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

What young professionals are looking for in Rotary

Rotary members who attended the Young Professional Summit 26-27 September.

Rotary members who attended the Young Professionals Summit 26-27 September.

By Chris Davidson, Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia

I attended the first-ever Rotary Young Professionals Summit held in Chicago on 26-27 September, which gathered 30 Rotarians under the age of 40 to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals.

The summit was a huge success and thoroughly captured the essence of what Millennials and members of Generation Y are looking for — mentorship, friendship, opportunities, and fun. One of my Rotary mentors, past RI Vice President Anne L. Matthews, who I had worked with on district membership projects, had encouraged me to apply.

Joining Rotary as a 32-year-old young professional was a life-changing event. 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.

Home doesn’t have just one name: lessons from a youth exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange students from several countries in Paris.

Rotary Youth Exchange students from several countries in Paris.

Elizabeth, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from District 6080 (Missouri, USA) to France

I used to think that the sky only stretched on for as far as I could see, and then where my vision became blurred, the world ceased to exist.

I used to think that happiness came from surrounding myself with things that brought me comfort. I used to think the best friends I would ever have were the ones I’d known forever. I used to think that in order to call someone family meant they had to be related by blood. And I used to think that home only had one name. Continue reading

Rotaract members in East Africa unite in service

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By Sarah Maingi, Rotaract representative from Kenya

On a warm Saturday morning in April, about 100 Rotaractors from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi gathered at a community in Buterere in Bujumbura, Burundi, to provide households with clean drinking water.

Some of the Rotaractors, myself included, had traveled over 1,000 kilometers by road, and all sacrificed their Easter holidays to serve. Continue reading

Your chance to serve at the Sydney Convention

Rotary will be attempting to set two records during the BridgeClimb at the Sydney convention.

Rotary will be attempting to set two records during the BridgeClimb at the Sydney convention.

By Mark Maloney, chair of the Sydney Convention Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA

We’ve put a lot of effort this year into giving you a chance to serve alongside fellow Rotary members from around the globe during the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney 1-4 June. I’m excited to share some of those opportunities with you, and looking forward to seeing how members get engaged by actively getting involved.

Labyrinth for Literacy
You can begin your service experience by donating one or more new children’s Continue reading

Membership tools you can use

Paul Roy

Paul Roy

By Paul R. Roy, membership chair for Rotary District 7820 (Canada)

Sometimes you do not have to climb over the fence or scale a wall. All you have to do is stand on your toes and peek over the top to get a new view of things.

While attending a conference in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA, for Rotary Zones 24 and 32 this past September, this thought came to my mind. “They can’t see over the fence.” Many of the district membership leaders were expressing all the challenges they have with membership growth and retention despite all their efforts. Continue reading

Recruiting for the Paul Harris Society

Yale Jones

Yale Jones

By Yale Jones, Rotary Club of Taos-Milagro, New Mexico, USA 

This year, I undertook the responsibility of Paul Harris Society coordinator for District 5520 in the charter year of this new giving program. As a leader for any new initiative like this, you never know what the response will be, but I saw it as an opportunity to share my passion for the work I am able to do through The Rotary Foundation with other Rotarians.  Continue reading

You are never too young to change the world

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton present a certificate to Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay (left) and RI President Ron Burton recognize Lucia Gomez Garcia during the Presidential New Generations Conference in Rosario, Argentina.

By RI Director Celia Elena Cruz De Giay, Rotary Club of Arrecifes, Buenos Aires, Argentina

When RI President Ron Burton asked me to convene one of his five Presidential New Generations Conferences, I was thrilled with the idea. I know firsthand the potential our youth represent, especially after accompanying my husband, Luis Vicente, as President of Rotary International in 1996-97, as we took part in 21 Presidential Conferences for New Generations around the world that year. Luis’ vision for youth set the stage for Rotary International’s support of New Generations and the creation of Rotary clubs composed of young people.

Continue reading