Story By: Robert Fonarow, President of the Rotary Club of Paso Robles
The Drop your Drawers project is just one part of the overall effort of 4 Rotary Clubs in the North County to support ECHO, but it has already been a great success story.

Initially, a small group of Paso Robles Rotarians met with management of the new ECHO shelter that just took over a Motel 6 in the North part of town.  The shelter has 60 rooms for homeless people to stay overnight in a warm, clean environment, including an evening meal.  When asked what was needed at the shelter, our Rotarians got a list of about 10 things, with the most important one being new mens and women’s underwear. 
With no funding needed our group of 3 people embarked on a plan to develop a slogan, a flyer and email campaign to get Rotarians to donate new sets of undees.   Original goal was to provide ECHO with about 50 pairs.   After only 2 weeks, our team has collected over 500 pairs and the boxes continue to be filled at our 3 drop off locations !!!  It’s literally an avalanche of giving on the part of Rotarians and people in the community, coming together to do something good for their fellow men and women and children.
How could we be so successful in only 2 weeks?  Did we have a mass of people working on the project? NO. Did we have a marketing firm and news outlets advertise? NO. What made this work was 3 people and some additional partners and enablers
  1. Cynthia Anthony — Community Services Chair in PR Rotary — owner of a theater company and the mastermind behind the slogan Drop your Drawers
  2. Evan Langstaff — student at Cuesta College and the President of North County Rotaract Club — he designed the flyer — and he’s only 20years old
  3. Joe Irick — in Rotary only 5 years — wine grape grower and member of the Rotary Board — committee member
  4. Partner in the get out the word --Jeff Railsback at PR Chamber who put out several notices to the Chamber members
  5. Enablers— Idlers Home, Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, Rick Goree State Farm Insurance company— collection boxes located for drop off
Whenever the Drop your Drawers slogan was mentioned at meetings or via emails, it brought smiles to people faces and a reminder for them to contribute to the effort. With so much pain, suffering and political issues in our communities, we found that there are many people who want to do something good that they can be proud of.  
We never thought that underwear would be that spark to light the fire of giving back to the community.   But that’s what happened.  And it was such a simple thing to do……… at virtually not cost to our Rotary Club.
I wanted you to know this because, in these times of pandemic and division, our Rotary Clubs can do simple things in their communities to bring people together in a way they may never have thought of.  There are also a lot of people in these communities that don’t know much about Rotary, but want to help others where they live.  
Maybe by helping our Rotary Clubs get more visibility in their hometowns, by doing simple things for others less fortunate than us, we can once again grow the Rotary brand and membership.