Interact Club is a Rotary-sponsored service for young people aged 14-18. The program gives young people an opportunity to participate in fun, meaningful community service projects while developing leadership skills and meeting new friends.
Through service activities, Interactors learn the importance of:
- Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
- Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
- Advancing international understanding and goodwill.
The Rotary Club of Waikiki sponsors:
- The Interact Club of Honolulu Waldorf School
- The Interact Club of La Pietra
La Pietra's Waikiki Rotary Interact Club 2010-2011
Our club has a standing membership of 27 girls this year. Although not all members may be able to participate in all activities we launch, we encourage them to participate in the planning meetings and preparation, even if they are unable to join us. Our focus has been outreach to young children or young families in the community, and the following are the activities that we have launched this year.
*This year we began tutoring at two public schools after school: 5 tutors went to Hahaione School through December, and two of us will continue to go to Hokulani School. for the rest of the school year. We tutor after school once a week and help elementary children of various ages, with the goal of improving their achievement and trying to make their after school learning a fun experience. We will also help with the Hokulani Family Fair in March.
* This will be our 10th Keiki Halloween Carnival with Waikiki Community Center: We had 16 Interactors participate on Halloween afternoon after school, painting faces, telling stories, and playing simple games with prizes for all (Go Fish, Bowling, Pumpkin Beanbag Toss) for approximately 40 children at the community center. The keiki ranged from infant to pre-school age, and many come from hotel worker families who may or may not be able to provide a Halloween experience for their children. We go in costume and, in addition to the above, just run around and have fun with them on the playground! Our goal for this project has always been to provide a safe Halloween experience for very young children who may not have the opportunity, since many parents work late.
This year our Interact Club again adopted a KHON Lokahi family. This year it was a special needs family of two—a single mom with a4 year old autistic son. We had e a speaker, the grand mother of an autistic child herself, at our meeting to tell us about autism , in general, and the varying levels of this challenge. She recommended appropriate toys. We baked brownies to raise funds at a Waikiki Rotary Club meeting—and we thank them for their generosity in matching what we make, in support of this project through the years. Interact members met at Walmart on the first day of our winter holiday, to shop and create tall Christmas bags of gifts for each family member. We try very hard to come up with what the family needs from the wish list that KHON provides us, and MORE! We go to the website during our meeting and price out the wish list items , so that we can stay within our budget. Our goal for this activity is to participate in a community-wide program that allows us to share the spirit of Christmas with challenged families who may otherwise not be able to provide a holiday experience for their children.
We were excited to return to Shriner’s Hospital this Valentine’s Day, now that they completed their construction! . One of our Interactors is a beneficiary of the procedures they provide, and she gave us a little history of what the Shriner’s organization is all about and the population they serve. The hospital limits us to 15 visitors and 12 were able to attend this year. We took games for varying age levels (we’re never quite sure what age or how many will be there), play doh, coloring books, beading kits for jewelry, and nail polish and make-up for manicures and mini-facials for older girls. We also took treats to share. Their new rec. room is wonderful, with a pool table and snooker table that helped us enjoy ourselves with the older patients. We helped with art projects for the younger children. One of us brought a guitar, and several members took requests and sang just about everything requested—from Katy Perry to Bruno Mars! We have been doing this for 6 years (with an interruption of the last 2 years while the facilities were being renovated.) Our goal is to bring Valentine’s cheer TO those children who are confined to the hospital and are either post-op or awaiting procedures. Although several of the patients did not speak any English, music, games, treats, and smiles are the international language of Valentine’s Day.
On Good Friday, we will again host an Easter Party for the Hana Like families of PACT, (our 10th) with an egg hunt and coloring and crafts. We hold this on the Great Lawn of our campus and serve a luncheon to about 30-40 people. Both attending members and others who want to help out will hard boil a dozen eggs and/or provide the coloring kits for this activity. We will fill and hide plastic eggs, do face painting and bubble blowing, and play other simple games. Sometimes we just run around the lawn blowing bubbles with the toddlers! We will prepare and provide lunch, and COSTCO sends us a gift certificate to help with purchase of food and the other items we’ll need for a luncheon, as well as the basket and trinkets for the egg hunt. Through the years, our goal for this has shifted. We originally started out with just moms and keiki from an abused Women and Children’s shelter. The past 5 years have been through PACT ( Parents and Children Together) and when that program had funding cuts, we have also worked with Hana Like families. Because our tradition is to hold this on Good Friday, when many have a holiday, we now have moms and dads and children of all ages. Many of these young families are new to the islands and some do not have Easter traditions of their own. So, this a fun way to share customs and cultures.
We are already planning to participate in a new adventure with our sponsoring Waikiki Rotary Club: visiting the President Gene Gelfo’s restaurant and applying the 4 way test to his establishment, completing an evaluation for him!
We feel that the La Pietra –Waikiki Rotary Interact lives up to the Rotarian 4 Way Test:
- Is it the TRUTH? Our Interact Club looks truthfully at the circumstances and lives of children in our Honolulu community, and we try to improve on their reality by sharing the benefits of ours.
- Is it FAIR to all concerned? While we recognize the many advantages in our own lives, we also realize that life ISN’T always fair, and the lives of children with challenges of many kinds often require others to step in and help.
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Every activity we focus on builds both good will, friendship… and understanding: of the diversity in our community, the needs of young families, and the goodwill bonds we share with others, some we see year after year!
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? We have no doubt that we bring some benefit—if only brief-- to the youngest of the Honolulu community with our little projects. But we all agree that WE are the ones to benefit the most from our shared experiences!