Paul Harris on the need for Rotary

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

Paul Harris, soon after he started practicing law in Chicago in 1896.

By Rotary Heritage Communications staff

In My Road to Rotary, Paul Harris recalled how his longing for friendship like that he had known in Vermont was one of his inspirations for founding Rotary in 1905. But in 1935, in This Rotarian Age, he wrote of the need for Rotary, from a wider perspective:

“It is conceivable that Rotary might have been born under sunnier skies, in a climate more equable, and in a city of mental composure; but many will contend that there could have been no more favorable birthplace for Rotary than paradoxical Chicago, where the battle for civic righteousness was being so fiercely waged.” Continue reading

Ten years of changing lives in Honduras

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

A woman in Chaguiton, Honduras, pulls the string to turn on her new ceiling light. Photo courtesy Neal Beard

By Neal Beard, past president of the Rotary Club of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA

Rotary members from District 6760 returned from Central America on 5 Feburary, after completing a 59-home electrification project in Chaguiton, Honduras. This was the tenth leg of a journey that began in 2006 for my club.

Over the course of the last ten years, the most exciting and rewarding moments of our lives took place not in the office, or on the shop floor, or while sitting in front of a computer screen, but in the remote mountain villages of southern Honduras.

Those moments have been filled with pure emotion. Like the time when a mother and her children looked on as we built a water storage tank and laundry table that would eliminate their Continue reading

Incoming district governors excited to ‘be a gift’

150119_themeBy Ryan Hyland, Rotary editorial staff

Incoming district governors enthusiastically greeted the presidential theme for 2015-16, Be a Gift to the World, during a dinner 18 January at the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event for future district leaders. RI President-elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran is asking Rotary members to use their talents, expertise, and leadership in the coming year to transform the lives of others.

We caught up with incoming district governors after the theme was announced to get their thoughts. Continue reading

Wildlife runs revive South African club

Peter Watson runs in the Savannah Africa wildlife park.

Peter Watson runs in the Savannah Africa wildlife park.

By Judy Brown, a member of the Rotary Club of Parys, South Africa

Raising funds is crucial when you are faced with rebuilding a club. I am an avid runner and enjoy a holiday home in a beautiful area of South Africa, so I decided organizing a race would be a perfect fit.

My partner, Peter Watson, has been a Rotarian for many years. I never joined Rotary in the United Kingdom, where we live. But when we bought our second home in Parys, South Africa, Continue reading

Economist explains why it’s worth giving to The Rotary Foundation

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

The Muso pilot, a project supported by Rotarians in Washington D.C., has significantly reduced deaths from malaria. Photo courtesy of Muso

By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington D.C.

This is November — Foundation month for Rotary. As the co-chair of my club’s Rotary Foundation committee, together with my other co-chairs Nancy Riker and Kenneth Kimbrough, I have been asking members to donate. As an economist, I had to give clear reasons why. So here are my top five reasons to donate: Continue reading

Why not spice up your next installation dinner?

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

By Jerry Venters, a  member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza

I’ve been a member of Rotary since 1989, and I have never heard of or participated in a changing of the guard ceremony like the one held in District 6040, Missouri, USA, this year. It had more energy and enthusiasm, participation, and fun than any I’ve attended!

The district governor for 2014-15, Cassy Venters (full disclosure here: my wife) began thinking two years earlier about how she could make the event different and uphold the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. She chose to make it a service project with our local food bank, Harvesters – The Community Food Network. Continue reading

What Rotary is doing to feed the hungry

Doing Good in Seattle from Rotary International on Vimeo.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary First Harvest, a program of Rotary District 5030 (Washington, USA), diverts millions of pounds of fruit and vegetables from food waste into the hands of those in need. Rotary members play a crucial role at every level. In honor of World Food Day 16 October, watch the video above, and read more from the program’s director, David Bobanick, a member of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island, Washington, on Rotary Service Connections.

These women of Rotary are changing the world

Rotary's Women of Action in Washington D.C. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Eight of Rotary’s Women of Action in Washington D.C. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Julia D. Phelps, RI director

As I sat in the audience at the White House on 7 October, listening to 10 amazing Rotary women tell the stories of their volunteer efforts, two quotes kept running through my mind. First, “Be the change you wish to be in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi) and second, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has” (Margaret Mead).

In fact, these 10 women took these two quotes, put them together and created projects, foundations, and fundraising efforts that changed their world and the world of others. It struck me that all of their efforts started with one woman who saw a need, a problem, and then went about addressing the situation. They didn’t get permission, they didn’t write a business plan; they just got busy. They were brave and courageous as they stepped out to make a difference. And as their idea grew into reality, they realized that they couldn’t do it alone. That’s where their Rotary club members, their networks, and our Rotary Foundation, came into play. Continue reading

A Day at the White House with Rotary

Honorees speak during Rotary's Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Honorees speak during Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House 7 October. Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

By Adam Ross, Web Content Manager for Rotary.org

When I lost my state identification card while writing about Rotary’s Women of Action event at the White House on Tuesday, I didn’t have to panic by myself. A Rotarian was there to aid and comfort me.

I’m not surprised, but I’m thankful. Thankful we found my ID together so I could fly home to my family, and thankful to have made a new friend.

I had never been on the White House campus before, but the site was far less impressive than our Rotarians. Ten of them were honored as Rotary’s Women of Action, and they gracefully shared their stories. There are too many amazing projects to write about here, but we documented them on Rotary.org. Continue reading

Roundup: Must-read posts of the month

By Rotary Voices staff

Here are some of our favorite blog posts from the past month, which focus on the transforming power of Rotary Youth Exchanges, the good work being done by Rotary Scholars around the world, and how to make the most of social media.

Share a link to your favorite blog post in the comments section below.