President Chris Krueger opened the meeting with Allan Cady offering the invocation and Dan Coons leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Attendance Drawing
Greg Okonowski's badge number was on the token that was drawn making him the lucky $5 winner of the attendance drawing.
Weekly Raffle
The weekly raffle was back to normal proportions with all 52 cards in the starting deck of a new quest for the ace of spades.  Allan Cady's ticket was drawn, making him the winner of $27.00.  He did not draw the elusive ace of clubs so the new accumulating winnings will begin with $27.00 rolling over to next week.
Happy Dollars
Several Rotarians paid happy dollars.  Allan Cady paid $10 to share information about a club he and Polly visited in San Diego while vacationing there.  It was club number 33 - one of the oldest clubs in the nation.  They have 500 members with 200 attending most weeks.  When they arrived, they went through a receiving area where they selected from three lunch options and were given a chip to put on the table so the wait staff would know what to serve.  The cost of the meal was $33.00.  Bios were shared of some of the Rotarians featured at the meeting - a good way to engage members in such a large club.  The meeting lasted from noon til 1:30 p.m.  They have club foundations with balances totaling over $1,000,000.  Their expected annual giving per member was $350.00.  Polly got to  use the last of the ten happy dollars Allan paid to tell that they won the prize for visiting Rotarians who had traveled the longest distance to attend the meeting.  She received a t-shirt and a bottle of wine.  Polly did not offer to auction either of those gifts.  Dan Coons paid to warn Rotarians that his youngest son would soon be on the road as he is soon getting his driving permit.  Chuck Flint was happy to have spent time recently in Greer, Arizona with friends.  Dick Myren contributed $1 to honor Rod Daniels' tradition of being happy to be a member of Mesa West Rotary.  John Pennypacker contributed for local temps less than 100°, which is apparently when he finds it cool enough to wear long pants.  Pam Cohen paid sad dollars for the passing of the Queen of Soul - Aretha  Franklin. 
Visiting Rotarian, Miniandi, from India, presented a book to President Chris.  His son was attending with him.  Melody Jackson proudly introduced her boyfriend (her husband of 35 years - Randy).  Aubrey Luma was happy to have her mother, Susan, and both of her sons with her.  Jeanie Morgan introduced Cay Humphreys, and author and professor, who was visiting our club at the suggestion of a friend who told her that they believed her values were closely aligned with those of Rotary.  Pam Cohen introduced our speaker, Jamie Podratz.
  • President Chris was happy to announce that, after a project spanning several years, updated Bylaws and Constitution documents to govern our club have been distributed to members via e-mail for their approval.  Members were asked to review the documents received as attachments to their e-mail, but only need to respond if they have questions or concerns about the documents.  A nil response will be considered a vote for approval.  Chris offered her sincere thanks to Lucinda General, Greg Okonowski, Aaron Huber, Jim Schmidt and the entire board for their diligent work to get these to this final stage.
  • To optimize the experience of our inbound Youth Exchange Student, Caio, Chris wants club members to engage him.  Dan Coons is going to coordinate a list of things Caio hopes to do while in Arizona, enlisting hosts for those activities from our membership.
  • Chris Krueger attended Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) in Flagstaff the weekend of August 11-12.  The session she attended was about member engagement.
  • Darl Andersen told about a trip to Hermosillo, Mexico where Mesa West is involved as a international partner club with a Rotary Foundation micro credit grant.  The Hermosillo Rotary Club is the local partner club.  Fin Reg. a business which manages the project, hosted the group that rode nine hours each way on a bus to learn about the process where small loans are made to disadvantaged local residents.  98% of the loans are to poor women enabling them to start small business ventures to provide income for their families.  The repayment rate of the loans is 98%.  The funds roll over as they are repaid to be available for new borrowers.  One of the things that Darl learned was that Hermasillo has four Rotary Clubs, and one of them is all women.  Pam Cohen and Gloria Lara (Mesa West's newest member) also participated in the informational trip.
Program - Jamie Podratz, Marketing and Outreach Manager with Save the Family Foundation of Arizona
Pam Cohen was introduced to our speaker by Wayne Risch.  Jamie Podratz joined Save the Family in 2018 after relocating to the area from Minneapolis-Saint Paul. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University and a Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. Podratz has spent her entire career working in philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, serving as development officer and later as program officer for a national Native American organization for seven years. There, she worked with tribal nations across the country in reclaiming reservation lands and launching land-based development projects aimed at restoring the economic base to Indian Country. Before moving to Arizona, she led a small youth-focused environmental education nonprofit in Minnesota. She is passionate about human rights and social justice.
Jamie is new to Save the Family, but was prepared with an excellent PowerPoint Presentation to help her inform members and guests about their programs.  Their mission is to equip families to address poverty, overcome homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency.  The organization was founded in 1988 to address the growing problem of family homelessness in the East Valley.  Their goal is to keep families together.
In the nation, Arizona ranks 49th for availability of affordable housing.  For every 100 families seeking housing, only 20 affordable housing units are available.  It is important to find affordable housing in safe areas with available public transportation. 
Of the families they serve, 60% have experienced domestic violence.  The first priority is to get the family into safe housing, then go on to them in obtaining food stamps, tutoring, counseling services, and job training, with day care on site.  They have rapid rehousing with their long-term shelter.  At their Valor facility, they have supportive services for women veterans and their families.  They have 50 units at that facility, 45 of which are low income housing.  All together they have 310 housing units.  In 2017, they served 688 families.
They have a case management method that is a best practice model for prevention of recurrent homelessness.  Their primary support services are Career development, children's programs, financial literacy, parenting and life-skills classes, food and clothing, fees for after school and summer programs for children, and access to additional community services.  These services are provided by paid staff and volunteers.
There are many ways to support, the the best way is with actual funds, which can be used where the need is greatest.  Basic need donations are always needed and welcome, such as cleaning supplies and towels, air mattresses and bedding, clothing for children and adults, and kitchen essentials.  They have a big need for non-perishable food items.  School supplies and school uniforms are also needed.  Items can be donated at their office of at the donation site on Country Club Drive.
Volunteer groups clean and refresh the living units for each new move-in.  School supplies needed to be given out at their annual Back to School Bash.  They have an adopt-a-family Thanksgiving drive, and opportunities to sponsor a family for Christmas.  Jamie said that the families' wish lists are often for things like socks or other daily needs, rather than for elaborate toys or electronics.  Sponsors or patrons are needed for their annual Hearts of Gold Gala held each February near Valentine's Day.  They host a family success night where successes of beneficiaries are celebrated.
John Benedict pointed out that Mesa West Rotary las been involved since their beginning.  See a separate article in this Messenger with more information about this part of Mesa West history.  Dr. Ron Thompson reminded members that his dental practice provides free dental benefits to those being served by Save The Family.