MEMBERS ATTENDING (13): Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Pat Bailey, Becky Raymond, Ray Hannan, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, and John Justino. By Zoom: Charlie Foote, Andy Leyhane
GUESTS (4): David Gittelman and Tim Chorba. By Zoom: Megan Keil and Ann Williams (Peace Corps Recruiter for the Capital District).
President Kevin Leyhane called the meeting to order.
Hybrid Meeting: Please let Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez know if you plan to join the weekly meeting via Zoom.
Proxy Votes: If unable to attend please submit your proxy votes to Kevin Leyhane. Proxy votes can also be submitted using the Remind App. Text to the number 81010.
Cafe Capriccio Raffle: Tickets are now available from Andy Leyhane. All members are asked to sell ten raffle tickets for $20 each. The drawing is planned for January 17th. The dinner will be held sometime in February on a date mutually agreeable with the Restaurant and the raffle winner. Raffle proceeds will be used to fund the Student Exchange Program and student scholarships.
Circles of Mercy Adopt a Family: Most of the items have been purchased but there are still a few items that have not been claimed. Gifts should be wrapped and labeled with family member’s name. The due date has been extended to Dember 15th. Richard has accepted our invitation to the Holiday Party and will take any gifts with him when he leaves that evening.
Holiday Party: Our party is scheduled for December 15th at Moscatiellos. Dinner is $30 per person. If you have not yet done so, please let Roberto Martinez know if you are attending and if bringing a guest(s). Please bring your baskets for auction. It was suggested that the cost of assembling the baskets be $30. This has been a successful fundraiser in past years.
Next Meeting – Thursday, December 15, Holiday Party dinner at 6:00 pm at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, Route 4, North Greenbush. There will be no Zoom option this week.
Entree choices will be Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Caesar salad, Meat Lasagna, or Chicken Marsala plus a side salad and cookies.
Megan Keil, Peace Corps Recruiter for Main and New Hampshire spoke about recruiting for the Peace Corps and about being a Peace Corps Member.
The Peace Corps is a government agency established by John F. Kennedy in 1961. The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by meeting the needs of the participating countries for trained people, by promoting a better understanding of the U.S. and, by promoting in the U.S, a better understanding of other countries. The Peace Corps has six sectors of focus: health, education, agriculture, the environment, economic development and community development.
You must be 18 years old to volunteer. The majority of volunteers are between 22 and 30 years of age. However, there is no upper age limit. Retirees are welcome. In March of 2020. all volunteers were sent back to the U.S. because of the pandemic. Now, half of the volunteers are posted in Africa. Vietnam is the most recent post added. The first three months of the two-year deployment are devoted to training which takes place in the assigned country. Volunteers learn the language and about the country’s culture.
Megan Keil started as a Peace Corps volunteer. She was assigned to Tanzania on the east coast of Africa and taught biology at an all-girls boarding school in Njombi. During training, she stayed with a family to learn about the culture and to speak Swahili. After, that she lived in a house in the school compound. There were 600 girls attending the school and may did not have books. Megan learned how to work with limited resources. She extended her service for another year and worked in the Peace Corps main office in Dar es Salaam. When Megan returned to the U.S., she looked for ways to continue volunteering and joined Rotary.
Megan starting recruiting for the Peace Corps in 2020. She speaks to college students about joining the Peace Corps. These students must have experience as a community volunteer and have participated as a leader in activities. She directs students lacking in such experience to their local Rotary Club to obtain more experience. Megan is a member of the Peace Corps-Rotary Partnership. The Partnership promotes global development and volunteer service. “Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Rotary clubs and Peace Corps volunteers can share their resources and knowledge to boost the impact of development projects globally.”
David Gittelman, (Vice-President of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) and Tim Chorba (President of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers) explained that their organization provides a social club for returned volunteers to get together. They have an advocacy component. They provide a platform for the returned volunteers to promote a better understanding of their host countries. They do some fundraising to help fund projects for Peace Corps volunteers in the field. They also help volunteers readjust to life in the U.S.