summer include the completion of the boys dormitory, the start of a sunflower oil production facility, and the hosting of another Norwich student group.  
Abigail and Nicole are very excited to be welcoming their Tanzanian partners (and fellow Rotarians) Maria and Vincent to Vermont for a month long visit.  They will be visiting Rotary clubs during the coming month and strengthening their ties with the many Vermont groups who have become partners in the Upendo Mmoja project.  (In one serendipitous coincidence from our triple-booking, we learned that ReSource years ago donated laptops to Upendo Mmoja, which elementary students there are still using to learn critical computer skills!)
For more stories, photos and news visit:

Club Information
Barre, VT
We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
The Quarry Kitchen & Spirits
210 North Main Street
Barre, VT  05641
United States
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Apr 18, 2018
Classification Talk
Apr 25, 2018
May 02, 2018
Sustainability and Natural Resources Education and Action
May 09, 2018
How Adult Basic Education Benefits Our Entire Community: From Students to Employers
May 16, 2018
Nicaragua: Grassroots Cultural Exchange and Educational Opportunities Between Our Two Countries
May 23, 2018
Foreign Exchange Students Experiences Here in the US
May 30, 2018
Jun 06, 2018
Classification Talk
Jun 13, 2018
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