When Rotary District 7640 received a grant to cover the cost of a new playground set at the Cumberland Family Shelter, Vineland Rotarians volunteered to help bring the project to life. Together with Chris Smaniotto from the shelter, Vineland Rotary members, Gus Foster, Ed Morvay, Kevin Bernhardt, and Bonni Blarcom spent a recent Saturday constructing a brand new, safe and sturdy playground for the children who reside at the family shelter.
“This is what community service is all about,” said Kevin Bernhardt, Past President and project volunteer. “We roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to help area residents in need. At the end of the day, we leave knowing that we made a real difference in the lives of some very special kids.”
The Cumberland Family Shelter, located on Mays Landing Road in Vineland, was founded in 1972. It provides shelter for homeless men, women and families. Residents receive bus service and three meals a day, along wtih clothing and employment assistance. The shelter recently added a second building and bus shelters with help from Redeemer Lutheran Church of Vineland. Church members, led by Ed Morvay, who is also a Vineland Rotarian, donated more than 1,250 volunteer hours and raised $27,000 for the purchase of building materials. The shelter has the capacity to care for 112 residents at a time.
Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. The Rotary Club of Vineland meets on Tuesdays, at 12:10 PM at the Vineland Ramada Inn. For more information about the Rotary Club of Vineland, visit www.vinelandrotary.com.