Interact is a service group for young adults between the ages of 12 – 18. It is a part of the youth division of Rotary International, but is self-governing and self-supporting.
Interact clubs complete service projects that foster goodwill and understanding both in the community, the surrounding area, on a national level and on an international level. On the island of Abaco two Interact Clubs (Forest Heights Academy and St Francis De Sale try to follow Rotary’s motto which is, “Service Above Self.”
FOREST HEIGHTS ACADEMY
The Interact Club of Forest Heights Academy was chartered in 2010 and meets on Mondays at 12:20pm in the Science Lab (Room 109)
The new board is comprised as follows President: Hanna Strachan, Vice President: Isabella Albury, Secretary: Raven Bootle, Treasurer: Aliyah Gibson, Faculty Advisors: Mrs. Alana Carroll, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Knowles.
From inception this club has been a very vibrant organization and much of its success can be attributed to the dedication of its faculty advisers who continue to live by the rotary motto of Service Above self.
Every year the Interactors of Forest heights plan various fundraising and other projects that keep them busy throughout the year. They have engaged international projects and have successfully contributed to Rotary’s signature Polio program. Additionally back in 2010 they were able to raise funding to send a number of shelter boxes to the earthquake victims in Haiti.
There are a number of achievements worth noting thus far in this first half of the Interact year as follow:
-Hurricane Joaquin fundraising
-Packaging food parcels for hurricane victims
-Donations of three generators, one washing machine,
-$500 school supplies to North Long Island High School,
-$1000 donation for feed for animals,
-Dry goods and water sent to crooked islands, LI, and San Sal.
-Donations of $500 each to the families of 3 school members directly affected by hurricane.
-Approximately $2000 in building supplies, tarps, flashlights, hammers, nails etc sent to Long Island.
-Made signs for the breast cancer walk.
-Participated in the Breast Cancer walk
-Collecting food for canned food drive
So far $8000 has been raised and donated to hurricane Joaquin victims. The Interact club of Forest Heights continue to lend a hand and stay busy in the work of Rotary as they prepare for the upcoming holiday season.
This week they will begin ringing the bell at various food store outlets in an effort to raise funds which will provide food parcels for the elderly and the needy at Christmas time.
The club will also participate in Chalk Art festival organized by the Rotary Club of Abaco in early December.
The following week they will run the soda booth for the Annual Abaco Christmas Festival committee to help defray costs.
Forest Heights is already looking forward to the programs they will engage in 2016 shortly after the Christmas break and thus far the clubs record reflects that most of membership has already contributed well over the minimum number of volunteer hours required to qualify to remain in the club during the first term. In fact some members have already surpassed their annual goals for volunteer hours contributed. This speaks to the quality of membership this year and commitment seen in the focus of this club. The Forest heights Club continue to make strides in the community with an unmatched ability to do a lot and to do it fast.
Their size and determination makes their work easier and all of it happens when they engage the Rotary Motto of ‘Service above Self.’
ST FRANCIS DE SALES
The interact club of St Francis De Sales has consistently operated as a successful club every year since its inception contributing to the work of Rotary on the island of Abaco.
The club continues to grow and is led by very hardworking faculty advisers who are dedicated to the business of Rotary through the service club program at the school. The club meets every Monday, 12:10 pm in Room 10.
The club recently inducted four Board members and pinned 35 active members at the pinning ceremony held on November 17 led by Youth Director Gentry Morris and a team of Abaco Rotarians. St Francis De Sales Interact club was recognized as the “BEST in COMMUNITY SERVICE” in the Bahamas and they also received the Grant and Presidential Citation.
The new board is comprised as follows.
President: Jessica Knowles , Vice President: Marbria Wilmore, Secretary: Radisha Destine, Treasurer: Ranisha Newbold, Faculty Advisors: Mr. Elmer Bongon, Mr. Ronald Cenita, Rotarian Advisor: Mr. George Riviere.
The club has completed thirteen community service projects within the past three months and some of their achievements are noted below:
– Raised $650.00 to assist Hurricane Ericka victims in Dominica
– Held a donation drive project for Typhoon Yolanda victims and raised $700.00 and collected 60 boxes of assorted relief goods (used/unused clothing, shoes, bags, household items, waters etc.)
– Assisted the Abaco Christmas Festival Committee with the repainting of the fences in preparation for the 10th Annual Abaco Christmas Festival 2015
– Participated in WORLD INTERACT WEEK 2015 partnering with the Friends of the Environment for the International Coastal Clean Up
– Visited the Old Folks Home and the Elderly and Collected 15 boxes of canned goods for Dept. of Social Services and Rotary Club of Abaco
– Assisted in a book drive for the benefit of community libraries in Abaco
The Interact club of St Francis de Sales have planned the following projects noted below:
- Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign signs within the Abacos
- Turtle Pond Clean-up in coordination with the Interact Club of Forest Heights
- Repainting of the Tourists Walk Way in between Mangoes Restaurant and Snappas
- Annual Book Drive for the benefit of Marsh Harbour Public Library
- Annual Beach Clean-Up in Casuarina Point
- Support in the following community activities and projects
Both of the Interact Clubs on Abaco led by able faculty advisers and dedicated Rotarians have bright futures ahead of them as they strive for excellence in their efforts to continue to make valuable contributions to the local communities as well as to the international community. Interactors are building lasting friendships amongst themselves and they will all benefit from the joy of knowing that their efforts continue to go a long way to help those in need and also to preserve the environments in which we all live.