Posted by Nick Aroutzidis on Oct 12, 2019
October 17, 2019: Kate Simpson, “Recycling”, Gord Sherwin will introduce and Ollie Henry will thank our speaker.
 
Head Table:  Our President Brent Shackleton, invites Gord Sherwin, Nick Aroutzidis, Ellen Balmain, Linda Bathe, Walt Bathe and Ron Bean, to join him at the head table.

Today at Rotary:  Ryan Erb, Rotarian and ED of the United Way Perth-Huron, chose this year to give the Club some insight into one of the ways that the UW is being transformed.  Rather than the traditional model of being simply a conduit for monies raised to flow to local organizations, The UW has become more involved in facilitating “conversations” to identify significant social and economic issues facing communities and their most vulnerable people and encouraging action to address these issues through local front-line organizations, local government and business.
 
Jim Young introducing our United Way speaker Rotarian Ryan Erb at this week’s meeting.
 
Mr Erb presented an overview of a soon-to-be released report with investigates the major issue of a “living wage” and the impact that the failure to ensure that such a wage is in place has on a community.
 
How much is enough to live above poverty. United Way survey and spearheading program
 
Minimum wage to stay above the poverty line would be $17.44
 
Titled, How Much is Enough, the report is the result of several years of research, consultation with individuals, families, business and community organizations.  It asks the question, “What does it take for people to make ends meet”?  This is not simply the largely political debate around the minimum wage but about broader challenges facing families who have difficulty meeting basic needs, increasing debt, anxiety and threats to mental and physical health.   It seems that 1 in every 2 households in Perth Huron earn less than a Living Wage.
 
1 in 2 households in Huron Perth county lives below the poverty line
 
Mr. Erb listed the detrimental effects of not earning enough income – limited transportation (a significant and often overlooked issue in a rural area such as Perth Huron), food insecurity (not enough to eat and very limited safe and healthy options), few housing options (especially with the escalating prices of rents and the lack of social housing), inability to plan for the future when the present is so overwhelming, strained personal and family relationships, and issues such as affordable and accessible childcare for working parents.   In particular, Mr Erb stressed that number of homeless in Perth Huron has increased dramatically and that what was once viewed as a big city problem is now facing all communities.
 
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All of these elements contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty which – low income → hunger, poor health and living conditions → lack of education → lack of opportunities.  The cycle goes around and the next generation becomes trapped in it.   The report has concluded that a Living Wage is not static and must be reassessed regularly, and that in 2018 a Living Wage was $17.44 for a family of four with two adults working 35 hours per week each.
 
But Mr. Erb also stated that there are encouraging signs.  Employers who are committing to paying their employees a Living Wage, are seeing the benefits to their business in reduced turnover and absenteeism, higher productivity and improved morale.  Indeed, eleven local businesses have become Certified Living Wage Employers.  These businesses are in the forefront of the push for change which benefits business, family and community equally.
 
Motto for United Way is that as a community we cannot ignore the problem.
 
Finally, Mr. Erb reminded Club members that the 2019 UW Campaign is well under way, chaired this year by Martin and Kathy Ritsma, with a goal of $1,633,000.  Monies raised stays local and is directed at the most pressing issues.  The How Much is Enough report brings home the interconnectedness of these issues and the need for a strategy that not plug holes but builds vibrant and respectful communities in which no-one is left behind.
 
Anon Scribe
 
Your emotionally drained but proud scribe in residence,
 
Scribe: Guy Chadsey
 
Jim Scott received his 6th Paul Harris Fellow award, CONGRATULATIONS JIM !!!!!!!!!
 
Our newest Paul Harris fellow Rotarian “ Jim Scott” being presented with award by President Brent.
 
Catch the Ace Committee giving prize of $7588 to Marsha Goold for drawing the Ace of Spades at last weeks draw as winner of grand jackpot
 
Rotarian Rick Orr announcing club giving’s of $1040 to Food Drive at this weeks meeting.
 
Scotch Mist raffle tickets will be available soon.  Limited to 600 tickets at $10 each.  Prizes include some sought after Scotches and also tickets to next year’s event.
 
Christmas Craft Show will be here before we know it.  Be ready to volunteer when the list comes out!
 
Guests: We welcomed, Ken Dood - Stratford
 
Draw: The prize today was donated by Bruce McLaren and won by Gary Morris.
 
Make-ups: Nothing to report, if you do a make-up please send me an email at naroutzidis@naeng.com.
 
October’s Attendance Committee: George Schroeder (I/C), Doug Thompson, Angus MacDermid, Gary Wreford, Lynn McKone, Rob Ritz, Mike Nielsen, Bert Clifford, Peter Roach.