In this season of festivities, mysteries, blessings and miracles, I reflect upon Rotary International and the profound impact it has had on my life. I joined Rotary just seven years ago and since that time, I have gotten to meet, and get to know, hundreds and likely thousands of people I would otherwise not have had a chance to encounter. People in my community and across the globe. This has broadened my world-view and understanding of humanity. In many ways, Rotary has helped me to understand what it means to be a global citizen.
Rotary has also encouraged and supported me to transform ideas into reality. Through grants from the Rotary Foundation, my husband and I were able to take a kernel of an idea and develop it into a project that ultimately involved eight Rotary and Interact clubs, more than 400 community volunteers, serving in excess of 1,500 hours and providing over 150,000 meals to food insecure families in our community.
Through the leadership roles Rotary has offered, from club Treasurer, club President, Assistant Governor and now District Governor-Elect, I have enhanced my organizational and people skills. It is my desire and intention to use these skills effectively when serving as District Governor.
Rotary has helped me appreciate the power of small acts, such as encouraging a second grader to develop her reading skills and providing shoes to children in a developing country so that they can attend school.
Rotary, a non-political and non-religious organization, has incorporated some of the key messages of the world’s great philosophies and faiths into the central tenets of the organization.
- Rotary is a community of kind-hearted people; we recognize the value of friendship and fellowship, to encourage and support each other. The fellowship of Rotary, helps us to create lasting, positive change, in ourselves and in the community.
- Rotarians uphold high ethical standards, in all we think, say and do. We strive to live by The Four-Way Test, an expanded version of the Golden Rule.
- Rotarians welcome strangers from afar and encourage dialog among people of diverse backgrounds. Rotary has many programs that support cross cultural understanding and peace: Rotary International Convention, Youth Exchange, Peace Centers, Vocational Training Teams, Global Scholarships, Friendship Exchanges, The International Travel and Hosting Fellowship and of course, international service projects.
- Rotarians are a beacon of hope for many. We are problem-solvers, creating sustainable solutions to problems big and small. Rotarians take action with projects that: support education, save mothers and children, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, fight disease, grow local economies, and promote peace.
I am strengthened by the support of the Rotary community, and I am humble by, and grateful for, the gift that is Rotary.
Rotary welcomes adults of good character, who are willing to give of themselves to make their community and world a better place. Learn more: www.rotary.org