Rotary Fast

Now (during the COVID-19 crisis) more than ever, the hungry need our help.  Inspired by hunger pains BETH (President-Elect of the Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley) felt while on a mission trip to Uganda, “R-Fast” is a hunger awareness event/fundraiser in which participants donate $10 and pledge to fast for 24 hours (or contribute $20 to support the initiative without fasting). The first annual Rotary Fast will be held on April 29, 2020 (the date Beth’s grandfather was liberated from his starvation as a Prisoner of War in Nazi Germany in 1945). 

Rotary clubs are encouraged to host their own Rotary Fast on 4/29/20 to raise money for hunger initiatives close to their heart or make a tax deductible donation here to support The Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley’s R-Fast event.  Proceeds collected on this page will be sent to Uganda to help feed vulnerable children in Kampala and at the Front Royal Light up Academy, a new primary school Beth funded in 2018 through her nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS.

Scroll down to participate & read the full story behind Rotary Fast.

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About Rotary Fast

Hunger pangs are rare feelings for most humans who don’t reside in third world countries or in impoverished areas.  But they are a seemingly never-ending feeling for many citizens of the world. On April 29th of each year starting in 2020, Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike will pledge $10 and commit to fasting from midnight to midnight.  “R-Fast” will raise funds to feed the poor and raise awareness about the hunger crisis in the USA and abroad. Supporters who feel compelled to participate in the endeavor but do not wish to fast will pledge double the amount ($20) and may eat normally.

 It’s Beth’s hope that this joint WHAT MATTERS and Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley initiative will cause people to make time to ponder the hunger crisis that exists in this wonderful world that has plenty for all if we would learn to more effectively share our resources.

 All Rotary clubs are encouraged to duplicate this idea and create their own fundraising mechanisms to collect the donations for the event independently, but are asked to report (by April 30th to [email protected]) the amount collected so we can tally the total impact of the first annual new Rotary Fast Initiative.

 Clubs may also direct participants to this page where contributors can donate through PayPal and receive a tax deductible receipt from WHAT MATTERS (a PayPal account is not required). Participants should click on the appropriate donation amount ($10, $20 or a custom amount) and select the cause “Rotary Fast”-fasting participant or “Rotary Fast” non-fasting supporter.  In the “other” section people are encouraged to leave a message about which club/district/community told them about the initiative or any other comment they wish to share.

One hundred percent of donations received into the WHAT MATTERS account on behalf of R-Fast will be reported through the Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley and will be passed on to support endeavors to lessen the global hunger crisis. Unless otherwise noted in the “other” section of this page, donations received through R-Fast will be donated, on behalf of the Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (The Area ONE|ders) to provide food at both the Front Royal Light Up Academy and the Maisha Home in Uganda (visit the WHAT MATTERS/Light up Life Fan page on Facebook to learn more about the children who will benefit from the support).

 Volunteers and clubs supporting the initiative are encouraged to find creative ways to embrace the day as a way to raise funds for local and global hunger and also spread awareness about hunger issues around the world. 

Why April 29th?

On 4/29/1945, Beth’s grandfather, John W. Affleck, was liberated from a WWII German POW Camp. While in captivity, the young waist gunner kept a journal on the back of cigarette wrappers he collected from friends which she considers one of her most prized possessions.  His writings included recipes and menus he longed to eat if he were to ever be released.  Click here to listen to her Granddad tell about his liberation day (he made a 2-tape long documentary and wrote a short biography of his experiences before he died in 1993 of a heart attack that was deemed to be caused by his war-time starvation).

 Beth has continued to celebrate the day as a favorite family holiday since her grandfather’s sudden death in 1993, when she was a senior in high school.  His premature death was deemed to be caused by cardiac defects that were a side effect of his starvation while in captivity. The stories he told of his time in the war and in prison camp as well as his commitment to life-long volunteering (as a way to express his gratitude for surviving the traumatic experience) is what laid the foundation for Beth’s life of volunteerism. See a photo of Beth and her “G-dad” in a blog post she wrote about one of the many areas in which he positively influenced her life.

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