Past Projects

Building upon close to 4 decades of service to Rotary and the community, the DeSoto Rotary Club is committed to an active role in spreading international goodwill and helping to make DeSoto a better place in which to live.

Since its beginning, the DeSoto Rotary Club has been active in service to the community, especially through contributions to our “Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow” initiative.  The DeSoto club has contributed to this effort through 4-H Club and Future Farmer of America projects, Community Easter Egg Hunt, Scholarships to graduating high school seniors, and as a Lead Donor for the beginning of DeSoto Education Foundation.

The club has also participated in Camp RYLA and Rotary International’s foreign exchange student program, development of the McMillan ROTC Leadership Award, an Interact Club, Ace in the Hole, providing school supplies for needed students, eye glasses to children in San Pedro Sula and an innovative community Hearing Aid Program.

In addition to the above mentioned, below is a summary of some of the programs that the DeSoto Rotary Club has developed and contributed through over the years:

• B.U.S.S. Program – We provide Belts, Underwear, Shoes and Socks (and other clothing items) for needy Desoto school kids.  Qualifying students are given a $30 voucher.  Last year we gave away over $7,100 toward school uniforms.

• W.I.N.G.S. – Several years ago a member of our Club, Lee Merryman, started the WINGS program in the DeSoto ISD.  We help fund the program that gives students who have dropped out of High School (and cannot return) an opportunity to earn an actual diploma.  We support this program each year and are proud of the achievements of the over 270 students who have already graduated through this program. More information can be found here: Where I Now Gain Success

• Challenge Air  – This is a program that we support both financially and with manpower.  That’s right, each year Rotarians and other community members with pilot’s liscenses and airplanes take physically and mentally challenged kids on short flights around Dallas.  For more information check out the website:

• The Wheelchair Foundation was the recipient of a $320,000 grant aimed at brining wheelchairs to Nicaragua that our club helped spearhead.  We continue to look for ways to help the people of Nicaragua.


2014 Humanitarian Aid for cancer treatment in Nicaragua

2014 Global Matching Grant for $319,200 in Wheelchairs in Nicaragua

2014 $100,000 Global Matching Grant for Project Hand Up

2013 $42,000 Global Matching Grant for cotton yarn vocational program for deaf/mute children in Nicaragua

2013 $42,000 Global Matching Grant for cotton yarn vocational program for deaf/mute children in Nicaragua
2012 Construction of four kitchens in elementary schools in Nicaragua serving 900 kids per kitchen Granada Rotary Club
2006 BUSS Program – Belt, Underwear, Shoes, Socks, for DeSoto ISD students in need.
2000 – Hearing Aid Program, to assist those who can not obtain a needed hearing aid. Additional projects include annually helping the DeSoto Outreach Center around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and participation in DeSoto’s Heritage Festival.
1999 – Eyeglasses to San Pedro Sula children
1998 – Present – Club Medisend-medical supplies shipped to impoverished countries.

Send-a-Book – books sent to Philippines for School children
1998 – Present – Ace in the Hole – weekly club event raising funds for school supplies for needy students
1998 – Present – Flag Program – Subscription to put flags out on five holidays a year.
1997 – Creation of McMillan ROTC Leadership Award in Memory of Rotarian Col. McMillan
1997 – Present – Established Interact Club at DeSoto High School
1995 – Changed from noon club to a breakfast club to successfully increase membership.
1994 – International Service matching grant with sister club Kaputzihil in Honduras. The Honduras city of Tegulcigalpa received 40% of its drinking water from the surrounding mountainous rain forest.  The club organized a matching grant of $12,000 with the Rotary Foundation for La Tigra National Park in Honduras for the preservation of the forest and the installation of walking paths.  Medical equipment was also provided under the project.
1991 – Present – Sponsor two students to Camp RYLA
1989 – Present Thanksgiving Community Outreach contribution for the needy
1988 – Present – First Annual Benefit Golf Tournament
1988 – Present – Santa Calling for Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade students
1987 – First Rotary International exchange student sponsored by the club
1987 – 1991 DeSoto Rotary Haunted House, benefiting youth organizations