Service Projects

The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor is very active in both local and international service projects. Our members develop, support, and fundraise for many worthwhile projects. Our members believe ‘Service Above Self’ is not only the club motto but a true vocation.

Check out our club News page to see the latest updates on our wide-ranging service projects. See a select few highlighted below.


Local Projects

Rotary Centennial Universal Access Playground at Gallup Park

The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, in conjunction with The City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services, worked together to fund and build the city’s first Universal Access Playground.  The new custom designed UAP was constructed at Gallup Park. The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2016 and chose to commemorate the milestone with a Centennial Playground Project at Gallup Park. This UAP was designed to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible exceeding standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act including features and surfacing that are inclusive, stimulating and fun for all users, whether fully independent, or with mobility, sensory or visual impairments. Specific playground features include a water/sand play area, a sensory garden, adaptive swings and moving play activities such as whirl and spring riders with back supports. Other universally accessible features of the project include grills, picnic tables, benches, a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch. Since this project was completed in 2017, we have continued to improve and build upon this playground, adding new educational signs. Read more here.

Helping Kids Succeed

This is the goal of the Community Allocations Committee, which provides financial support to community nonprofit organizations that meet important local needs and whose programs and services are consistent with our Club’s goals and values.  Funds for this support come from Community Assessments of the Rotary membership and funds raised by the annual Golf and Tennis Outing, by way of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor Foundation. Click here for more info.


In partnership with Ann Arbor Pathways to Success Academic Campus, the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor STRIVE Program helps turn young lives around. The program provides a unique structure, incentives, and motivation to help Pathways seniors accomplish these life-changing objectives. Students who successfully meet the requirements and complete the program are offered scholarships to Washtenaw Community College. Click here for more info.

Rotary Readers and Tutors

Rotary Readers and Tutors volunteer in community schools. Rotary Tutors work at Angell Elementary and Burns Park Elementary in Ann Arbor and Beatty Early Learning Center in Ypsilanti. Placements are also available in other local schools, particularly if the tutor has a relationship with a teacher or student. In addition to Rotary members, there are several friends- of-Rotarians and spouses that volunteer as part of our program. Tutors generally work one session a week during the school year, although a number work multiple sessions. The tutoring and reading schedules are established in September and continue throughout the school year, with some substitution for snowbirds. Committee members receive meeting credits for their work. One hour weekly except with multiple sessions, September through May. Read more about this work here and here.

Doers of Good Service (DOGS)

Our Doers of Good Service, affectionately known as the DOGS, provide volunteers for ad hoc projects that may arise from time to time.  Past projects have included tree planting, building a new playground at Eberwhite Elementary, clearing construction sites for Tiny Homes for homeless in Detroit, outdoor cleanup at Leslie Science and Nature Center, and bunk bed assembly, and are usually centered on our Club goal of “Helping Kids Succeed.”  Contact us for more information.  

Hire MI Vet – Hiring Event

One of the ways Rotary Club of Ann Arbor helps to honor and assist our veterans is to sponsor a hiring event each November at which veterans receive resumé and interview coaching and participate in a job exposition where potential employers offer information and receive applications. Hire MI Vet is now a stand-alone non-profit.  

Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup

Several times a year, our club volunteers to pick up trash on a several mile stretch of I-94 (between State St. and Stone School Road) that we have agreed through the Michigan Adopt-a-Highway program to keep clean.

Huron River Cleanup

In the fall of 2021 we conducted a Huron River shoreline cleanup in Argo, Longshore, and Bandemere parks. We are hoping this becomes an annual or biannual activity for our club to participate in. The environment is a significant area of focus for Rotarians across the globe, and this is one way in which we are involved.

Pandemic Response Fund

The Pandemic Response Fund was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. $61,793 was allocated to twelve non-profits in Washtenaw County to reduce the impact of COVID on vulnerable populations. Rotarians were on lockdown, but we found a way to provide “Service above Self.” More information here.



Global Projects

Global Grant in Ghana — Boreholes for Potable Water

The project addresses the critical need for clean and potable water for the Kporkuve United Community in the Volta Region of Ghana. It is made up of nine adjoining villages with a population of about 12,000 people. Three mechanized boreholes will directly impact 4,000 members of the community.The host club, The Rotary Club of Ho, has selected Tedson Drilling & Construction, Ltd. to build the boreholes that will be strategically located in the Kporkuve community. The boreholes will provide 30,000 liters (10,000 per unit) of water at a time and will solve the perennial water problem. More information here.

Detroit Global Grant — Pandemic Relief

In response to the struggles that the Detroit area faced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotary clubs from around the world, plus local clubs, worked together to sponsor a Global Grant to help with PPE and food insecurity in Detroit. Read more here and here.

Global Grant in Bumpeh Chiefdom, Sierra Leone — Community Development

We are changing lives in a country where the per capita income is $340. Through our support, we are helping Paramount Chief Charles Caulker create a model for economic transformation that will likely be replicated elsewhere in the country. You can read updates on the project here, here, here, and here.

Global Grant in Pune, India — Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The International Humanitarian Projects committee of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor, Michigan is pleased to announce the successful completion of a Rotary Global Grant providing Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) medical equipment for medically underserved infants in Pune, India. The recipient of this grant, the SGAK Charity Hospital in Pune India, serves over 175,000 patients / year including over 3,600 babies delivered. The existing hospital facility had limited NICU capabilities and in many cases could only offer transfers to other private hospitals for treatment. Starting in 2018 our partner and global grant host club, The Rotary Club of Pune Metro, oversaw the delivery of over 60 pieces of new medical equipment for the SGAK Hospital NICU including incubators, ventilators, resuscitation units, phototherapy units, airway pressure equipment, warmers, oximeters, and many other items. Additionally, multiple trainings on best practices for utilizing and maintaining the new equipment was provided to the staff physicians and nurses, and a pamphlet was created for distribution in the local community to advise families on caring for premature infants.In the first 9 month of the new NICU operations, over 900 newborn infants were treated by the SGAK Hospital NICU, exceeding the initial forecasted patient demand by over 20%. Most of the medical equipment supplied has a service life of many years and will continue to provide crucial medical treatment for tens of thousands of premature infants for decades to come. Read more here.

Global Grant in Pune, India — HPV Vaccination

This project consists of vaccinating 14 to 19 year old girls in rural India near the city of Pune for a total project cost of $96,000. India has 1/4 of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. This project will protect thousands of from cancer who would otherwise have no access to this vaccine. Real lives being saved by Rotarians working together. More information here.

Global Grant in Bolivia — Laparoscopic tower

A laparoscopic tower was donated to the Viedma Public Hospital in Bolivia. Our partner, Solidarity Bridge, has been sending medical missions to Bolivia with groups of American surgeons that train their Bolivian counterparts. Viedma Hospital had no ability to perform laparoscopic general surgeries. This equipment was of key importance for this hospital. The grant had estimated that they would perform 80 surgeries in the first year of use of the laparoscopic tower. This goal was achieved in less than two months and they are now performing 16 surgeries per week. Read more here.