Community support was the order of the day at the February 6 meeting of the Bowral-Mittagong Rotary Club.
This included the donation of 10 Janome sewing machines and an overlocker to a school in Vanuatua and three iPod shuffles and headsets to the Wingecarribee Adult Day Care Centre for dementia patients. The sewing machines and overlocker were valued at about $2400 while the IPods and headsets reached a tally of about $500.
The club was inspired to support the school in Vanuatu after learning of the work of retired school teacher Trish Rheingerger and her husband Rob who have volunteered in Vanuatu for six years. On a trip to Espiritu Santo 18 months ago the couple received a request for support in the form of school uniforms for the students.
Mrs Rheinberger has since coordinated the donation of 500 school uniforms. She negotiated a 50 per cent discount with Lincraft on material and managed to supply four Janome JR1012 sewing machines to the school with support form Vanuatua Airlines to transport the goods. This has been followed by sewing training for 20 ladies in Espiritu Santo. The rotary club donation will help Mrs Rheinberger achieve her ultimate goal to train more ladies to sew and establish a sewing machine library in the villages.
The donation of the Wingecarribee Adult Day Care was a continuation of support to dementia patients. The club previously donated 34 iPod sets to Harbison Homes and 32 to Warrigal Care, worth about $12,000. These donations have been prompted by recognition that dementia patients can respond to music.