100% of funds raised have direct benefit on recipients through our community projects and partner organizations. Irvine Rotary projects emphasize extraordinary impact per dollar and in many cases project funding is matched by Rotary International for up to 3.5 times your contribution. In recent years, your contributions have been leveraged to achieve up to $500,000 of annual community impact with project budgets of about $50,000.
BACKPACKS, LITERACY & LEADERSHIP
Every back-to-school season we package hundreds of new backpacks, filled with school supplies for families that would otherwise endure this financial burden. We encourage literacy in Title 1 schools through support of live theater programs, and sponsor programs that transform Irvine youth into emerging leaders.
Irvine Rotary's relationship with South County Outreach helps us deliver thousands of pounds of food each year to families in our community. This year we also met at the Boys and Girls Club of Irvine to package 20,016 meals for shipment to developing economies and another 17,028 meals in partnership with Rotary Clubs in Orange County and San Diego, laying the groundwork for a 1 Million Meals drive in 2018.
Irvine Rotary seeded the funding for a veteran's resource program at Irvine Valley College and continues to fund veteran scholarships at both Irvine Valley College and Brandman University. Irvine Rotary contributes to the successful transition of veterans to civilian life through projects with Working Wardrobes and other organizations. We sponsor several Marine families for the holidays each year, sponsor the 211 Marine Battalion holiday party, and provide funding and manpower for hundreds of 'Welcome Home' packages for active-duty Marines returning from the Middle-East.
Clean water is a basic human need. When people have access to clean water, they live healthier and more productive lives. With access to water, children spend childhoods at school and play. At least 3,000 children die each day from diseases caused by unsafe water, farmers in drought zones commit suicide at alarming rates. Irvine Rotary builds wells, funds installations of rainwater harvesting systems, and supports education of community members how to maintain the new infrastructure. Last year and next year, Irvine Rotary aims to extend clean water and sanitation access to over 10,000 people in India, Mexico, and Kenya.
Locally, we host an annual Vocational Skills Summit for college students to learn how to network, interview, and develop strong resumes. In 2017, we organized 15 vocational education days for students of Irvine's Creekside High School. Each the last 4 years, we have built at least one home for a family in Mexico; part of the cost of that home is allocated to send the children living in that home to elementary school. This year we also allocated funds toward the completion of an information technology training institute in Uganda and have provided financial support to two orphanages (Mexico & S. Korea).
Irvine Rotary is currently engaged in a global project to fund over 40 surgeries for children born with heart defects. Four surgeries have already been performed. For the past 20 years, we have partnered with and supported Dental Care for Children in providing over $5,000,000 of free dental services to the people of Orange County, Mexico, and Haiti. More recently, we have piggy-backed on our dental care missions in Mexico to deliver several hundred eye-exams and eye-glasses to kids, adults and elderly persons that would otherwise struggle to perform everyday tasks.
Irvine Rotarians have raised over $50,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and been recognized for distinguished service to the UCI Diabetes Center. We are leaders in fundraising for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, where we are leading a blanket making project for chemo patients. Irvine Rotary has long been an avid supporters of the Irvine Adult Day Health Service Center and has strong partnerships both the Irvine Police Department and the OC Fire Authority, through which we recognize citizens that have made extraordinary efforts to keep our community safe.