Warm hearted Rotary initiative enlists manufacturer help to bring food and learning to local kids

When children read to a dog, the outcomes are amazing, even for children with learning issues who might freeze when human teachers ask something of them. Supporting the Story Dog programme is one of the works of the Rotary Club of Devonport South East

A warm-hearted initiative by a Tasmanian Rotary Club to build a mobile catering truck to raise funds to provide better nutrition and learning for local school children and needy youngsters has surprised its organisers with the generosity of business support.

The Rotary Club of Devonport South-East plans to use the converted catering truck with slide-out barbecue and full catering facilities, including a shelter gazebo, to raise funds for causes such as Ronald McDonald House for kids with cancer, the Giant Steps community support and disability service and the Story Dog charity.

The international Story Dog Charity uses trained dogs to sit with children with autism and concentration issues to read them stories and advance their literacy in a tranquil and non-threatening environment, as an alternative to more formal learning environments which they might find threatening.

“Community programmes are the heart of our initiatives – and we have we have gone out to the business community to get help to provide a vehicle that will provide enduring income to these wonderful programmes,” said Rotary Club Devonport South-East spokesman Geoff Sharman.

Rotary Club of Devonport South-East cause supporter Jay King of Aus J Hot Water Solutions, pictured here at the free-flowing Darling River where it enters the flourishing Menindee Lakes. In addition to supporting community initiatives, Jay is an advocate for the ecological benefits of electric hot water systems to reduce carbon footprints internationally. Business and communities need to come together on important issues, he says

“We also plan to use the catering truck to visit schools for end-of-term barbecues and for a breakfast club at schools, where we want to ensure kids are getting the attention and nutrition they need,” said Mr Sharman, who has been deeply impressed by the responses from organisations whose help he has enlisted.

“For example, we needed a hot water system to maintain the top standards of hygiene with which we must comply. I started researching the best and most suitable product and shopping around to get the best price.”

“We ended up having a good chat with Jay King of Aus J Hot Water Solutions.

Their products are used throughout Australia and internationally by mobile catering groups, so we had refined the selection and I was keen to negotiate a good price. When Jay heard what we were doing, said he would do it for free.”

“We were particularly grateful, because his is not even a local business – he is doing it because it is a good cause to him. Like the other businesses we have dealt with, he has also followed through with technical advice, investing his time to help ensure we do it right. This sort of support is just vital, and we are so appreciative.”

Contact: Geoff Sharman, Rotary Club of Devonport South-East Mob  0438 166 778

Aus J ( www.ausj.com.au ) offers a range of innovative gas and electric water heaters with models for domestic, commercial and recreational applications, including a 240v 10-litre Aqueous water heater designed to provide homes with near-instant hot water and reduce the wastage by having the heater located under the sink.