CPOM Kendra here: “I want to make it abundantly clear we are not writing this page and it's contents to merely toot our own horn. We do want to acknowledge the Rotarians in our club who heard the call for help & showed up to do the work that was needed by our neighbors and community.
But also The Capitola-Aptos Rotary Club's Board of Directors feels that transparency in what we do in our community, both during the good times and the bad is necessary.
Since the community at large donates to our efforts (both via direct donations for specific projects and with support of our fundraising events like the Beer Booth and Pickleball Tournament) for the work we do in "Y/OUR Community" we want to be very clear on the activities we do and support, both monetarily and via our physical labor/boots on the ground approach.” 
Special Storm Cleanup Edition of The Hub
March 2023
Date: Sunday, March 12, 2023
Location:  Watsonville Fairgrounds Shelter
Once we heard about the Pajaro Levee Break Co-Presidents Laura &  Kendra headed out to the Fairgrounds to see if they had any immediate needs. A list of items they needed was going around, but from our club's experience in the '89 earthquake there was such an immediate response that the needs were changing by the hour.  So we headed out to meet the Shelter Coordinator on site and see what they needed that we could look them in the eye and say "we'll be right back with XYZ."  We met the On-Site Shelter Coordinator who was fantastic, they needed new Blankets, towels and washcloths, and men's & women's underwear. But they could not accept the items until tomorrow as they didn't have the room to store anything since it was a Sunday late afternoon. They had volunteers coming first thing Monday to sort through and organize all the donations. Armed with a donated 20% off Kohl's Coupon and $7 in Kohl's Cash, we headed to Kohl's and Ross to see what we could get. 
We spent $460 and got 9 blankets, 12 bath towels, 12 washcloths, 11 packages of men's underwear, 8 packages of women's underwear, and $30 in Kohl's Cash which was used later in the week to buy 12 pairs of Under Armor Compression Crew Socks. 
Unfortunately by late Monday Morning the Fairgrounds had sorted and had no more room to accept anything. 
Date: Monday, March 13, 2023
Location:  Cabrillo College Shelter
So on Monday Lunchtime as soon as we heard that the Cabrillo College Shelter would be opening at 5pm we decided to head down with our purchased items and see if that was what they needed.

Pictured on this table are the men's and women's underwear we had purchased the day prior! 
We met the On-Site Coordinators, Georgina and Jessika, and they needed the blankets and towels and underwear! We gave them our phone numbers and said we had a budget to fill any immediate needs and to not hesitate to call us if there was something that came up that was needed.
Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Location:  Coral St. Clinic & Cabrillo College Shelter
On Tuesday Afternoon we heard from Georgina, they needed someone to transport a few evacuated houseless people (who had lived on the San Lorenzo Levee are that was flooded) from the Coral St. Clinic to the Cabrillo Shelter in a van.
Since we did not have a van, and we needed a van since some of our riders had mobility issues and they all had all their possessions with them, the club rented a minivan from Enterprise (Shout out to Enterprise on Ocean who gave us a 10% discount on the rental!) and we did three round trips to transport people to the Cabrillo Shelter. 
After our last transport, we talked to the On-Site Coordinator of the day (they are assigned in 12 hour shifts) and they had a family arrive from Pajaro---we had seen them walk in as we walked in some of the people we had brought from Coral St. 
Laura (L) walking in one of our transportee's, Andrew (middle), along with a Twin Lakes Soup Kitchen Volunteer (R) we met at the Shelter.
The family had toddlers in diapers but there were not diapers in the sizes they needed at the Cabrillo Shelter--only newborn size diapers. So a translator and Co-Pres Laura headed over to see if there was anything else they needed since we were going to get diapers and to confirm the diaper size they needed. They explained they left so quickly the father only had the clothes he was wearing and asked if we knew of any clothes he could get. And they needed Size 5 & 6 Diapers. 
So off to Costco we went and we got Sizes 4, 5 & 6 diapers (since we didn't see size 4 in the shelter inventory). We also got two boxes of wipes. 
We got 1800 wipes and 798 diapers in three sizes!
On our way back to Cabrillo with the diapers and wipes we called two of our members who were about the same size as the Pajaro father, and asked if they had any clothes in good condition they could donate. They did and we want to shout out to IPP Ken and Rotarian Sam who stepped up and provided bags of clothes for this gentleman. 
Date:  Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Location:  Second Harvest Food Bank
On the way to our Second Harvest Food Bank food sorting shift Co-Pres Kendra dropped off some of the donated clothes from IPP Ken, and checked in with the shelter's immediate needs. 
Then four of our club's Rotarians, CPOM Kendra, Eric, Co-PE Lowry and Nelson, arrived at Second Harvest Food Bank for a volunteer food sorting shift. 
They boxed 4,000 lbs. of Oranges, and 8,000 lbs. (which was 208 cartons) of Grapefruits!
The Rotary crew's pre-shift photo!
Lowry and Eric with the big barrel of oranges we were filling the boxes from.
Nelson with the Oranges Box! 
Nelson and Lowry. 
Eric stacking Orange filled boxes! 
Nelson filling bags of Grapefruits. 
Lowry filling the bags with Grapefruits. 
Our little crew at the end of our shift! 
#RotariansInAction #RotariansAtWork
As usual Dr. Art did his weekly volunteer shift at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes, and CPOM Kendra had a discussion with Executive Director Ashley about the needs their organization will have in the coming months, as they serve the displaced migrant community during this tragedy. They are preparing for the next few months as it will be a time of grave food insecurity among the evacuated & displaced population because the crops that they should be harvesting and getting paid for their work to do, they will not be (due to the flooded fields), so in addition to losing their homes and belongings, the steady work they count on will also not be there in the quantity it usually is. 

The cleanup from this set of storms and the levee break will take months if not years to fix the reverberations throughout the community. This is project will not be a sprint; it will be a marathon.  And we Rotary Clubs are working together and have committed to being HERE and doing our part long after everyone else’s initial surge of help and attention is long gone.  
Capitola-Aptos Rotary is supporting Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes both with volunteer time and with funding, and we encourage you to do so also. 
Additionally our club has set aside at minimum of $4000 to go directly to Storm & Flood Disaster Relief, our only contingent on the money is that our club has to be involved in a project, we will not just be making a blind donation to another group in our area who is collecting money. We are requiring what we call "boots on the ground" involvement by some of our Rotarians. If you would like to add to our storm and flooding disaster relief funds, we will add them to our money and spend them the same way we are spending our own money, you can donate via PayPal or Venmo. 
(I want to mention that we are a PayPal Certified Charity, which assures you of our integrity and also significantly reduces any transaction fee's that are usually associated with giving funds electronically.)