Projects that respond to the needs of our local community.
Each year social workers, principals, and counselors identify approximately 50 needy elementary school students in the greater Springfield area and Route 1 corridor of Fairfax County for participation in Kristi’s Christmas. On the first Saturday in December these children are treated to a hot breakfast provided by Waterford Receptions in Springfield. They are paired with a student from West Springfield High School who will be their buddy for the day. Breakfast is followed by a shopping excursion to the Target at Springfield Town Center. There they shop with their buddy for practical clothing and are allowed to spend $100 each. School representatives accompanying the children are given funds to purchase necessities for children unable to attend the event. In addition to providing dedicated staff to support the event, Target provides a generous store credit to help with the financials. After shopping the students get cocoa and a snack provided by Target and then return to the Waterford for a visit and party with Santa (who usually is bilingual) and Mrs. Claus. Santa gives each child special gifts, typically including a large stuffed teddy bear and backpack containing a couple of wrapped presents, school supplies and personal hygiene items.
Kristi’s Christmas was established in 1987 in memory of Kristi Brown, daughter of Rotarian Bill Brown and his wife Karen. Kristi, a graduate of West Springfield High School, was killed in an auto accident after her first year of college. Kristi had a heart to help children at Christmas time and the Browns established this program in memory of their daughter and to provide needy children in the local community with a wonderful Christmas experience.
Although Bill and Karen Brown are now deceased, the Rotary Club of West Springfield and its non-profit Foundation administer Kristi’s Christmas, handling all the finances, planning, coordination and arrangements. Financial support comes completely from donations from individuals, companies and organizations, 100% of which are used in support of the children. Of note, while this program has had a positive impact on the lives of many deserving children over the past 30+ years, it has also enriched the lives of the volunteers, particularly the high school students who volunteer to be buddies. POC - Bob Harter
For a number of years the Club has participated in this VDOT Program, removing trash on a quarterly basis from an area of Rolling Road (Old Keene Mill intersection to the Parkway). Club Members spend a few hours removing trash, followed by coffee and bagels. POC - Doug Alcorn