Posted by Bob Wicks on Mar 25, 2023
From left: Interact Vice President Annika Johnson, President Courtney Stevens, and The Open Door’s Director of Operations and an Ipswich-Rowley Rotarian Jen Perry.  (photo by Bob Snow) 
Several leaders of the Ipswich High School Interact Club were on hand last Thursday morning, at the regular meeting of the sponsoring Ipswich-Rowley Rotary club, to update the Rotarians on their 2022-23 projects.  During the meeting, Interact presented a check to 'The Open Door' food pantry, which serves the Cape Ann region from their locations in Gloucester and Ipswich.  
The club also informed us of their progress in providing micro-loans to small business operators in developing countries in Africa and South America.  We learned that the micro loan project is administered through Kiva, a non-profit organization that “allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs and students in 80 countries.  Kiva’s mission is to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.”  These loans are slowly paid back over time, enabling the club to help more people. 
Interact is a service oriented club sponsored jointly by the Ipswich Public Schools and Ipswich-Rowley Rotary.  The club is advised by Rotarian Keith Harris.  Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of ‘Service Above Self’.  The money that supports their initiatives was raised through fundraising events such as the Jingle Bell Walk.