Club’s first event to help local charities

Castleton’s Rotaract Club kicked off its first ever event, a Toy Drive. The event began on Nov. 25 and will go through Dec. 13. Several bins have been placed around campus and at different locations in the Fair Haven and Castleton communities.
In addition to new and lightly used toys, the club is accepting non-perishable food items and clothing.
The club has reserved a fleet van for the last week of the event to do a “stuff a van” on campus.
Many of the donations will go toward the “adopt a family” project and the rest will go to other organizations such as the Salvation Army and Knights of Columbus.
Although the club is new to Castleton, Advisor Christopher Boettcher worked with a Rotaract Club in Brazil about 12 years ago, and believes the club can do big things.
“Community engagement is a huge part of the Castleton student experience. Students at Castleton do service work, often without even recognizing that they are doing it,” said Boettcher, adding that the club is a way to intensify those experiences.
Students involved in the club are gaining a lot from the experience.
“Being treasurer of the club will help me in the future when applying for a job and will look great on a resume with my major being business management,” junior Neil Baker said.
Other members of the club agree about the benefits.
“It gets me involved in the community, on campus and will look really good on a resume when I decide to enter the real world. It also opens up a lot of opportunities that I may not have been introduced to otherwise,” sophomore, Kirsten Capron said.
In the future the Rotaract Club has a few major events that they hope get approved.
One is a concert that would be held in the spring and would possibly count as a Soundings event. Another idea is to host an “everyone matters day,” with activities for promoting equality.
Boettcher and Associate Academic Dean Ingrid Johnston-Robledo are working on an online badge system that would reward students involved in the club.  It would be an easy way to document what you’ve done so you can include it on your resume.
“I would encourage you to, like President Wolk says, make a difference at Castleton before you make a difference in the world, and that’s the Castleton experience. That’s what we think is special about Castleton,” said Boettcher.

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