Ric and I enjoy 5-1/2 months in our Winter Home (Valle Del Ore), Mesa Arizona. When we arrive the end of October, we immediately begin our busy routine of Water Aerobics, Cycling, Hiking, Tennis, and volunteer duties with the weekly Chapel Service.

We belong to the 250-member Tennis Club, which plays on six courts of artificial turf. There is a league with several other parks in the Mesa area, which we play in.

My real story begins with being the Tennis Clubs, Campaign Chairman for an ‘Adopted Family at Christmas”. Each November, contact is made with the East Valley Baptist church who provides a Food Bank for destitute families. Our designated family provides requests for basic needs (ie: TP paper, laundry soap, diapers, etc.) as well as clothes, and Christmas gifts for the family.

This year we were connected with a single Father (Josh) and his two sons (Nathan – 10 and Ricky – (8). They’re connection with the Church and Food Bank began one day in early November when the truck they were living in ran out of gas. They rolled into the parking lot of the Church, sleeping in the truck that night. The wonderful, caring Pastor Hughes and his wife Mary, took them in and provided food, found living quarters, clothing, and gas money. In return Josh helped stock the food bank shelves and other odd jobs.

I started the collection from Tennis Club members and a friend and I shopped for requested items. The purchases and gifts were wrapped & presented. First on the agenda, however, was paying December’s rent before eviction December 5th. Truck was then repaired with money donated by a member. Transportation other than bikes could now be used to get the boys to school. Broken bikes were repaired by Ric and two newer ones purchased from Goodwill.I approached Management of our Park and by the middle of December, Josh had a job with the Maintenance Department. This $15 an hour job and $940 rent still led to further needs. Food was provided by the Tennis Club, as well as the Food Bank. The next wall was hit, when the repaired truck broke down, and once again the Tennis Club membership stepped up and a used van, in excellent work order, was purchased, insurance bought, and Josh and the boys have good wheels.

Josh continues to work hard and do whatever he can do to support the three of them. This was a very rewarding experience, as I am totally convinced this young Dad and his boys have found a new life

Even though this was not a Rotary Club connection, it was “service above self”, which I have learned to live by through my Rotary involvement.