Elgin Rotary clubs helping businesses attract millennials through charity
Companies that want to attract millennials might consider upping their social responsibility game. Two Rotary clubs in Elgin have plenty of ideas about how to make that happen.
The goal of the first "Rotary Connex" event Thursday is to show local businesses how they can get involved in charitable community activities, co-chairman Alan Kirk said.
"The younger generation, studies have shown that they seem to be more concerned with working for a good company, a company that gives back and tries to help in the community, and tries to be ethical in their functioning," Kirk said.
Rotary International has more than 35,000 clubs that work on initiatives supporting education, providing clean water and growing local economies.
"What's awesome about Rotary is that it's nonreligious, and it's nonpolitical," said Kirk, who lives in Algonquin.
"We have the five avenues of service that allow people to be involved in and find the area that they are passionate in," Kirk said. Those avenues are international service, vocational service, youth service, community service and club service.
The Elgin Rotary clubs raise funds for local nonprofits including the YMCA, the Community Crisis Center and PADS of Elgin, and they also run the Elgin Craft Beer Festival, which this year is Aug. 10.
As for hands-on projects, there is bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, building and installing Little Free Libraries around town, reading to school kids through United Way of Elgin's "Reading Buddies" program, and more, Kirk said.
"There's a whole lot of stuff we do," he said, adding that Rotary clubs sometimes can match nonprofit funding with individual companies' initiatives.
The Elgin Breakfast Rotary Club meets weekly at 7:15 a.m. at Grumpy Goat Tavern in Elgin, and the Rotary Club of Elgin meets weekly at noon for lunch at the Holiday Inn in Elgin. That ensures people with different work schedules can make it, Kirk said.
Rotary Connex will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Rieke Office Interior, 2000 Fox Lake in Elgin. The free event was organized by the Rotary clubs in partnership with the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce. There will be food and drinks, as well as the kickoff and ticket giveaway for the third annual Elgin Craft Beer Fest.