The Rotary Club of Pago Pago serves American Samoa through many ongoing projects.
READ ALOUD PROGRAM
The Rotary Club of Pago Pago partners with the American Samoa Dept. of Education’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Division on the Read Aloud program for 3 and 4 year old children. Rotarians volunteer; collecting children’s books and distributing them to 8 schools where they then "read aloud" to students in 37 classes. In addition, a package containing educational materials and flash cards is presented to each teacher to boost their efforts in teaching the building blocks of reading. Each year, the program reaches over 300 children. The club made this an annual program after discovering that ECE teachers were in need of more age appropriate reading materials for their classrooms.
For over a decade, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago has distributed free dictionaries to 3rd Grade students across American Samoa. Approximately 1000 dictionaries are given out each year and the program is a smashing success with students keeping their dictionaries throughout their school careers. Each year, 30 volunteers visit over 20 elementary schools in American Samoa presenting free dictionaries to every 3rd grade student. This is both a fun learning experience for the students and a wonderful public relations opportunity for the Rotary Club to spread the spirit of Service Above Self.
4-WAY TEST AWARDS & BANQUET
For more than 20 years, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago has presented the 4-Way Test to high school students. Each year, the club sends volunteers to visit the graduating seniors (Year 12) of every high school in American Samoa. After presenting the 4-Way Test, the club asks the students to vote for the person in their class who most embodies those values. All of the winning students and their parents are then treated to an awards banquet and given $500 cash awards along with Letters of Commendation for use in university applications and resumes.
INTERACT & ROTARACT CLUBS
Over the last 5 years, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago has increased its efforts to spread the message of Service Above Self to younger people. This has manifested in the founding of 5 high school Interact Clubs and a Rotaract Club. As the sponsoring club, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago has held well-attended induction ceremonies for each group. In addition, a special program is held for all of the Interact Clubs at the end of each school year enabling each group to honor its graduating members. Noteworthy Rotoract and Interact service projects are the construction of a playground and an annual holiday party for the Special Needs community in American Samoa.
American Samoa’s beautiful beaches are popular swimming spots for locals and visitors. Sadly, drownings occur on average of once a year. To help, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago conceived the Angel Rings program. The club places life preservers (flotation devices) in prominent spots on public beaches and villages so that they are available when emergencies happen. The club first adopted this as a community service project in 2004 and currently maintains 17 Angel Ring sites across the island of Tutuila.
DONATIONS TO HOPE HOUSE
With medical resources stretching thinner every year, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago has adopted Hope House as a regular recipient of financial and material aid. Hope House is American Samoa’s only facility dedicated to the care of the elderly, the severely disabled and those needing palliative care. It is reliant on community donations to continue operation. As such, when the facility needed new furniture and appliances to accommodate its residents. The Rotary Club of Pago Pago answered the call by purchasing and donating recliners, refrigerators, microwaves and other items.
PALA LAGOON SWIMMING CENTER
The Pala Lagoon Swimming Center is American Samoa’s first and only public swimming pool facility. The center was proudly conceived, funded and built under a 10-year project by the Rotary Club of Pago Pago in partnership with the American Samoa Government. Each week, hundreds of people visit the pool for enjoyment and much-needed swimming lessons. The Rotary Club of Pago Pago continues the support the swim center both with volunteers and donations of supplies.
EARTH DAY CLEAN UP
Every April, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago sends its army of volunteers out to help clean up the coastline around Lions Park. It’s no small task and with the partnership of government teams, church groups and other community service organizations, the club is able to leave our beautiful island much cleaner.
WATER FOR JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER
With public funding at a minimum, the staff of the Juvenile Detention Center reached out to the community to request cleaning and hygiene supplies. The Rotary Club of Pago Pago answered the call in less than 24 hours with a 2-month supply. When further conversation revealed that the center employees were paying out-of-pocket for bottled water to supply the young people in their care, the Rotary Club created an account with a local water provider and deposited funds to insure the children are never thirsty.
CHRISTMAS TREE SALES
As its signature holiday fundraising activity, the Rotary Club of Pago Pago imports and sells Christmas trees and wreaths. Situated 14 degrees south of the Equator, American Samoa has very few pine trees. The Rotary Club identified the demand over 30 years ago and ever since has imported a container load of trees each December. A team of volunteers both sells and distributes the trees and this yields a healthy profit to fund the rest of the club’s service projects. The smell and feel of fresh pine boughs is enjoyed all over the island.
The Rotary Club of Pago Pago’s annual golf tournament is the club’s premier fundraising event. Each year, over 50 teams sign up to play in the tournament. In addition, the community’s non-golfers are given an opportunity to participate via a raffle drawing. The event is also an excellent Public Relations opportunity for the club as it uses the platform to share information about its many community service projects. Moreover, the event encourages an "All Hands On Deck" feeling as Rotarians, Rotaract members and Interact members all work side by side to make the golf tournament a success.
TAOA Senior Citizens Awards
Each the Rotary Club of Pago Pago is honored to partner with the Territorial Administration on Aging (TAOA) to present awards and recognition to American Samoa’s oldest man and woman. The celebration and awards banquet takes place during Senior Citizens Week with the club gifting not only the awards but gifts and monetary donations for the honorees. Participation in this annual event cements the Rotary Club of Pago Pago’s commitment to serving all of the community from “young ones” all the way to the “once young.”