The four Rotary Clubs of Pocatello completed the first collection drive for ROTARY HELPS on April 10 when they brought recently collected donations together at


the New Horizons Center to sort for distribution. 

ROTARY HELPS is a project that helps School District 25, Bannock Youth Foundation and Aid For Friends with critical needs of children and adults in the local area.  ROTARY HELPS is a joint project of the Pocatello, Gate City, Centennial and Portneuf Rotary Clubs of Poctatello.  

ROTARY HELPS was initiated by Saeid Rezaii, President-Elect of the Pocatello Rotary Club, who had performed a similar project during the holidays for children in the school district.  Unlike that project, ROTARY HELPS will be on-going, with continuous collections and three or four distributions each year.



“We realized in December that the need was not just during the holidays but is there every day.  For all the children we were able to help at that time there were still others who needed basic items such as coats and socks,” Rezaii said during a recent planning meeting. 


“The current collection drive has been going for about a month now,” said David Finkelnburg, Project Chair and Pocatello Rotary member.  During that time local Rotarians have been contacting friends and local businesses looking for clothing, household goods, appliances and personal hygiene products.  Some are also working to acquire plastic totes for clothing storage and shelving for two school rooms where clothing will be stored. 

Many of the children’s clothes and personal hygiene products will go to the school district.  But the need doesn’t stop there.  Children’s and adult clothing, household items and appliances are also being collected for Bannock Youth Foundation and Aid For Friends.  Together these two agencies fulfill the needs of many within our community.  Most notably, ROTARY HELPS donations will help young parents and also help teens and adults establish a place to live independently.


Members of the Interact Clubs of Pocatello, Highland and Century High Schools were also on hand y to sort and distribute the donations.  Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12-18.  “We want them to be a part of this, to be actively involved in this project and the community.  This is what service is all about,” Rezaii said.


Finkelnburg says he hopes to hold four collection drives each year.  “There will always be a need.  We will take donations any time and store them, and will actively seek donations during the collection drives,” he said.