What a great day to be an Elkhart Rotarian! Thanks to those who joined us in person for the President's Day edition of our Club Meeting at Matterhorn Conference Center. 
Today we welcomed Jennifer Sager, Chapter Co-President of the Elkhart Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a private, not-for-profit dedicated to providing beds for children. Sleep in Heavenly Peace believes that all children deserve a safe, comfortable place to lay their heads. Across the US, too many boys and girls go without a bed—or even a pillow—to sleep on. These children end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their happiness and health. That’s where Sleep in Heavenly Peace comes in. They're a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. Our organization has grown steadily over time, and we’re working on opening more chapters in different states to serve more people.
Jennifer shared that the Elkhart Chapter began in 2018 and since that time has delivered over 550 to the local community. Their chapter is entirely made up of volunteers (currently 8) and they receive support and operating funds from the community as donations of funds as well as in-kind donations - - like bedding and other supplies. On average, one single bed + mattress + bedding = $300 to construct using volunteer labor. Volunteer days might make 10-20 beds (10 bunkbed sets) by 30-40 volunteers, maybe 3-4 hours to complete. To learn more about the Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Elkhart Chapter, or to find out how you can help visit: https://shpbeds.org/chapter/in-elkhart-co/
Announcements Today:
  • Keith Sarber put in a plug for community theater! Murder is coming down the tracks to the Bristol Opera House... February 24 – March 5. Elkhart Civic Theatre will present Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express starting February 24 for a two weekend run at the Bristol Opera House.  The play is based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name. About the play: Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed multiple times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer – in case he or she decides to strike again. Keith Sarber stars as Monsieur Bouc! For more info and tickets visit: https://elkhartcivictheatre.org/murder-on-the-orient-express-opens-february/
  • Jim Snodgrass, on behalf of the Red Ribbon Rookies, thanked those who contributed ideas for the committee's inaugural 2023 project. The committee has chosen to partner with Tolson Center for Excellence and their literacy initiative AND Council on Aging, who will help supply volunteers for that initiative. We look forward to hearing more about this project - -great job, Red Ribbon Rookies!
  • Julie Cotton announced:
    • Junior achievement volunteer training is upcoming - New Volunteer Training and Kit Pick ups are Tuesday 2/21 11:00-12:30. These  will take place at JA BizTown 1025 N Michigan St, Elkhart. Please note you only need to come to training if you are a completely new volunteer.  There will also be a virtual training on Thursday March 2 at 10am  you will need to arrange kit pick up prior to the training. Get inspired with a quick video about JA volunteer opportunities: https://youtu.be/qrj5Hu9qmpM
    • Join our upcoming wellness challenge, or "couch to 5k" as we prepare to help out as 'Sparkle Runners' in support of the Girls on the Run Michiana Elkhart 5k run scheduled for Saturday, May 13. You can walk or run to support the participants. More info to follow...
    • May 29 we'll have a fifth Monday social - no regular meeting; We'll also coordinate participation in Elkhart's Memorial Day Parade - -more info coming soon!
    • Sunday, June 11: South Bend Cubs game! Signup at https://elkhartrotary.org/event/southbend-cubs-game-1/