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Upcycling is taking something that might be discarded as trash and turning it into something more valuable. Unshattered is a charitable organization that helps women in recovery from addition stay sober as they upcycle donated textiles and leathers into beautiful handbags and other products. Radio Rotary’s guest for this program is Kelly Lyndgaard, who six years ago left her work as an engineer and physicist for IBM to found Unshattered. Located in Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County, Unshattered partners with major manufacturers who donate their surplus textiles and leathers. The women workers, all of whom came from recovery community housing, design and sew the materials into handbags, leather tote bags, wallets, and more. The program is unusually effective—in the six years of its existence, none of the women have relapsed into active addiction. Listen to the program to learn about the three secrets built into each product and much more. Learn more: Unshattered: Work and Recovery: Unshattered Products on Facebook: CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Service Organizations WORDS TO LINK: Upcycle, Recovery Programs, Handbags, Leather Products, Unshattered --- Support this podcast:
Elizabeth Spira, CEO of the Community Action Partnership of Dutchess Country (CAP), visits Radio Rotary to describe the many programs that CAP offers to assist low-income residents with food, housing, energy needs, prescription medicine costs, and more. Community Action agencies originated as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” which began in 1964, and are an example of a federal program the works at the country or regional level. For those in need, CAP supplied 3 days of food (3 meals a day) at 4 locations in Dutchess County. For energy needs, not only is there financial help in buying fuel, but a weatherization offer that dramatically reduces fuel needs. The employment program helps seekers “Dress for Success” and prepare resumes. Case workers help sort out the problems people face and find solutions to them. There is much more in this fascinating interview. Learn more: Community Action Partnership for Dutchess Country: History of Community Action: CATEGORIES Aging Business Assistance Dutchess County Financial Aid Housing Assistance Nutrition Service Organizations WORDS TO LINK: Community Action; Food Pantries; Housing Assistance; Energy Assistance; Employment Assistance; Senior Assistance; Medicine; Weatherization --- Support this podcast:
Radio Rotary co-host Jonah Triebwasser and producer Kathy Kruger interview two Red Hook Rotary Interactors about their project of raising a puppy for the Bluepath Service Dogs, an organization that supplied trained service dogs that work with autistic children ages 5 to 12. The sisters, who both are active in service projects for in Interact and the Girl Scouts, also volunteer for the local food pantry as well as being part of the school yearbook team and play alto saxophone in the jazz band. They often “puppy sit” for Bluepath service dogs during times when the dog’s owners are on trips or otherwise unavailable, but their main project has been raising a dog for the program, teaching the puppy to be sociable and follow commands. The adult dogs help their owners reduce stress. protect them during times their autism might endanger them and offer a way to more independent living. Learn more: Bluepath Service Dogs: Interact Clubs: Red Hook Rotary: ShelterBox USA: Aquabox: CATEGORIES Developmentally Disabled Service Organizations WORDS TO LINK: Red Hook, NY, Interact, Girl Scouts, service dogs, autism --- Support this podcast:
The Radio Rotary team interviews a half dozen members of the cast of Romeo and Juliet (Or Dating Game Gone Wrong), directed by Emily Haupt, a production of Red Hook’s Linden Avenue Middle School’s. The concept is that a frame story based on television’s Dating Game leads into Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers. The show was presented on June 4 and 5 in the new, professional auditorium at Red Hook High School. While some of the actors are new to live performances, others, although still in middle school, have been acting for years in camp productions and elsewhere. By double-casting some of the roles, the performance utilized the skills of abut twenty actors as well as other students working behind the scenes. Learn more: L.A.M.S. Romeo and Juliet: Linden Avenue Middle School: Red Hook Central School District on Facebook: Red Hook Rotary: CATEGORIES Education Events Youth WORDS TO LINK: Red Hook, NY, student productions, Romeo and Juliet --- Support this podcast:
Ron Ferris, Operations Manager at Mid-Hudson Works in Poughkeepsie, visits Radio Rotary to describe how this unique 75-year-old nonprofit helps veterans and persons with disabilities find work in the Hudson Valley. In 1947 as World War II veterans, many still in their early 20s or even younger, returned home and needed work, IBM (then International Business Machines) started a program to train these veterans, many of whom had never held a job outside the armed services. Today this work continues in a huge brick building on Washington Street in Poughkeepsie, a place that hires, trains, and places today’s veterans along with others who may need training for such work as packing or assembling, skills useful in the many distribution centers of the Mid-Hudson region. Paying work also takes place within the building, providing a useful aid for local businesses. Learn more: Mid-Hudson Works: Mental Health America of Dutchess Country: MHA Veterans Programs: Dutchess Country Veterans’ Services: Think Dutchess (Dutchess Alliance for Business): CATEGORIES Business Assistance Developmentally Disabled Service Organizations Veterans WORDS TO LINK: Veterans, Training, Employment Opportunities --- Support this podcast:
Poughkeepsie Arlington Rotarian Bernard Handel proposed in 2020 that his club undertake improvement of parks in the city of Poughkeepsie, The Rotary Club met with the city Parks and Recreation Department, which suggested that the club start with Spratt Park, which features a pool and trails, a children’s playground, and a former dog park—all in poor condition or nonfunctional. The following year, the club obtained a grant from The Rotary Foundation and District 7210 to help fund the restoration. The club also found sponsors who could help, including the Jewish Federation of Dutchess County and insurer Marshall & Sterling. By 2022 work was already showing many improvements, with a ribbon-cutting opening of the restored park on May 13. Poughkeepsie Arlington President Darcy McCourt and Membership Chair Adam Belok visit Radio Rotary to describe the many improvements in the park. Learn more: Poughkeepsie Arlington Rotary: Poughkeepsie Arlington Rotary on Facebook: Poughkeepsie Parks and Recreation: CATEGORIES Community Planning Events Rotary Club Projects WORDS TO LINK: Parks, City of Poughkeepsie --- Support this podcast:
In a rare all-live show, Radio Rotary’s co-hosts visit Red Hook Rotary’s meeting in Taste Budd’s Café to learn about some of the club’s activities. Dave Wright is heading the 2022 Apple Blossom Day, the street festival that starts the spring-summer season in Red Hook and Tivoli with hundreds of food and craft vendors and live music by local bands. Linda Greenblatt is the club’s chair for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), the week-long leadership training program for high-school sophomores. Tom Lynch is the advisor for the Red Hook High School Interact club, a junior edition of Rotary with similar goals of community service. Chris Chale not only handles the International Youth Exchange f(YEX) or the club, but also is the YEX Chair for District 7210. YEX in District 7210 sends high school juniors or seniors to select nations where English is not the primary language and brings students from those countries to local Rotary clubs where the student spends an entire school year living with local families. There are several other club activities, including CLYNK, described on the program by current Red Hook Rotary President Jennifer van Voorhis. CLYNK locally is a service of Hannaford grocery, which collects bottles that return a deposit and funnels the savings to Red Hook Rotary, which uses the income to help support community projects. Learn more: Red Hook Rotary Club: Red Hook Rotary on Facebook: RYLA: Interact: District 7210 Youth Exchange (YEX): Rotary Youth Exchanges: CATEGORIES Events International Exchanges Rotary Club Close-ups Rotary District 7210 Youth --- Support this podcast:
Hour Children connects incarcerated mothers with their children, who stay for a few days with volunteer families living near correctional facilities while they visit their jailed mothers.  Radio Rotary welcomes back Dr. Alethea Taylor, executive director of Hour Children, along with Kate Paletta, an Hour Children volunteer for the past 18 years. Ms. Paletta cares for children of the incarcerated mother for a few days so that the children can visit their mothers at nearby Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. Bedford Hills provides a parenting center for the visits. The visiting children interact also with Kate’s four children, often forming lasting relationships. The Hour Children program raises money and brings host families, children, and mothers together at an annual Mother’s Day luncheon. Learn More: Hour Children: Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women: Recidivism in Women’s Prisons: CATEGORIES Children Education Humanitarian Service Service Organizations Women Words for Search: Prison programs, Children, Women’s programs, Recidivism, Parenting Centers --- Support this podcast:
Dr. Sarah Litvin, Director of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History and Dr. Sarah Gardner, Curator of the museum, join another Sarah (co-host Sarah O’Connell-Claitor) and co-host Jonah Triebwasser for a program updating the story of the Reher Center, a unique asset of the Kingston, NY, waterfront (the Roundout). The Reher Center is housed in the former Reher Bakery, a Kingston institution run by the Reher family for 80 years. During the restrictions of the covid pandemic, the Center used the down time to upgrade the facilities, including a new gallery that is opening with an exhibit highlighting the role immigrants have played in making Kingston a center of sewing and other aspects of the garment industry. In addition to the exhibit, the Center will host special programs on women in the garment industry and workshops in sewing and embroidery. Learn more: Reher Center: Reher Center on Facebook: Ulster Immigrant Defense Network: The Kingston Waterfront (Roundout): The Garment Industry in Kingston: CATEGORIES Arts & Letters Events Museums Words for Search Kingston, NY; immigrant experience --- Support this podcast:
Greater Newburgh Rotarian Bob McCurdy visits Radio Rotary to explain how a fundraiser, or “fun-raiser,” for his Rotary Club also aids many different local nonprofits. The Hoops and Swish event, scheduled in 2022 for Saturday, April 30, from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Newburgh Free Academy gym, was initiated by Newburgh Rotary in 2016, but in the past couple of years has been suspended because of the covid pandemic. The idea is simple: each participant is given two minutes to make as many baskets as possible—typically from 15 to a high of about 50. Each basket earns money for the sponsoring institution, with Newburgh Rotary collecting 20% of the total for providing the venue and for workers keeping track of baskets. Teams of local nonprofits can use the event to raise money for themselves, or corporate sponsors can choose to benefit a charity of their choice. Learn More: Hoops and Swish 2022: Greater Newburgh Rotary Club: Greater Newburgh Facebook Page: CATEGORIES Events Rotary Club Projects Words for Search: Newburgh Fee Academy, basketball fundraiser, Newburgh --- Support this podcast:
Red Hook Rotarian BJ Mikkelsen visits Radio Rotary to tell a fascinating tale of how he became involved with the Ukrainian refugee disaster.  Mr. Mikkelsen had been invited to help a friend in Berlin, Germany, celebrate his birthday. When Mr. Mikkelsen arrived in Berlin, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was a week old, and the plight of the Ukrainian refugees streaming west was already recognized as a major world disaster. Here in the U.S. and around the world, special arrangements were quickly being made to provide help, including a special Rotary International disaster fund. In Berlin, Mr. Mikkelsen, his friend, and his friend’s wife, a nurse, learned that the center of relief efforts was the principal Ukrainian church, one of the oldest churches in Berlin. The Mikkelsen group bought a large supply of groceries and another of medical materials which the church shipped by truck via back roads to Lviv in Ukraine. Listen to the program for much more of this interesting account of how the Ukrainians are being helped and also learn how Mr. Mikkelsen can help you donate to the Ukrainian cause. Learn More: St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church: Donate to Aid Ukraine through Rotary:,as%20the%20main%20avenue%20for Highland Rotary Club: CATEGORIES Disaster Relief Humanitarian Service Words for Search: Ukraine, Disaster relief, Refugees --- Support this podcast:
For an international program, the Radio Rotary hosts, Jonah Triebwasser and Kathy Kruger, interview Roger Cassidy and David Hood from the Wirkswirth Rotary in England along with Tim Lynch of the Red Hook (NY) Rotary concerning Aquabox, a source of water filters and other emergency supplies that was formed in 1992 by the Wirkswirth Rotary Club. Aquabox now operates as an independent charity associated with Rotary International. The box of equipment for providing safe, clean water come in various configurations, from a one-family box of two filters and other disaster supplies to community filters than can produce 6 liters of potable water a minute. The current disaster in Ukraine has been receiving Aquabox filters delivered by the British Ukrainian Society. Learn More: Aquabox: Wirkswirth Rotary Club: Red Hook Rotary Club: British Ukrainian Society: CATEGORIES Disaster Relief Health International Programs Service Organization Water Projects Words for Search: Aquabox, water filter, disaster relief --- Support this podcast:
For this show Radio Rotary was joined by Jan Miller, current president of Millbrook Rotary (Sarah O’Connell-Claitor’s club), and Mona Staaf-Gunther, past president of Millbrook Rotary, who is spearheading the 2021-22 edition of the “Millbrook Rotary Business Directory,” a publication that not only provides vital services for Central and North-Central Dutchess County but also is the source of funds to help support local nonprofits and other ways of doing good in the world. Because of the effects of the pandemic, improving the food supply locally has been a particular focus, with the Directory income helping support at least six local food pantries. Funding is also provided for other Rotary goals, such as the Youth Exchange (YEX) that brings high-school students from around the world to Millbrook for a school year and also sends Millbrook students to foreign lands. The advertising in the Directory that pays for this outreach, feature in some 5,000 free copies of a full-color book, is also a guide for locals and tourists to the many services available in Dutchess Country. Learn More: Millbrook Rotary Club: Millbrook Rotary Business Directory: Food for Life, Amenia: Food for Folks and More: District 7210 Youth Exchange: CATEGORIES Business Assistance International Exchanges Nutrition Rotary Club Close-ups Words for Search: Millbrook Rotary, Millbrook Busines Directory, Food Pantries, International Youth Exchanges --- Support this podcast:
Mike Carber of the MARC Foundation Board of Directors visits Radio Rotary to describe some of the programs funded by the Foundation and to announce some of its fundraising events. The main focus of the MARC Foundation in the spring of 2022 is a new Overdose Awareness Garden, developed in partnership with Mental Health America of Dutchess County, Gold’s Gym (LaGrange), and Dutchess County. The Garden, which opens on June 9, is a treelined memorial along the Dutchess Rail Trail that allows persons commemorating a person who has died as a result of substance misuse to place a memorial lock on a chain-link fence. Also, anyone can purchase an inscribed brick that will be used for the plaza. Signs and QR codes in a Kiosk direct the visitor to various sources of help for substance use disorder. On May 12, a luncheon at Chambord in Hopewell Junction will honor the person who inspired the Overdose Awareness Garden as well as raise money for the several different programs funded by the MARC Foundation. Learn More: MARC Foundation: Mental Health America of Dutchess County: Dutchess County Substance Misuse Prevention and Treatment, Dutchess Rail Trail: CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Dutchess County Mental Health Support Groups --- Support this podcast:
Hour Children is a remarkable group of programs that, among other assistance, connects incarcerated mothers with their children. Its name acknowledges the key hours that impact the life of a child with an incarcerated mother – the hour of her arrest, the hour of their visit, and the hour of their reunification. In this show, RadioRotary welcomes Dr. Alethea Taylor, executive director of Hour Children, and her friend Laura, who is the house manager of one of the five Hour Children communal residences that provide a supportive environment for women starting the reentry process and reuniting with their children. The guests describe how Hour Children assists women incarcerated at Bedford Hills and Taconic Correctional Facilities, both located in Bedford Hills, New York, and the Rose M. Singer Center located in New York City, with facilities for parenting education and even a nursery for mothers who give birth behind bars. Listen for the many other services from Hour Children. Learn More: Hour Children: Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women: Rose M Singer Center at Riker’s Island: CATEGORIES Children Education Humanitarian Service Service Organizations Women Words for Search: Prison programs, Children, Women’s programs --- Support this podcast:
Dr. Toni-Marie Ciarfella, Deputy Commissioner for Special Needs of Dutchess County, comes to RadioRotary’s microphone with news of the county’s several programs available for people with special needs. The campaign, which includes local businesses as well as the county, is called Think Differently. Related to it are the awards and events dealing with employment, called Think Jobs, and an educational program run by Dutchess Community College called Think Ahead.Some fifteen local agencies, such a New Horizons, ARC, the Anderson Center for Autism, and the Down Syndrome Association of the Hudson Valley are part of the effort, which was started by Country Executive Marcus Molinaro in 2015.  The Anderson Center is central to the program, which focuses much of its energy on making the county a place where those on the autism spectrum can be comfortable. Learn More: Think Differently: Think Jobs: Think Ahead: Anderson Center for Autism: Dutchess Country Department of Children and Family Services: CATEGORIES Developmentally Disabled Dutchess County Mental Health Quality of Life Words for Search: autism, mental health, social services, Dutchess Country --- Support this podcast:
You may have heard of the Astor Home for Children in Rhinebeck, NY, but that is only the original part of what has become since 1966 a wide-ranging service for mental health and education that is a major humanitarian force in the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. Sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York, Astor Services is now an essential part of many of the programs for children and young persons, including Head Start, Health Homes, Home Based Crisis Intervention, Probation Based Services, and much more. Learn about the wide reach of Astor Services in English and Spanish from this RadioRotary interview with Kim Stella, Assistant Executive Director for Care Management and Prevention at Astor Services. Learn More: Astor Services for Children & Families: Astor Home for Children: History of Astor Services:,reduce%20the%20need%20for%20psychiatric CATEGORIES Addiction Recovery Children Developmentally Disabled Education Mental Health Service Organizations Youth Words for Search: mental health, social services, Head Start, service organizations, crisis intervention --- Support this podcast:
Brian Doyle, CEO for Family Services, returns to RadioRotary with the latest news from his organization, the lynchpin of social services in in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties. The Behavioral Health Centers in urban locations from Beacon to Kingston are undergoing an expansion in hours and staff, which includes psychiatrists, therapists, nurses, and social workers.  The program also has an outreach to the Dutchess Country Jail that provides transition help for inmates on their release. Staff members are embedded with the Poughkeepsie police and district attorney’s office. Another area of recent expansion involves cooperation with the gun violence reduction program SNUG, a program that focuses on youth at high risk for involvement with gun violence between the ages of 14 and 24. Today the Family Partnership Center in Poughkeepsie works closely with some 20 different social service organizations. Learn More: Family Services: Family Services Facebook page: Behavioral Health Centers: SNUG: CATEGORIES Humanitarian Service Mental Health Service Organizations Youth Words for Search: behavioral health, gun violence, social services --- Support this podcast:
Samara Enders, Director of Philanthropy at Greystone Programs, is interviewed by co-host Sarah McConnell-Claitor and Jonah Triebwasser about the annual Leap for Autism and other aspects of Greystone’s work with developmentally disabled individuals. Greystone Programs is a privately-run non-profit organization that provides essential services and life-enriching opportunities to more than 600 children, adults, and families with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization operates 17 group homes in Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties of New York State as well as providing after-school and school-break programs. While part of their funding is from government sources, the nonprofit relies on private donations as well. Their annual fundraiser is a skydive at Skydive the Ranch in Garrison, NY, an event that brings 60 to 70 donors to jump from airplanes in support of Greystone—the sixth annual Leap for Autism. Learn more: Greystone Programs: Skydive the Ranch: NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorder: CATEGORIES Developmentally Disabled Education Events Mental Health Service Organizations --- Support this podcast:
Melissa McCoy, the Chief Advancement Officer of Abilities First, Zooms into RadioRotary to describe this organization that provides schools for children and group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. The name Abilities First is meant to signify that the organization values what people can do, what they can learn, and what they accomplish rather than their limitations or disabilities. They provide a continuum of care with no fees for the services. The staff and volunteers work with children who have many different disabilities, and at age 21 individuals in the program transition to adult care. Most of the children travel to the schools from home although some board at the school. Services are available to residents in the six mid-Hudson counties, from Putnam and Orange through Green and Columbia, although the schools are mostly in Dutchess County. Learn more: Abilities First: Abilities First on Facebook: NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities: Dutchess Country Department of Behavior and Community Health: CATEGORIES Developmentally Disabled Education Mental Health Service Organizations --- Support this podcast:
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Himalayan Adventure Treks & Tours

Awesome Article! Very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 16th
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