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This is the time of year that most Rotarians in our District spend time with family and friends as they celebrate in accordance with their own faith and holiday traditions. Historically, this time of year was celebrated as Yule or Saturnalia. Today, while most of us within D7820 celebrate Christmas, for some there is Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even Jerry Seinfeld's invented holiday, "Festivus"!
 
In our family, we have a new (and our first) granddaughter, so it will be a very special Christmas. Whatever your faith or tradition, Pat and I wish you and your family all the best during this Holiday Season and good health and much happiness in the New Year.
 
As Rotarians, and for our Rotary Clubs, we all share the credo of Service Above Self. There are many children and families in our communities in need or suffering from ill health, tragedy or loss. The challenges seem greater at this time of year. So, Rotarians in our District step up to meet that challenge.
 
Whether it is donating to or helping to support a local food bank, donating turkeys, volunteering with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle campaign, donating presents for children or families in need, caroling at a senior citizens home or holding a Santa party for needy children, D7820 Rotarians have been "Making A Difference" at this time of year since our first club was chartered over 100 years ago. Our fundraising events and other activities at this time of year tend to have a festive angle - whether it is a selling poinsettas, vegetable hampers, Christmas baked goods or seafood or putting a float in the local Christmas parade. 
 
This Bulletin includes several examples of the wonderful way our District's clubs and the Rotarians in it help to keep this time of year festive for all, including the less fortunate. I hope you enjoy it and that each of you continue to help others in our communities in the true spirit of the season - which I believe is very much like the true spirit of Rotary.
 
Please do not forget the needs of those in the world community as well. The best way for a Rotarian to do that is to donate to our award winning charity - The Rotary Foundation. Go to http://rotary.org and click on GIVE. Your donation to Polio Plus will be tripled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Your donation to the Annual Fund (Share) will see 50% returned to our District in three years time to be spent on District Grants and other locally controlled purposes.
 
Yours in Rotary Service,
 
DG Don
Santa is a Rotarian
Santa is real and he is a Rotarian!!
Santa must be real because wherever Rotary is, so is Santa bringing joy and presents to children. No one is left out when Santa and Rotary get together.
 
Our Rotary district has a long a distinguished history with Santa Claus.
 
Bruce Templeton of the Rotary Club of St. John's has assisting Santa for almost 40 years. He is the only living Canadian inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame, and has been knighted as a Knight of St. Nicholas. Bruce has written about his experiences assisting Santa and the proceeds from all three of his books, including national and Globe and Mail bestseller The Man in the Red Suit (2012), The Man with the White Beard (2014) and Twenty-Four Teddy Bears (2016), have supported the Rotary International Polio Plus program. 
 
For many years the Rotary Club of Happy Valley-Goose Bay has its "Santa to the Coast" project. Santa and Rotary "elves" fly a Twin Otter filled with presents to coastal Labrador. Two communities each year have a visit from Santa. It is a big deal for the community. This year Natuashish and Nain will have a visit from Sanata and his Rotary elves (including District Governor Don and Pat).  They also hold a Christmas party for local children in the HV-GB area and Santa arrives by helicopter!
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Election & Reporting of Club Officers 
Election & Reporting of Club Officers
 
It's that time of year when clubs should be holding their elections of the 2018-19 club officers. Holding elections on time and having a clear succession plan in place will help keep your club headed in the right direction for the next Rotary year.
 
December 31, 2018 is the deadline for election of officers and February 1,  2019 is the deadline for reporting the officers to Rotary International.
 
Current club officers can submit this information via the Club Administration section of My Rotary, ClubRunner, or by sending the information to data@rotary.org. 
 
Wondering about how to do that new Leadership position within your club? Stay tuned for the dates, times and locations for the upcoming TLC (Training for Leaders of Clubs) in your area in 2018 and take your leadership, planning and technical skills in Rotary roles and programs to the next level!
Rotarians Spreading Joy 
This time of year can be a very lonely, emotional or sad time for many. For many elderly, in poor health, alone following the loss of a loved one, or living through a personal or family tragedy this time of year can be anything but joyful.
 
That's where Rotary Clubs and Rotarians in our district step up. In countless ways throughout our district Rotary through projects large and small will be bringing joy to those who need it the most at this time of year.
 
Examples include serving lunch at a seniors home. 
 
Momma Moments Christmas Party
 
The challenges of pregnancy and parenting can be overwhelming for any woman, and for young mothers experiencing social isolation, financial demands, and with limited social and family support, the challenges of motherhood are even more so.
 
The Momma Moments Program was created in response to the significant number of pregnant and parenting young women who came to St. John's based charity, Choices For Youth, for support. The program tried to fill an extensive gap in programming which was leaving the young mothers unable to find healthy ways to interact with other moms, share experiences, learn healthy habits, and enjoy much-needed breaks from the rigors of raising children in a safe environment.
 

The Program currently runs in St. John’s and Conception Bay South, where groups meet once a week for programming that emphasizes overall wellness – mental, physical, spiritual, and social – for mother and child. Young mothers have access to healthy recreational activities, as well as resources and discussion on topics of family building, income supports, mental health, nutrition, and more. In addition, staff act as advocates for their well-being and that of their children, and consistently provide new connections that build independence. During program hours, volunteers of provide child minding services, and staff and volunteers of Momma Moments prepare meals for moms and kids – with an extra to take home.

Several years ago the program was introduced to Conception Bay South, NL with the assistance of the Rotary Club of Avalon Northeast.

 

That club continues to help out when it can and now holds an annual Momma Moments Christmas party for the mothers and children in the Conception Bay South group. There is music and laughter and Santa always shows up. Both children and mothers go home each year with presents and filled with the Christmas spirit. It is a highlight of the year for both the moms and children as well as the Avalon Northeast Rotarians! 

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Food Banks, Hunger and Rotary
We Rotarians are, by and large, a pretty privileged bunch. Most of us are free to choose any menu item at our favourite restaurant, relishing the pleasure and freedom of dining out. Unfortunately, far too many within our district don't have that option. Their option may be whether to buy groceries or to pay rent. No one should have to make such a choice.
 
According to Food Banks Canada, the numbers for our district are jarring. In March 2016, food banks in Newfoundland and Labrador assisted 26,366 people (37.3% were children). For Nova Scotia the number was 23,840 (30.4% children). For Prince Edward Island the number was 3, 370 (35.5% chldren).
 
The need is all year round but at this time of year the need is particularly great.
 
Rotarians throughout our District are doing their part. Whether it is donating turkeys, doing a food drive or volunteering at their local food bank, the new Rotary Public Image tagline of Rotary: People of Action perfectly fits what Rotarians in D7820 are doing to address hunger in our local communities.
 
For example, the photo above illustrates how Wolfville Mud Creek Rotary assists the Woolfville Area Food Bank (WAFB) by unloading the Feed NS truck every other week. In December the club, along with members of Acadia Rotaract, will be receiving turkeys 🦃, taking them to a nearby walk-in freezer and then returning them to the WAFB in mid December to be placed in food hampers for food bank patrons.
This sort of "Service Above Self" occurs across our district. Thank you to all who volunteer or donate. 
 
But please don't forget that of all the things one can donate to a food bank, one of the best choices is cash. Cash is easy to handle and store and never goes to waste. Your food bank can often use that cash to make a bulk buy of what is the most needed items at a discount price.  
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Rotary & Salvation Army Kettles - a Great Tradition

(From information on the Salvation Army website)

In 1891, Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help the help the vulnerable in San Francisco, especially during the Christmas season, but he didn’t know where to get funding to do so. He remembered, during his earlier days in Liverpool, England, seeing a large kettle where passengers of boats that docked nearby were able to toss coins to help the poor. Captain McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing, and encouraged the public to “Keep the Pot Boiling.”  He collected enough to host a Christmas dinner for the poor.

Today, the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign is a fundraising effort that occurs each year during the Christmas season. Kettles are found in 2000 locations across Canada and are an opportunity for the public to donate whatever funds they can to support the work of The Salvation Army during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

The first time a kettle was used in Canada was in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1906.

Our District includes Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward island and St.-Pierre et Miquelon. Wherever you go in our District at this time of year Rotarians and Rotary clubs volunteer their time to help with the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign. In some areas the clubs volunteer separately, in others, like the Valley, the clubs coordinate their volunteer efforts. 

Rotary and the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles - a great tradition of service.

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Bulletin Editor
Don Sword
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Russell Hampton
ClubRunner