By 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
By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales
I’ve been volunteering with Rotary ever since I was a kid. Well, since I was 18. Originally, I joined for my own selfish reasons. I wanted to meet new people and find a girlfriend. I didn’t join because of some great desire to help change the world. I hadn’t had much experience with that at the time. But I soon realized what a difference I was making. Continue reading
Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.
By Rotary Voices staff
As the year draws to a close, we recap our top five stories of the year (based on number of views):
- During her Rotary Youth Exchange to the United States, Argentinian Victoria Alvarez met teenagers from all over the world and learned how to appreciate different points of view. Alvarez shared how her Rotary Youth Exchange opened her eyes.
- Chris Davidson, a member of the Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia, joined 29 other Rotary members under the age of 40 during a Young Professionals Summit in Chicago to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals. Davidson shared what young professionals are looking for in Rotary.
- Jurag Gago, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Slovakia, fell in love with Chicago during his year in the United States, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Aurora Sunrise. Gago shared how Rotary Youth Exchange exceeded his expectations.
- Bill Wittich, past president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise, Elk Grove, California, USA, is the kind of guy who hangs out in the local Starbucks. Wittich discovered that the best way to invite someone to join Rotary is to ask.
- Ron Nethercutt, a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines, shares his reason for wearing a Rotary pin. Nethercutt was attending a large chamber of commerce meeting in New Orleans when he was approached by a young lady who thanked him. When he asked why, she recounted how her Rotary scholarship allowed her to earn a master’s degree in international banking and improve her life circumstances.
Lark, 5 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, is already a Paul Harris Fellow.
By Brent D. Rosenthal, Rotary Club of Westerville, Ohio
As a Major Donor to our Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Society Member, I have accumulated a lot of recognition points over the years and have sought every opportunity to give them away. I have made my wife, three daughters, and son-in-law Paul Harris Fellows. I have also used my points to promote Foundation giving. But I still have a lot of points and have waited for grandchildren to come along to bring more Paul Harris Fellows to Rotary. Continue reading
Tara Strunk, right, and Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang at the Rotary China Conference.
By Tara Strunk, Rotary Club of Shanghai
We all become Rotarians for a reason. Each of us has different reasons, but we all have a reason.
Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang inspired more than 130 attendees at the Rotary China Conference held in Shanghai recently with his experiences, his passion for growing Rotary (especially in China), and his family’s commitment and involvement in Rotary.
During the two-day conference, President Gary shared with us his theme for 2014-15, Light Up Rotary. This theme is particularly meaningful to Rotarians in China as many of us studied Continue reading
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
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
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
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.
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