In 1985, before there was Escuela Hogar Armando Rosenberg, before there was The Orchid Foundation, Rotarian Harold Wooden visited a local Rotary club in Santo Domingo, The Dominican Republic, and was shown a wretched assortment of ramshackle structures that served as shelter for about a hundred destitute children living there. They ate meager meals heated over an open wood fire and slept in decrepit, tumbledown buildings on bunk beds without mattresses. The name of this dirty, poverty stricken place was Escuela Hogar San Salvador.
Woody became emotionally involved immediately and, upon his return to his own club in Riverside, NJ, convinced his fellow Rotarians to sponsor the children to increase their daily food allowance. It wasn’t long before he laid ambitious plans to raise money to build a single concrete, two story building for the children to live in. Today, known as Escuela Hogar Armando Rosenberg, that same fifteen acre plot of ground holds several large classroom buildings, cafeterias and kitchens, sporting venues, a clinic and, of course, a Catholic Church – St. Roques’ – that feed and educate almost 1,600 young people every day.