In Ciudad Juárez, one woman’s work to protect children from street violence has blossomed into Soles de Anapra, a center serving some 80 young people. Since 2014, the Rotary Club of El Paso, Camino Real, Texas, had been donating goods to Lourdes Contreras for the after-school program she ran out of a small house. In 2015, the club decided to find her a bigger, better space. With $25,000 donated by the 16 clubs in Ciudad Juárez and two partners in New Mexico — the Rotary clubs of Los Alamos and Silver City, frequent contributors and visitors to the center — and $10,000 raised from a 5K run sponsored by the Eaton Corporation, the club purchased a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in 2016 and went to work. In April, the club completed a refurbishment of the building, carried out even as the pandemic temporarily halted the after-school program.
In October, about a dozen Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Eau Claire Morning, Wisconsin, along with some of their family members, used a product called Invisible Spray to stencil temporary, water-activated artwork on sidewalks throughout the city. Rainworks, manufacturer of the hydrophobic, nontoxic liquid spray, donated the product, which allows users to create designs that only appear when the sidewalks get wet. At a cost of about $130, 16 ounces can cover up to 110 square feet. “We thought in the difficult times of the pandemic, we could bring smiles to our community” and inspire other organizations to do the same, says Sarah Stackhouse, a co-president of the club. A “thank you” below an image of a firefighter’s hat was traced outside a fire station, while a drawing at the entrance to a theater featured musical notes and suggested “singing in the rain.”