News for August/September 2014


After a quiet summer there have been lots of developments in the last few weeks:

  • The Rotary Clubs of Sandusky and Huron will both be co-sponsoring a mission to Belize in the first quarter of 2015… probably early February. The Rotary Club of Sandusky will be making application for a District Grant.
  • The Global Vocation Training Team Grant for two missions to Jamaica is ready to be forwarded for approval. The first mission is planned for March 2015 and the second for August 2015.
  • The Interact Clubs of Northview and Southview High Schools have agreed to conduct Book, game, VHS tape, toy drives.
  • The following needs have been identified… can you please help fulfill them:
    • Additional funding to purchase needed equipment and supplies
    • Computers
    • Children’s books, games, toys, puzzles and VHS tapes
    • Tables, televisions and VCR machines
    • Infant clothing and stimulation items

Social Mobility

By Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

Introduction : Recently I gave a presentation to the Rotary Club of Sylvania. This was the third time presenting to the club so this time it was not specifically about Resource Centers International (RCI) but the process of starting and then refining the project. There is one story I did not tell because it, by itself, is almost a whole presentation… but I feel it is an important story that needs telling.

Mexico, 1996 : Our family was in Mexico visiting our daughter who was living in Cuernavaca at the time. We all met in Acapulco (Aca) and hearing of a quaint seaside village some 50 or so miles southeast of Aca, we decided to go there for a day or two and camp on the beach (a common practice in some areas of Mexico). What made the village even more unique was that escaped slaves from the north (Independent Texas and the USA) settled in the area.

That night 2 couples from Mexico City also camped by us on the beach. We got into conversation (they spoke excellent English as do many upper class Mexicans): and I can still quote the young man because his words were said with such assuredness: ‘Once you are born into poverty you are destined to die in poverty… never rising above your station’
. I accepted his words as fact, basically believing in the difficulty of bettering yourself in a developing or third world country.

Paraguay, 1997 : The family was on the move again, this time visiting our exchange students in Brazil and Paraguay. When we got to Violeta’s city Colonel Oviedo, Paraguay in the middle of the main street was a big sign ‘Welcome Home Violeta’. There were other signs we took note of… like ‘Mendoza for Governor’ but they were not near as impressive as Violeta’s. Yes, Violeta’s father was running for Governor of the State of Caaguazú. It was a great week that we spent in Violeta’s home town and the two days in Asuncion.

We asked Armando (Violeta’s Father) about his childhood because he took us to the tenant farm where he was born and raised. He now owns it and many other farms in the area. He is a lawyer and has many brothers and sisters… all doctors, lawyers, engineers and successful businessmen. His father was a tenant farmer sharing his meager earnings with the landowner. I asked Armando how all his siblings became successful. He answered and I paraphrase: ‘I had a very mean mother. She made us all study and work very hard at our academics’.

Just the year before I was told that upward mobility was not possible… Is Armando Mendoza’s family an exception to the rule or is success possible even though you are ‘born into poverty’.

Ecuador, 2006 : On the move again… but only Gail and I for this visit, as we spent time with four of our former exchange students and their families. This time we were in Brazil, Peru, Chile and lastly Ecuador to visit with Juanito Montalvo in his home town of Portoviejo. It was almost a déjà vu experience; meeting with his father, Juan and mother Mayra and talking about their life experiences.

Juan is a brain surgeon and his wife is a pediatric surgeon. Mayra, President of her Rotary Club when we visited, has her own hospital. It is located in a building of a fellow Rotarian. All the equipment and supplies in the hospital have been donated. Mayra does not draw a salary but performs operations on children whose families are too poor to pay for the care she gives, correcting birth deformities and broken bones. There is no charge to her patients or their families. Juan cannot afford to that altruistic. Someone in the family has to make money!

Juan and Mayra met at University, both of them struggling students because their parents were poor and were unable to help them financially. They were working hard to make ends meet while raising large families.

Today Juan’s and Mayra’s siblings are all doctors, lawyers, engineers and successful businessmen. I asked them why they were all successful considering that they were raised poor. I have a feeling you already know the answer… yes, they both had very determined mothers who made all their children work hard and excel at school.

Why RCI : because there is a way out of poverty. If born into it you can rise above your station. The answer is discipline, education and a strong supportive family. Our mission is not only to provide the materials that go into resource centers… but to also install a feeling of pride and enthusiasm for learning not only in the students, but also their teachers, parents and communities.


Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Toys and games Gail Odneal Sylvania
Infant clothes & Toys Lynne Lohner Gail Odneal Sylvania
Chairs Lourdes University Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Games, Toys, Puzzles Natasha Romanova Mel Honig Sylvania
Computers N2Y David Clark Huron


Chris Vogel (Perrysburg Rotary) – $200.00


Rotary Clubs of

  • Sylvania
  • Port Clinton

News for July 2014

Collecting Books and Video Tapes

Books are the backbone on any resource center; therefore a great deal of the efforts at RCI is in their collection. RCI recently received a major donation of books. This article focuses on the books we collect and their importance in helping to develop young minds.

Why is reading important? Here are some reasons why we send books to schools that lack this resource: Reading…

  1. Exercises the mind and opens new learning pathways in the brain;
  2. Improves concentration and focus;
  3. Introduces children to the world
    1. learning about facts, ideas, and ways of life;
    2. and being presented with opposing viewpoints and ideas;
  4. Improves vocabulary and language skills;
  5. Develops imagination and empathy;
  6. Children who read do better at school;
  7. Provides a source of entertainment… learning and developing the mind while filling time;
  8. Is a relaxing and calming influence.

For all of the above reasons reading is exceedingly valuable to the overall development and education of a child.

Lourdes University

Last year Lourdes University made the decision to close the Franciscan Academy, a school that served children in grades preschool through 8. The school building will be repurposed to support the growing needs of Lourdes University. The Franciscan Academy not only had a complete library, but also thousands of up to date textbooks. RCI was awarded the privilege of selecting all the books they could use from this vast collection. The end result was that we collected 83 boxes of books, most of them from the library, but also some text books that could be used for their resource value.

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Pictured here are Carlo Gibellato and Pat Mousseau, Sylvania Rotarians who helped go through all the books, selecting those we wanted to send to Jamaica and Belize. Also helping to select and box books, but not pictured, are Sylvania Rotarians Doug Welch and Andrew Timothy. I also recruited my wife Gail Odneal to help in the two day process.

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These are some of the resource books that were stored in another room. Now that we had all these books where were we going to store them? Our MESA warehouse is overcrowded with no room to spare. RCI was then saved by Sylvania Rotarian David Best who gave us storage room at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines.

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Shown here are boxes of books in their new home at Stevens. Since this picture was taken 30 computer towers have been added, additional boxes of books purchased from the Friends of the Library and some donated games and toys. MESA is actively looking for a larger warehouse. When we find one all the RCI product will be stored at MESA warehouse.

Friends of the Library (FOL)

Most of our books and video tapes come from Friends of the Library (FOL) in Lucas County, Ohio. They have a book sale to the general public every other month. RCI has been granted the privilege by the FOL director, Margie Levy to come in after the sale and purchase books and video tapes at $10.00 a box. Many times the FOL also donates excess books or sells them at a reduced rate.

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Volunteers help sort books that are constantly donated from many different sources. The staff is only too happy to see these books being once again read and reread by young people wherever they may live.

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Gail Odneal shown here selecting video tapes for RCI. On average we buy about 12 boxes of books and tapes every two months at the Toledo FOL location. Many times the FOL has donated excess books to RCI

Books 4 Buddies

Significant quantities of books are also being donated by Books 4 Buddies. Started by Laneta Goings, Books for Buddies is a literacy campaign targeting underprivileged youth… especially boys. Books that are not being used in her program are being passed onto RCI for distribution in the Resource Centers we are developing in schools in Jamaica and Belize. Last year Books 4 Buddies donated thousands of books and pamphlets.

Rotaract Clubs of District 6600

Each year we receive significant donations of books, toy, games and VHS tapes from our District Rotaract Clubs. Rotaract Clubs who have participated are Brookfield High School (Avon/Avon Lake), Edison High School (Milan) Northview High School (Sylvania) and Southview High School (Sylvania).

Rotary Clubs of District 6600

Each year RCI receives thousands of books from our District Rotary Clubs. Books are collected year round at District Conference; District Assembly; World Community Workshop; some are delivered to the warehouse, or even picked up at locations throughout the District. Thank you Rotary!!!


Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Computers Van Crest Eric Burke/Andrew Czajkowski Van Wert
Computers Ohio Gas Cindy Reed Bryan
Computers David Sterna Jeremy Watson Amherst
83 boxes of books Lourdes Univ. Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Toys and games Lourdes Univ. Rachel Kerlin/David Best Sylvania
Computers/books/VHS tapes Avon/Avon Lake Doug Maurer Avon/Avon Lake
Computers Nemsys Blake Underwood/Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Warehouse space Stevens David Best Sylvania
Games & Toys Natasha Romanova Mel Honig Sylvania
Games & Toys Gail Odneal Mel Honig Sylvania
Donations Amount
Your financial donation could be here next month


Item Source Cost
Books & VHS tapes Friends of the Library $60.00

News for June 2014

News From Belize

Emails from preschools we supported during our last mission to Belize, and some from a school that hopefully we will be able to support in the future.


Jose Chan, Principal, Corozal Church of Christ

Thank you for your support here is Power Point from the Corozal Church of Christ Preschool you had donated us tables, toys and television for our early childhood education also sending items that the preschool usually uses. Thank you, hence if you return to Belize we would appreciate your assistance again – especially the PA system. May GOD richly bless your organization.


Gilgardo Arcurio, Our Lady of Fatima RC School

Mr. Honig,
Thanks once more to you and all those involved in assisting our school to get pre-school materials, books, computers and other important things. Children love the things and are making good use of them. We are happy to be recipients of such wonderful things. Also, thanks for sending us your monthly newsletter. May God bless you always. We are looking forward to meeting you again.

Kind regards,
Gilgardo Arcurio
Our Lady of Fatima R. C. School
Douglas Village
Orange Walk District, Belize

Elcedia Awe, Alta Vista

Mr. Mel Honig,
This is Elcedia Awe from Alta Vista, we met there this year when you donated an amount of things to the Village. Well, all is good about to get internet you know. I just wanted to know if you offer help to schools. I have in mind a school that you can check out when you come. This particular school excels in the top three in the country yet they lack class rooms, no computer room and a poor library. They lack everything from bookshelves to tables etc. Solid Rock Christian Academy in Dangriga. Next in mind is furniture for a lounge at Ecumenical Junior School in Dangriga. They also have only two computers for 300 students. Tell what you can do for them on December when you come. thanks a million

Mr. Mel I hope you got all my emails. I will be on national television tomorrow because my student won the national spelling bee. it is called open your eyes at six a.m. please let Solid Rock Preschool in Dangriga be one!

The above emails from Elcedia highlight the issues that most schools are facing in under-developed and developing nations. Dedicated teachers like Ms. Awe are greatly needed, as is the help we give. Hopefully we can help her school.

May/June Have Been Banner Months

Collections for missions to Jamaica and Belize have hit an all time high these past two months. We now have almost all the product we need for our next mission to Jamaica. We still have to purchase many items but we must wait for Grant Approval first.


Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Games & toys National Student Nurses Association Sharmeta Gibbon   Sylvania
Books & VHS Tapes Fisher Amber Amber Fisher   Elyria
Toys & Games Gail Odneal Mel Honig   Sylvania
Books Lourdes University Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Education Software Books, VHS tapes, TV, table Barbara Walters/Dariel Jacobs Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Computer/books etc Darline Clemens Darline Clemens   Defiance
Computers & Accessory equip Ohio State Univ., Marion Campus Dan Aquino/Dave Claborn   Marion
Books/VHS/Ed. Equip Students/Instructors Lourdes Univ Barbara Walters/Dariel Jacobs   Sylvania
Books Oberlin Library Melanie Satterfield   Oberlin
Books and tapes District Conference Joe Ludwig District Rotary Clubs
Computers Nemsys Blake Underwood/Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Computers Sound Pro Justin Marinoff   Sylvania
VHS Tapes Steve & Karin Marinoff Mel Honig   Sylvania
Toys & Games Elana Juarez Mel Honig   Sylvania
Computers N2Y/Dave Clark Dave Clark   Huron
TVs/VCRs/Speakers Chris Vogel Chris Vogel   Perrysburg
Boxes (for books) Stevens Worldwide David Best   Sylvania

Monitary Donations

Donator Amount
Rotary Club of Maumee $1000.00
Heinrich Foundation $1000.00


Item Source Cost
22 Boxes of Books/Tapes Friends of the Library $205.00

News for May 2014

Mission Jamaica: Global Grant Status

Amber Fisher (Rotary Club of Elyria) and I (Mel Honig, Rotary Club of Sylvania) are in the process of preparing a Rotary International Global Grant with an Area of Focus of Basic Education and Literacy.   The Rotary Club of Elyria is sponsoring the Grant.   The Grant will also have a Vocational Training Team aspect as we continue to support preschool education in Jamaica and Belize.   The Grant will cover two missions to Jamaica when over 40 resource centers will be opened in preschools in the Westmoreland District of Jamaica.   As of now the team make-up is:

The two Team Leaders (one for each mission) are Mel Honig and Amber Fisher, although Amber and Mel are planning to go on both missions.

Team members are:

  • IT specialists Kent Iler and Stephen Hosler from the Rotary Club of Elyria
  • Librarian Susan Schafer from the Rotary Club of Sylvania
  • Preschool Educators: Barbara Walters (University of Lourdes Professor) and Elana Juarez (Preschool music and dance educator)
  • IT Specialist Justin Kendall
  • Sports Education Professional Ken Katafias from the Rotary Club of Sylvania.   Ken is not planning to go on any of the missions.

Kent Iler, Amber Fisher and Susan Schafer have been on one previous mission to Belize, while Justin Kendall and Elana Juarez have been on 4 Belize missions.   Mel Honig has been on 7 missions to Belize and one to Jamaica.

The membership of the VTT has not been finalized.   In fact we can add new team members once the Grant receives approval from Rotary International.   If you are interested in becoming part of the team please contact Amber Fisher ( or Mel Honig (   The team will be augmented by Rotarian and non-Rotarians in Jamaica as we work together to help improve learning opportunities for preschool age children.

District Conference 2014

Look for our display table at District Conference.   We will also be collecting Books and Infant clothing and infant stimulation objects.   One of our objectives during the missions to Jamaica is to support the Women’s Centres by providing infants with objects needed to stimulate their developing minds, and also to help to those mothers who cannot afford clothing and basic necessities for their infants.


Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
12 Boxes of Books Books-4-Buddies Laneta Goings/John Fedderke Toledo
Books & VHS Tapes Barbara Walters Dariel Jacobs Sylvania
VHS Tapes Ron Stoner Ron Stoner Bowling Green
Books Elyria Library Amber Fisher Elyria
Books Melanie Satterfield Melanie Satterfield Oberlin
VHS Tapes Toledo F O L Margi Levy/Mel Honig Sylvania
Computer Systems Nemsys Blake Underwood/ Helyn Bolanis Toledo
Books/TV Akrum Youssef Andrew Timothy Sylvania
Toys and games Gail Odneal Mel Honig Sylvania
Toys and games Elana Juarez Mel Honig Sylvania


19 Boxes of Books Toledo F.O.L. $154.00
Computers/TVs etc At Auction 624.25*

*Special thanks to Laura Schuster, Owens Community College Professor, who organized a team of IT professionals and students to reboot 79 computer towers.   Unfortunately we got only 48 working towers as many of those bought at auction were not functional.   Good thing we only paid about $4.00 per, but they were being sold as is.


Rotary Club of Mansfield – $1000.00

Your Club’s contribution could be here next month!


Rotary Clubs of Presenter
Van Wert Mel Honig
Stryker Mel Honig
West Short (District 6630) Kent Iler

We have a continual need for computer systems and children’s books.   The only thing that is keeping us from doing more is obtaining enough of these two items.

–Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

COMING TOGETHER TO DO GREAT GOOD – the 2014 RCI Mission to Belize

By Amber Fisher

Having returned 10 days ago from the seventh mission of Resource Centers International (RCI) to provide much needed educational materials for primary school students in Belize, I have had time to reflect upon the enormity of the selfless sharing of talent and resources that underpinned the success of the project, and the potential of what was done to pay big ‘quality of life’ dividends well into the future. Continue reading

News for April 2014

Belize Mission 7 March 14 – 23, 2014

Three Rotarians and one future Rotarian ventured to Belize to set up 13 Resource Centers in schools and also donated educational equipment and materials to set up a Preschool Learning Center in a building being constructed at the Corozal Junior College. The four Ohioans from District 6600 were joined by two Belizeans, almost 100 Belizean educators and the Rotary Club of Orange Walk.

The mission was only made possible through the generosity and dedication of hundreds of Rotarians and non-Rotarians who live and work in Rotary International District 6600. It was truly a global partnership to assist in sending basic education needs to the Pre and Primary schools of Belize.

The Mission Team from left:  Mel Honig, Project Coordinator, Rotary Club of Sylvania; Amber Fisher, Education Professional, President Elect, Rotary Club of Elyria; Tori Fisher, student; Carmen Carillo, Belize Project Coordinator, Corozal Junior College Lecturer; Byron Sanchez, computer expert; Kent Iler, Computer expert and Rotary Club of Elyria; Franco Carillo, student

The Mission Team from left: Mel Honig, Project Coordinator, Rotary Club of Sylvania; Amber Fisher, Education Professional, President Elect, Rotary Club of Elyria; Tori Fisher, student; Carmen Carillo, Belize Project Coordinator, Corozal Junior College Lecturer; Byron Sanchez, computer expert; Kent Iler, Computer expert and Rotary Club of Elyria; Franco Carillo, student

Continue reading

News for March 2014

Interact Club of Northview High School Conducts Book Drive

Email from Esther Kim, Chair, International Committee, Interact Club of Northview High School conducts book drive for RCI.

Feb 13 at 11:29 AM


I hope email finds you warm and comfortable in this cold weather!

My name is Esther Kim, a senior at Northview High School. I am a chairperson of the International Committee of the Northview Interact Club and am emailing you to inform you with updates regarding the book drive for Belize.

With all the snow days, along came many cancelations of our committee meetings; but, on Tuesday, we were able to gather and discuss our upcoming project, the book drive!!

Consistent with last year’s title, we have decided to once again call it “Spread the Love,” going along with Valentine’s Day season theme. This drive will be
continuous for two weeks, starting on the 24th of February (Monday) and ending on the 7th of March (Friday).

Our committee members have come forth and volunteered their time in making poster and flyer designs, in order to spread the word as much as possible.

In order to effectively carry this out, we have decided to place boxes in each English classroom for each period, which means we will need a total of 42 boxes. This is one thing we are unsure of–whether we would have enough number of boxes. As of today, I have counted a total of 30 boxes and there sure will be more to come. However, I was wondering if there is a specific type of box we need for this drive. Also, if you do happen to have any boxes to contribute to our drive, would you please lend us a hand?

I have decided to call another meeting with the committee, but not until the end of the drive. There will be, however, unofficial “meetings” during which we will hang posters and flyers around the school.

Thank you so much for your time and support!!
Have a great day,

Esther Kim

Labels placed on boxes

Labels placed on boxes

Preparing the boxes that would be placed in English classrooms

Preparing the boxes that would be placed in English classrooms

Distribution time

Distribution time

Belize Mission Updates

The Belize Mission Team has added another member. Brenton Gongorra, a teacher at Pomona Primary School (Stann Creek District), will be working with us on our mission in Orange Walk District. We met Brenton during Mission 5 when we were working in Stann Creek District. Brenton is passionate about improving educational opportunities for the youth of Belize and we are hopeful that he will help us on future missions to the southeast Districts of Belize.

Students at the Pomona Primary School… behind is their school garden

Students at the Pomona Primary School… behind is their school garden

The Belize container is on its way

After several cancellations due to the weather RCI finally got the container loaded with the help of Tim Ryan Jr., Gary Davis and Mel Honig.

Loading was relatively easy because we palletized as much as possible.

Loading was relatively easy because we palletized as much as possible.

By planning ahead... everything fit neatly in the container.

By planning ahead… everything fit neatly in the container.

Tim and Gary load the last few items by hand.

Tim and Gary load the last few items by hand.


Our driver (from Belarus) closes and seals the doors. Yes, it snowed the day we loaded, but time was running out and we had a boat to catch. We were very appreciative of the trucking company that made a special effort on our behalf and once again to our broker, BKA, that did an outstanding job.

Donations and Expenditures

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Books/VHS Tapes St. Wendelin HS Lindsey Weaver* Fostoria
Shelving Stevens Shipping David Best Sylvania

*Lindsey Weaver is a St Wendelin Senior who is planning to go to Case Western next year studying pre-medicine. She attended a Rotary Club of Fostoria meeting when Mel Honig was the presenter. St Wendelin does not have an Interact Club, so Lindsey took it upon herself to collect a box full of video tapes and about 30 world maps.


Donor Amount
Your Club’s contribution could be here next month!

Purchases for Belize Mission

Item Supplier Cost
Computer Tool Kit Amazon $41.53


  • Rotary Club of Ottawa Glandorf
  • Rotary Club of Bellevue

We have a continual need for computer systems and children’s books. The only thing that is keeping us from doing more is obtaining enough of these two items.

Mel Honig, Newsletter Editor

News for January/February 2014

News from Belize

It is always very gratifying when we get volunteer help in the countries we are working in. The following is a compilation of two emails I received from Byron Sanchez about joining our March Mission Team.

Read your e-mail Mr. Mel I am willing to take that challenge as a computer Technician here in Belize.

Everything is fine down here in Alta Vista, Finish my Associates but still paying off the school little by little, still looking for a job, but decide to help you guys with Computer which I love the most.


Mission 7 to Belize

Meet the Mission Team

The Mission Team to Belize is set; and it is an all Rotarian Team as the Rotary Club of Elyria has stepped up and provided us with the Professionals we need to get the job done. Also part of the team will be two Belizeans who will also be donating their time and efforts to help provide better education opportunities to the children of Belize. The Mission Team will leave for Belize on March 14, 2014 and return on March 23, 2014.

The Team Members are: Kent Iler and Amber Fisher, both Elyria Rotarians are first time missioners for RCI. Both Kent and Amber have had years of international experience, either living or doing mission work in third world countries. Mel Honig, Sylvania Rotarian will once again go as Mission Coordinator.

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Amber is the Superintendent of the Lorain County Board of Developmental Disabilities that runs the Early Intervention Program for children with developmental delays, a preschool, and a school for students with disabilities who are referred by local school districts. The program also operates vocational and residential programs for adults with developmental disabilities.

Amber is a Director on the Board of the Rotary Club of Elyria. She is the Club President Designate for Rotary Year 2016 – 2017 and also a Paul Harris Fellow.

Victoria, Amber’s daughter, will also be a missioner on the trip. She is in 9
th Grade at the Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville, Ohio. She has an interest in teaching and working with children. During the mission Amber and Victoria will be working with community members on how to obtain the most use out of the equipment we are sending to Belize.

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Kent has only been a Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Elyria for a few years. Kent, graduating in Computer Engineering donates computer support to his church, the First Baptist Church and First Baptist Christian School in Elyria. He also donates computer support for Faith Baptist Community Center in Cleveland, Ohio. FBCC provides free medical services, dental services, pregnancy testing and care, hot meals, clothing, adult and childrens programs and much more for those that need help.

Kent will be very busy during the mission, not only setting up the computers, but also installing the required electricity. He earned his degree in Computer Engineering at Kansas State… moved to Colorado creating websites for the ski resorts. In 1994 he started Iler Networking & Computing, and subsequently moved back to Ohio with his wife and daughter in 1998. Kent has added 5 more children to the family since moving back to Ohio.

The Belize Team consists of Eleanor Carillo and Byron Sanchez and the Rotary Club of Orange Walk.

Eleanor who formerly worked as the Orange Walk District Preschool Education Officer is now teaching at the Corozal Junior College. She has selected the schools that we have worked with in the past in Orange Walk District and with this upcoming mission she once again has chosen the schools we will be working with, six in Corozal District and the remainder in Orange Walk District. Eleanor also accompanies us on all our visits to the schools insuring that each school becomes an active participant in the project.

Byron is from the small community of Alta Vista in Stann Creek District. Their community does not even qualify to have a primary school so they attend school at the neighboring community of Pomona. During Mission 5 we established Resource Centers in each of these communities. Byron helped us to set up computers at Alta Vista and keep them operating. We greatly anticipate his help on this mission as there will be a lot to do in setting up Resource Centers in 15 schools in one week.

Jamaica Mission Opportunities

In fiscal year 2014-2015 two missions are going to Jamaica to set up Resource Centers in 40 or more schools and also to help support the Women’s Centres of Jamaica. To accomplish this, the Rotary Club of Maumee is applying for a Vocational Training Team (VTT) Global Grant. The budget for the mission will be approximately $40,000. The two largest expenses are for transportation of the donated equipment from our warehouse in Findlay to Savanna-La-Mar, Jamaica and the expenses of the VTT.
The VTT Global Grant will pay for all expenses of the team members. Each mission team will be composed of a minimum of a team leader, two computers experts and two preschool education experts. To be eligible to participate team members must have two years experience in their field of expertise.
To date te following team members are committed to going on at least one of the missions:

Team Member Expertise Mission Experience
Mel Honig Team Leader 7 Missions
Justin Kendall Computer Expert 4 Missions
Elana Honig Preschool Education 4 Missions
Stephanie White Outdoor Education Owner; Gopher Adventures

We still need preschool educators and computer professionals to fill out the team. As there are two missions we would like to have 4 educators and 4 Computer Experts. The first mission to Jamaica will be late August 2014. The second mission will probably be early March 2015. If you would like to be a team leader and become more actively involved in Resource Centers International we welcome your interest. RCI needs more Rotarians to work to improve basic education on a day to day basis.

If you would like to be part of the Vocational Training Team please contact Mel Honig at:
or Do Nguyen at:

Donations and Expenditures

Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Books Toledo FOL Margi Levy/Mel Honig Sylvania
Truck load of Books Books-4-Buddies Laneta Goings/John Fedderke Toledo
Books Bucyrus FOL Alan Basinger Bucyrus
Monitors Iler Networking Kent Iler Elyria
Books, computers Oregon/Northwood Pat Bidwell Oregon/Northwood
Books/Games/Toys Brookside HS Interact Club Gina Eschke Avon/Avon Lake
Computers/Inkjets Nemsys Blake Underwood/H. Bolanis Toledo
Computer Andrew Timothy Andrew Timothy Sylvania


Donor Amount
Juarez Family $1000.00
Home Depot (Toledo) 50.00 (Store Credit)
District Simplified Grant 6000.00
MESA Shipping Grant 1000.00
Rotary Club of Avon/Avon Lake 60.00

Purchases for Belize Mission

Item Supplier Cost
Exercise Flooring (at cost) Sam’s Club $843.96
10 Boxes of Books Toledo Friends of the Library 100.00
Electrical Supplies Home Depot 174.47
Ink Jet Printer Amazon 127.74
Teachers Supplies Dollar Tree 135.00

We have a continual need for computer systems and children’s books. The only thing that is keeping us from doing more is obtaining enough of these two items.

News for December 2013

News from District 6600

The Rotary Club of Maumee will be sponsoring the Global Grant for the next fiscal year’s missions to Jamaica. The Grant will cover two missions when a minimum of 40 preschools in Westmoreland Province will receive resource center equipment. The missions will also provide support to the Women’s Centre in Savanna-La-Mar as well as local libraries and community centers.

The Rotary Club of Savanna-La-Mar (RI District 7020) will have overall operational control of the project. Also participating in the project in Jamaica will be the Rotary Club of Negril. In District 6600, the Rotary Clubs of Elyria, Sylvania and Reynolds Corners are also participating partners with the Rotary Club of Maumee. If you or your organization would like to actively participate in the mission please contact Mel Honig; email: or Do Nguyen: email; and in Jamaica Dr. Hilda Hibbert; email:

Mission 7 to Belize

Mission 7 to Belize is on schedule. Currently all the educational equipment and supplies are being staged at the Findlay warehouse for shipment in late January. Mission dates are March 15 through March 28, 2014 when RCI will be opening at least 14 resource centers in primary schools in the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts of Belize and another center in honor of Father Bob Haas in Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo District.

This is an opportunity to participate in a mission. We need computer experts with electrical skills and early childhood educators to help up make this mission a success. If interested please contact Project Coordinator: Mel Honig; email:

Donations: Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of
Computer Sue Hunt Jim Hunt Elyria
Toys Natasha Romanova Mel Honig Sylvania
Computer Towers Cleveland Construction David Honig Sylvania
RCI Brochures* Longmeier Press Mike Frueh Lima

*Please check out the updated brochure here, printed by the Longmeier Press at no cost to RCI.

We have a continual need for computer systems and children’s books. The only thing that is keeping us from doing more are these two items.

Donations: Monetary

Donor Amount
Rotary Club of Elyria $700.00
Paul Capelle, Rotary Club of Willard 18.00


Rotary Clubs of

  • Elyria
  • Willard

News For November 2013

News from Belize

In June of this year the Rotary Club of Galion donated $550 to Resource Centers International to honor the lifelong work of Father Bob Haas. They requested that RCI open a resource center in Father Bob’s name. Soon after this request was made Father Bob became ill and succumbed after a valiant fight. Bullet Tree Falls is just one of the many communities that Father Bob worked in while supporting the school systems of Belize. Araceli Garcia wrote the email below. She is one of the many hearts that Father Bob has touched. Her email is in response to our request to support the founding of a Resource Center in Father Bob’s name.

Father Bob, seated in front taking missioners to Belize; doing good in the world

Father Bob, seated in front taking missioners to Belize; doing good in the world

We'll all miss you Fr. Bob!

We’ll all miss you Fr. Bob!

Email from Araceli Garcia, Teacher, Bullet Tree R.C. School, Cayo District, Belize

Hi Mr. Mel,

It’s a great thing to do especially when it is in memory of Fr. Haas. He has a special place in our hearts here at Bullet Tree R.C. School. We had the pleasure of working with him here and in Ohio. He was a dear friend especially to me. I would be more than honored to work with your team.

Having a resource room for our school has always been a dream. I have some students who will be staying back after classes who are in dear need of assistance especially when it comes to reading. In addition I am held responsible for past students who have obtained scholarships from a friend of mine. I am of the idea of having a brother/sister program. They will assist these children with their reading, math and science. In this way they will be contributing to the development of our children’s education and life. By the way the preschool is next to my classroom. Presently we do not have a room assigned for this new venture.

Of course Mr. Mel I would absolutely welcome such resource center. All in all I will be at your disposal if you need my assistance.

-Araceli Garcia

Jamaica 2014 – 2015

Two missions are planned for Jamaica in fiscal year 2014-15, one is late August and the other in mid winter. The process of planning for a mission involves a great deal of planning and preparation. In Jamaica we have already secured commitments from the Rotary Clubs of Savanna-La-Mar and Negril to support the opening 40 or more resource centers in pre-schools, schools and community centers in the western part of the island of Jamaica. Here in the States we have already been collecting equipment and supplies, and initiated funding and support from the Rotary Clubs of District 6600.

The major issue right now is obtaining a Global Grant to help fund the mission The budget is estimated at $33,000, meaning only approximately $9000 in club money will be needed to fund the two missions. In order to obtain a Global Grant we will need to have a District 6600 Rotary Club step up and sponsor the mission to Jamaica. This is an opportunity for club to take a major role in supporting an International Mission.

Donations and Purchases: Educational Equipment and Materials

Item Donor Expeditor Rotary Club of…
Games & Toys St David’s Church Elana Juarez & Mel Honig Sylvania
Infant Clothing Litza Lee Mel Honig Sylvania
Books Books-4-Buddies Laneta Goings Toledo
Computers Nemsys Blake Underwood Toledo
Books F.O.L. Margie Levy Sylvania

Purchased at auction from Bowling Green City Schools: tables, overhead projectors, video carts, etc

Donations: Monetary

Rotary Club of Fostoria:  $61.09 (Fundraiser at Max & Irma’s)


Rotary Clubs of

  • Avon/Avon Lake
  • Norwalk
  • Rotaract Club of Owens Community College, Findlay Campus

The Philadelphia Connection

Elana Honig, who lives in the Philadelphia area, has gone on 4 missions to Belize and one fact finding mission to Honduras. She has tirelessly worked to further the RCI mission. The following two stories are two important ways she has given support to RCI by connecting us with partnering agencies in the Philadelphia area.

The Historic St David’s Episcopal Church Donates to RCI for Third Year

The St. David’s Episcopal Church Fair has the longest running church fair in the nation, 162 years and counting. For the third consecutive year it has donated all unsold games, toys and sporting goods to RCI. Each donation was significant; filling 4 gaylords (4′ x 4′ x 4′ container).

Inside the toy tent, one of many venues at the Fair Packed from front seat to tailgate!

Inside the toy tent, one of many venues at the Fair

Packed from front seat to tailgate!

Packed from front seat to tailgate!


The following excerpts from their website help tell a part of the story of the history of the church and its participation in the growth of our country.

Toward the close of the seventeenth century a hardy group of Welsh colonists settled in an area which became known as Radnor. In 1704 a 100-signature petition for Welsh prayer books and a Bible, but more particularly for a Welsh-speaking missionary, was dispatched to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London. Ten years later, in return for this long-awaited recognition, the settlers “heartily engaged themselves to build a handsome stone church,” to be named after the Patron Saint of Wales. The cornerstone was laid on May 9, 1715.

With the coming of the Revolution in the colonies, a rapidly swelling wave of resentment against the Church of England arose among the patriots of the congregation. A leader of this opposition was Anthony Wayne , later appointed major general of the American forces, who is buried in St. David’s historic churchyard. The church building provided shelter for soldiers of both sides.

St. David’s was represented in 1784 at the first General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. The incorporation and charter of the church followed in August, 1792. Much-needed new life was breathed into St. David’s in 1820 with the organization of the first church school and arrangements for the first confirmation services, conducted by Bishop William White, who was to become the first Presiding Bishop.

The Old Church dates from 1715, and has been in continual use, with exception of a few years during the Revolutionary war. The Church is the subject of Henry Wordsworth Longfellow’s 1880 poem. St. David’s graveyard has been a peaceful resting place and memorial site for nearly 300 years.

If you would like additional information about this historic church please click on their website:

High School Advanced Programming Student Developing Software for RCI

Advanced programming students (juniors and seniors) from the Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia are designing academic applications for RCI in their advanced programming class. Currently computers are being sent to Belize and Jamaica loaded with business software. What has been sorely lacking are educational programs directed at preschool age children. Under the supervision of their professor, Matt Zippin, the students are resolving this shortcoming by designing educational games that will be downloaded onto computers that are already in Jamaica and Belize and all new ones sent down in the future.

The Germantown Friends School is a private institution, grades K through 12, that prides itself on its ethnic diversity and academic achievement. Founded in 1845 is currently has 861 students and 110 faculty members, 85 of whom are full-time. Thirty one percent (31%) of the student body is of ‘color’, 100% go onto a 4 year college, and in the last two years, 20 students were National Merit Semifinalists (approximately one in eight students taking the test). The Germantown Friends School also supports a nursery/preschool with children attending from infancy through the age of 5.

If you would like additional information about this innovative school please access their website: