Wow, what a program! Even as the hallowed adjournment time came, and passed, Daybreak Rotarians sat in quiet awe. Not one left the meeting. What passion: THAT is what puts the "R" in Rotarian.


Tacit approval was clear from the quiet and considered response of the Club. It is clear that an Adoption Awareness program is something the Daybreak will consider carefully.

Armed with the concept of Service Above Self, one small club in San Benito, Texas embarked on what has led to a major program developing in the USA.  This program simply is one that honors children who have been taken from their parents for reasons of abuse or neglect and placed in foster care. Adoption Awareness throws a party for these children once a year.  It is a venue that provides a special time for prospective adopting parents to observe those who are the few who will never be allowed to return to their birth parents.  It is there that they find special children in the direst of needs and special people who need a special child to complete their family.

Lionel Betancourt is the "father" of the program. He explained its origin and workings while enticing the Club to think about this as a project. Lionel spoke of how 15 years ago the San Benito Rotary Club had only a handful of kids to the party and now the Rotary-sponsored Adoption Awareness has spread across Texas, to other states, and to a few other countries.

He mentioned Nigerian officials calling and wanting to know where to send their children. Lionel had to explain that the idea was to do match-ups right there in their own country. Nigeria now has a similar program.

Lionel Betancourt