According to sjrotary.org, The Rotary Club of San Jose, located in San Jose, California, was founded on March 11, 1914. There are currently 420 members and the club is the 8th largest in the world. The Rotary Club of San Jose has dedicated members who are engaged in civic, cultural, political, business, charitable and non-profit activities in San Jose, and is a very active, dedicated and vibrant club.
Representing the Rotary Club of San Jose on this mission are: Cyndie George (Recreation Therapist), Leslee Hamilton (Medical Records), Colleen Wynne (Ward Coordinator), and Jaime Chavez (Quartermaster).
“This is my 13th mission, my first mission was to Brazil. After my first mission, it wasn’t like anything I had ever experienced. To see children come in with these needs and by the end of the day they look completely different, they are just transformed and there is nothing like that. The feeling of changing a child’s life for the better and bringing them out into the open, it is probably as transformative for me as it is for the children.”- Cyndie George: Rotary Club of San Jose-Rotaplast Committee Co-Chair.
“This is my 4th mission, my first mission was to Guatemala City in 2014. I became involved in Rotaplast after hearing a compelling talk by Cyndie George. When I was younger, I was involved in the peace corps where I saw children with cleft lips and palates be ostracized and they were not given the right to an education. I felt like Rotaplast being part of Rotaplast was to come back full circle, to be able to come over and do something like this. I think we have a thriving program where Cyndie provides great leadership. Post-pandemic we have a resurgence of interest and we have recruited a lot of people that are interested in missions that are looking forward to participating in missions someday. I am excited about the sustainability of Rotaplast within our club.”- Leslee Hamilton: Executive Director- Rotary Club of San Jose Rotary
“This is my 10th mission. My first mission was to El Salvador. I am a pediatric nurse by profession and our first son had a cleft lip and palate. I had first hand experience and knowledge and I understood the need when we found out that in other countries there were babies that weren’t taken care of, we wanted to help. Every mission, I am just amazed by the medical staff that have come together to make a difference. It is really all about the surgeons the nurses, and the anesthesiologists. Its to heart warming and miraculous and it really does change the lives of these families.”-Colleen Wynne
“This is my 5th mission. My first was in 2014 to Cumana, Venezuela and my first role was as an interpreter. In this role, I was able to connect with the families, hear their stories and impact that it had on them. Knowing how much the surgeries affect the entire family and the community, and not just the child, changed my life. Regardless of where the mission is, regardless of the surgery, its life changing…and regardless of what my role is in the mission, I know that I am part of something incredible that changes lives. It has inspired me to have the goal of being a mission director for Rotaplast one day.”- Jaime Chavez