Logo for: Rotary Old Saybrook

Community Outreach Program

The Rotary Club of Old Saybrook Community Outreach Program helps individuals in the towns of Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook to care for themselves and their families by providing financial assistance for education-related expenses or short term financial emergencies. The Program was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Ron Czepiel, an Old Saybrook Rotarian for many years.

Who is eligible?

Any resident of Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, or Westbrook, provided eligibility criteria are met.

How to apply?

Anyone can apply, but usually town social workers or school officials submit applications on behalf of residents.

Typical applications

  • Single mother - repossess car to get to work
  • Single working mother - winter electric bill
  • Elderly lady with multiple sclerosis - handicap ramp
  • Fuel assistance
  • Elementary students - one week at summer camp
  • Single working mother who lost job and training to be CNA - rental assistance
  • Child with birth defect - medical expenses
  • Self-supporting high school student - senior class trip
  • Single elderly lady with cancer - food cards
  • Elementary students - music and art lessons
  • Single mother with diabetic child - diabetes camp
  • Elderly couple with large debt and depleted savings - help with hospital bill
  • Elderly lady with Parkinsons disease - electric lift chair
  • Mother of 5 with cancer - rental assistance
  • Family evicted - rental assistance
  • Heating, food, auto fuel
  • School children to summer camp

Community Outreach Support (2022)

  1. Heat and Eat is a stand-alone program of the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantry. The mission of, "Heat and Eat", is to cook, package, freeze, and distribute well balanced meals to the needy in our shoreline communities. The distribution is through the SSKP pantry. Between 350-400 meals are prepared each Monday morning by a group of 8-10 volunteers, from the shoreline area. Food is received from Stop & Shop, The Connecticut Food Bank, and other local merchants. The Rotary Club of Old Saybrook has a history of support for the "Heat & Eat" program. In July 2014, we wrote a DMG, District Matching Grant, for the purchase of a new dishwasher in the "Heat & Eat" kitchen. Over the years we have been a continuing supporter of "Heat & Eat"

  2. Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive, and respected members of society through sports training and competition. SOCT was formed in 1969 to serve the needs of people with intellectual disabilities throughout the state.  SOCT provides programming and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, in addition to thousands of Unified® Partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) who compete alongside our athletes. All Special Olympics Connecticut athletes have intellectual disabilities, characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. We are happy to support this great organization and their events.

  3. Afghan refugee resettlement: At our April 27 meeting, Michael Rafferty spoke to the club about area churches helping resettle families to Old Lyme from war torn Afghanistan. This request is made for a family of 7 for a car which is badly needed for transportation to work, school and other activities. 3 churches have raised $3,000 for a used car to be supplied by All-Pro Automotive. They are asking for the remaining $4,000 to pay for the car. Bill O'Shaughnessy wrote the request and answered questions. It takes a lot of money and effort to resettle families. The request was voted on and passed.

The need for this type of financial assistance to area residents in our communities is great. Please open the forms below if you wish to apply for funding:

Outreach Grant Application Letter Outreach Application Forms

Gift of Life

All, please see below. This is the "Gift of Life" board that I am on in our district. This is where our donation of $1,000 went earlier this year. This is truly a heart warming bit of news.  Lynda Hammond is President of our board and is truly all about Rotary. I just want to say thank you to all of you for supporting me and the Gift of Life team as well. Rick Beck and Sandy Miller had the opportunity to meet this board a year ago at a gathering and I think got a taste of the wonderful works that they do. So thank you for all that you do in the name of Rotary.

Yesterday afternoon we received approval of the above captioned grant in the amount of $259,700. We will be able to provide 80 kids with open heart surgery and 20 more kids with interventional cardiac catheterization. I have been scrambling to get the bank account set up to begin to received the funds.

Time for a big ole glass of the red stuff!

Lynda Hammond
Rotary District 7980 Grants Subcommittee Chairperson
Rotary District 7980 International Chairperson
Rotary District 7980 Gift of Life, President
St. Martin de Porres Academy Proud Interact Rotarian Advisor
Tel: (203) 281-7540

Gift of Life Website 

President Gerri Lewis presents Rev. Ed Cornell with a check for $2000 to support the "Heat & Eat" Program (Jan. 4, 2017)
President Gerri Lewis presents a check for $1500 to Claire Bellerjeau of the Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries (Jan. 4, 2017)