Rotary Club of Frederick, Maryland | What

For us, the Rotary motto Service Above Self isn’t just a slogan—it’s a promise that we have been delivering on locally and abroad for more than 100 years.

Our club’s Service Committee works hard to track areas that have been identified as our community’s areas of greatest need, so that we can focus our significant financial resources and member energy where it is most likely to benefit those who need it most.

Upcoming Project: No kid sleeps on the floor in our town™!

Through a new partnership with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, we are helping to ensure that every kid who needs a bed has one. Our $10,000 contribution will purchase the lumber to build 40 beds on our December Day of Service—including mattresses, sheets, and a pillow for each.  Like SHP says, every child deserves a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads at night. We look forward to our December Build Day!

Our club has committed to purchasing materials and providing the labor to be sure that every child in Frederick has a comfortable place to sleep at night.


Rick Marin was one of 35 club members who delivered groceries to food-insecure seniors during the pandemic through our Food and More program, funded at $50,000 through RCF fundraising and a Rotary grant.

RCF Partners with SOAR to Deliver Food to Homebound Seniors…and More.

When the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for our community’s homebound seniors to shop for groceries safely, we partnered with SOAR (Supporting Older Adults through Resources) to meet the need. Through our Food & More program, our members delivered fresh, frozen, and canned foods, along with household items and medications to homebound seniors across the county twice a week. Others sent handwritten cards and notes, made phone calls, and served as SOAR’s “eyes and ears” to help ensure that these seniors had the medical care, clothing, transportation, and emotional support they needed during this challenging time.

Several students from the FCPS Career and Technology Center travelled to Ethiopia with club member Jo Butler to help bring clean water to the rural community of Melka Oba.

RCF’s Clean Water Initiatives Improve Life in the Developing World

Human beings cannot live without water, yet many must risk serious illness and even death just to take a drink. Over the years, we have partnered with Lifetime Wells International to provide safe and reliable drinking water for thousands of people in two villages in Ghana. More recently, one of our members, Jo Elizabeth Butler, an international lawyer and founder of the Ethiopian Children’s Appeal, asked for our club’s support to bring clean water to the rural community of Melka Oba. Inspired by Jo’s vision and supervised by Frederick County’s Career and Technology Center teacher Phil Arnold, a group of Frederick County Public School students designed and developed a technology with the potential to solve the Ethiopian community’s water challenges. Their work was co-funded by the Ethiopian Children’s Appeal, the Rotary Club of Frederick, a global grant from Rotary International, and a $9,000 award the students won from the Lemelson-MIT Invention Contest.

RCF members Dr. Vince DiFabio, Tom Kleinhanzl, then-member Karen Lewis Young, and Ron Young were invited to help cut the ribbon the day the Frederick Dental Clinic opened to the public.

RCF Contributes $100,000 to Frederick Health Dental Clinic

When the lack of access to dental care was identified as one of our community’s most pressing health care needs, the Rotary Club of Frederick responded by creating Rotary Smiles, a strategic initiative to help provide life-changing dental care at no cost to low-income adults disabled by chronic health conditions. To begin making an impact immediately, we partnered with Donated Dental Services, an established, non-profit organization with a history of providing medically necessary procedures to relieve pain and restore the ability to chew properly to individuals at no charge. When Frederick Health announced plans to build a freestanding Dental Clinic in collaboration with the University of MD School of Dentistry, the Rotary Club of Frederick made a 5-year pledge of $100,000. Today, the Dental Clinic treats more than a thousand adult patients every year at no charge or at a greatly reduced cost.

Children in a remote farming community in Tibet rely on Tsering’s Fund to help keep them safe from indentured servitude and child trafficking.

10-Year Commitment of $18,000 Helps Young Nepali Girls Avoid Child Trafficking and Indentured Servitude

We believe all children deserve an education and we have made it our mission to help deliver that to them. Our pledge to Tsering’s Fund, an international non-profit that works with vulnerable families in the remote farming communities of the Kathmandu Valley, provides educational scholarships— including tuition, room, board, school supplies, and health/dental care—for these young women, allowing them to avoid child trafficking and indentured servitude and grow to their full potential in safety and happiness. Locally, our commitment to supporting education has included collecting computers for students in need, paying for materials for the Literacy Council, providing dictionaries to every Frederick County student, tutoring elementary school students at Monocacy Elementary, and our soon-to-launch literacy partnership with Frederick County Public Schools called Rotary Reads.

FCC President Dr. Debra Cheek visits Project GUIDE at the Monroe Center, where our club awarded a grant to the Empowered for Life® program.

RCF Awards Service Partnership Grants to Area Non-Profits

We are pleased and proud to have awarded dozens of Service Partnership Grants totaling nearly $200,000 to local nonprofits whose missions align not only with Rotary International’s six areas of focus: basic education and literacy, water and sanitation, economic and community development, peace and conflict prevention/resolution, maternal and child health, and health, wellness and disease prevention, but also with the areas of need identified by Frederick’s ALICE report. For example, last year we awarded a grant to Empowered to Live®, a nonprofit organization that assists youth and families to lead purpose-driven lives through programs designed to provide workforce and personal development training, strengthen families, and build stronger communities. Our hope is that these funds will help extend these organizations’ reach into our community, increasing their ability to serve our most vulnerable neighbors.

Staffing the Salvation Army’s annual Holiday Red Kettle Drive is one of our longstanding service projects.

Identifying and Meeting Community Needs

We are people of action and service is our reason for being. We work hard to create a rota of service projects that meet the most pressing needs of our community and provide opportunities for all to serve, regardless of their personal circumstances. Just a few of our additional service projects have included: collecting back-to-school shoes for Soles of Love in the Garden, a 3-year commitment to Blessings in a Backpack, staffing the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Drive, maintaining Frederick’s Memorial Park, organizing the Gift of Life Blood Drives, supporting youth education at the Great Frederick Fair, collecting Books for International Goodwill, and renovating the homes of our neighbors who are elderly and disabled through Rebuilding Together.