Past Projects of the WCCR
During the early years, social outreach projects were inspired by the times as certain needs in the community came to Club members ’attention. Supporting the UN Allied War Relief, the Leper Colony, earthquake victims, purchasing medical equipment for local hospitals; the list is long and wide-ranging. The most recent of these projects, through the Reading Is Fun Program, was the renovation of a kindergarten in La Carpio, a slum community in San José.
Reading is Fun Program provided public elementary schools with books that would entice students to read for pleasure, increasing their desire for learning and enhancing their classroom experience. The Committee’s mandate was to investigate and evaluate requests and recommend specific contributions to the Board of Directors. Donations were an appropriate amount of books for the size of the school along with, if necessary, bookcases, tables and chairs for a Reading Corner or Library.
What started as a pilot project in 2004 grew so much every year that in 2010 Reading is Fun donated ¢4,614,000 colones (about $9,230 US), which was used to buy books and equipment for libraries in public primary schools throughout the country. In 2011, 1,778 students benefited from the 4,432,651 colones spent among 12 schools; and in 2012, 4,338 students benefited from the 3,190,755 colones spent among 11 schools.
Occasionally requests are received that fall outside of the currently established programs. Assistance is directed to those in greatest need and provided through organizations rather than directly to individuals. The programs do not provide direct financial aid; rather, Committee members purchase and deliver the supplies, equipment or materials respecting the budget approved by the Board and WCCR Members.
Renovation of pre-school classroom in La Carpio, a slum community in San José came about by chance in 2012, when visiting the school to assess their needs for books and school supplies. The dismal looking classroom inspired its renewal. Tile was installed on the bare cement floor, walls and ceilings were repaired, walls were covered with beautiful adhesive murals, old fixtures replaced with new, ceiling fans were installed, curtains, small tables and chairs, bookcases and books to make a Reading Corner, and school supplies were all part of a transformation meant to enhance and brighten the toddler’s school room.
Production of a radio novella: after consultation with the Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres, WCCR honored its 60th anniversary by donating $15,000 to aid Voces Nuestras in the production of a radio soap opera on the subject of domestic violence. The 25-part story, “La Otra Cara del Amor” was aired twice a day Monday to Friday, has been shown in 25 countries, is still being aired today, and won the prestigious “Columbine” award for Documentary on Women’s Issues in 2002 at the annual Moondance Festival in Boulder, Colorado.
Local hospitals and clinics through the years have benefited from the funds raised by the WCCR. Among them, the club was instrumental in establishing the Rehabilitation Center in 1952 and the same year, during the polio epidemic, the club raised sufficient funds to donate an iron lung to the Hospital de Niños. Other donations to Hospital de Niños include the purchase of an electrocardioscope, an oximeter, and funds to purchase equipment to help children with leukemia. The San Juan de Dios Hospital has received several donations from the WCCR: a scan machine; a mammogram machine, the first one in the country; and equipment for one intensive care unit. The club also purchased a respiratory therapy machine for a pain control clinic, Clínica Para el Control del Dolor.
Join Us in Helping
The WCCR is proud of past projects that have successfully benefited the communities of Costa Rica. We include these to give you an idea of the different ways our members have rolled up their sleeves to get involved. And, perhaps, encourage you to become a member and participate in future projects or consider making a donation.