Community service

Robin Miller settles down for community service

By By Ben Rayner • 12/15/2021 8:30 AM EST

Robin Miller moved to Madison from Hawaii before even setting foot there because of the city’s reputation for its great schools and relaxing life on the Sound. What she found here was a community of soulmates dedicated to the principles of generosity and public service.

Robin has become an integral part of the Madison community through her efforts with the Rotary International organization and is midway through her first term as Madison Chapter President.

Robin has worked in human resources since the early 90s, in locations ranging from Boston to the Big Island, directing human resources for business and educational entities. Robin moved here in 2012 with his sons Trevor, Gavin and Thomas and says his family fell in love with the city and its commitment to the community.

“It was really a great experience. We really loved Hawaii, but as my boys got older we wanted a change. Hawaii’s public schools aren’t the best, so when my second son was ready to go to high school, we decided to come back, ”says Robin. “It was an amazing experience living there, but we really needed a change.

“When we considered this, I actually bought my house online. The first time I set foot in Madison was the day we moved into the house, ”she recalls.

It didn’t take long for Robin to find her place in the community and to begin serving the public as a Rotarian. Rotary International is one of the most generous and dedicated community service organizations in the country, according to Robin.

“I have always been involved in community service projects in different ways over the years. Whether it is through the companies I have worked for or through the projects of the children at school, ”explains Robin. “I saw it as a way to be really connected to the community, but also to find ways to do service work.

“It’s gratifying for me. In fact, I didn’t know much about Rotary when I first ventured into a meeting, ”Robin continues. “It has been a great way to meet people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, as there is such a wide range of backgrounds, ages and companies involved. We are all at different times in our lives, but we all come together for this club that we are so passionate about. “

Robin says it didn’t take long for him to realize the power of what Rotary is capable of.

“Rotary’s motto is ‘Service Before You’ and we work to support initiatives at the local level in our own communities, at the state level, at the national level and at the international level,” says Robin. “[W]We are looking for ways to support almost any worthy effort. Sometimes this via a donation, for other projects it is aid in the field.

Rotary clubs across the country not only fund Uganda’s drinking water wells and polio eradication efforts around the world, but they are equally committed to their neighbors next door or the local association. non-profit in need of a grant.

Listing all the philanthropic efforts that Rotary clubs engage in would fill an entire document, but it truly is an amazing organization, according to Robin. It funds major scholarships globally and locally, including those for trades students, food banks, and toy drives, and unlike many nonprofits, they even fund others. non-profit organizations that need it.

The Madison Rotary Club has helped raise funds for more than 50 local families through its Warm the Children project, which raises donations and actually helps families with children in need of winter clothing. The club hosts an annual carnival at Academy Field, brings in speakers to educate members about the efforts of other groups, and sometimes does something as simple as a few dollars for a local family to overcome a health or financial problem, Robin says. .

Recently, the Madison Rotary Club, along with Madison Community Services, the First Congregational Church, and the Lions Club helped raise nearly $ 100,000 for Madison’s Food Pantry through Liberty Bank Food Drive. Rotary’s statewide effort has raised more than $ 1.4 million for hungry people in Connecticut.

“We just finished this project and handed out checks, and it was an incredible success,” says Robin. ” It’s really unbelievable. Most of that money goes to the town pantry. We really do things at the local level. We work internationally, but helping locally is what matters so much to us. We are there for our neighbors when there is a struggle.

Robin says that of the many projects she has been involved in, the Rotary Interact Club has brought the most sense of accomplishment. This collaboration with high school students was derailed by COVID and Robin says she is very excited to start reviving the club after the pandemic break.

“One of the most rewarding projects I have been a part of was the Interact Club, which is the high school affiliation of the Rotary Club. It’s for students interested in helping their community and volunteering, ”says Robin. “We actually had a very good group of students.

“I have to say that the Interact club was born out of the efforts of Art Criddle, a Rotarian who sadly passed away last year, and he was instrumental in involving students,” she adds. “We have made a lot of collaborative efforts with other clubs in the school. We really hope that at the beginning of the year, the school will allow us to relaunch this program. It’s an amazing program for students. It has been a truly amazing experience. If you provide the kids just a little direction. They really take off and go.

Robin recommends that anyone interested in serving their community come and attend a Rotary meeting. There is no hard selling, initiation or meeting the demands imposed by the club, says Robin. The willingness to serve is all the club needs.

“We accept anyone, regardless of their origin. There is no politics involved, there is no religious affiliation. We only care about serving others and serving our community, ”says Robin. “What it takes to be a member is just wanting to help others. As much or as little time as you can afford. That’s Rotary’s message is that the more we work together, the more impact we can make. I would love to see even more collaboration between civic groups in Madison.

To learn more about Rotary International or the Madison Rotary Club or to donate to specific projects, visit www.madisonctrotary.com. The Madison Rotary Club meets Thursday mornings at the Senior Center at 8:00 am and welcomes everyone.