Service Projects

Care ‘n Share Toy Drive

From its humble beginning of 150 stuffed animals collected in a wooden toy bin at the 2009 San Diego County Fair, the Care ‘n Share Toy Drive has to date distributed over 16,500 new and gently used stuffed animals to help put smiles on the faces of sick children in the region. In 2012 alone we collected, processed and distributed over 10,000 stuffed animals thanks to a most generous donation from local retailer Real Gifts and the volunteer-staffed booth and collection bins at the San Diego County Fair.

Recipient organizations include Rady Children’s Hospital, Hospital Infantil de las Californias, Children’s Lifeline, UCSD Flying Samaritans, Armed Services YMCA, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit of FMARG, and Assistance League North Coast. We were also pleased to support Girl Scout Troop 8719 with their service project that collected stuffed animals for local sick children.

If you have any new or gently used stuffed animals in need of a new home, we welcome your donation! Please contact Nancy Stoke for further information.

Rotarians at Work Day

A day to get out in the community and get sweaty and dirty, Torrey Pines Rotary Club always has fun at this event. Traditionally held on the last Saturday of April each year, Rotary Clubs around the world identify a hands-on project that all members can participate in to help the local community and truly demonstrate our motto of “Service Above Self”. Our Club has volunteered in the Nursery at Balboa Park for the past several years, working under the guidance of Mike Rasmusson planting trees and specialty plants used in various places in the Park. As you can see from the photos, a good time is had by all!

AFC Half Marathon

Have you ever served water to over 10,000 runners? For the past five years we’ve been at the Finish Line at the crack of dawn before the start of the America’s Finest City Half Marathon and 5K Walk/Run that starts and ends in Balboa Park. Our role has been to have cups of water at the ready for the 10,000+ participants after they pass the Finish Line. It is a fun, wet, great way to start the day!

Holiday Gift Baskets

We help brighten the holidays for a carefully selected family by buying, wrapping and delivering food, gifts and clothing during the holidays. Always warmly received by the recipients, it is another way we serve those in need in our community.

Food Bank Support

Following many years of support for Meals on Wheels, Torrey Pines Rotary Club continues to collect food and cash donations for the Miramar Food Locker at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and for the Salvation Army in conjunction with the Scouting For Food Boy Scout project.

Meals on Wheels Holiday Gift Bags

Torrey Pines Rotary Club selected Meals-On-Wheels for one of the Club's 2007 Holiday Projects. Club members donated 50 Holiday Gifts to low-income Seniors served by Meals-On-Wheels. Included in each package were personal care items that had been on many of the Seniors wish lists including toiletries, white socks, puzzle books and stationery items. The Torrey Pines Rotary Club was honored to participate in the project and help send a little holiday cheer to fellow San Diegans in need. This story was featured on KUSI News on Friday December 14, 2007. Click on the right to watch the video.

Portraits of Hope

For over 10 years the Torrey Pines (La Jolla) Rotary Club supported the annual Portraits of Hope project. Each December over 60 families in need are given the opportunity to obtain heirloom-quality family portraits free of charge. Photographer Don Gilmore and his firm Visual Poetry began the project in 1999, and starting in 2000 Torrey Pines Rotary provided volunteers and financial support to enable participation by families living at St. Vincent de Paul Village and those with students attending Nativity Prep Academy, both in downtown San Diego.

The portraits provide a milestone and an inspiration for families on the road to self-sufficiency. “Once they graduate for St. Vincent’s, our families will remember a turning point when they look at the pictures” noted Father Joe Carroll. “Through this yearly gift to the Village, Visual Poetry and torrey Pines Rotary provide a meaningful way to help families restore the dignity lost to life on the streets.” See Press Release from Father Joe’s Villages.

See Press Release from Father Joe's Villages.

Youth Service

We support youth programs at our local high school to promote the development of young potential leaders and over the years sponsored students who applied through an interview process to attend Rotary’s Youth Leadership Awards Camp (RYLA). Former Club member Nancy Russian served on the RYLA District Committees as the Public Relations Chair and as the Treasurer, and has attended and served at the camp for over 12 years.

Through the years we have taken an active role at the high school level through our Interact Club at University City High School, introducing and encouraging students to do their part in supporting their community in such activities as beach clean-up projects, environmental preserve restorations, volunteerism at local homeless shelters and fundraising projects to support other needy charitable organizations in the community.

We have lots of ways to get involved – come join us! And if you have a great idea that will serve a need in the community, join us and we’ll do what we can to help!