Partner with others to tell Rotary’s story

Richmond residents read about a service project during the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset's Winter Wonderland.

Richmond residents read about a service project during the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset’s Winter Wonderland.

By Penny Offer, Rotary Public Image Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Ladner (Delta), British Columbia

Every year in Richmond, British Columbia, thousands of people stream through the atrium of City Hall to mingle among beautifully decorated Christmas trees, enjoy some holiday cheer, and learn how local Rotary members are making a difference in the community and around the world.

The Winter Wonderland event, held for the past 13 years by the Rotary Club of Richmond Sunset, is a spectacular example of what you can accomplish when you partner with other businesses and Continue reading

Three reasons to strengthen Rotary’s image

131008_jonesBy Jennifer Jones, a member of the RI Communications Committee

Over the past two years, Rotary has undertaken an unprecedented amount of research to study the effectiveness of how we communicate with each other and also to look at perceptions about the organization from the community at large.

What’s likely not surprising is that we determined we have all of the strengths necessary for greatness in our second century of service. However, when we looked at awareness about our organization in the greater public arena, they quite simply don’t know about us. It is very easy to ask the question – how can this be true? Continue reading

Using your vocation to mentor students

Students take part in a field trip as part of the Pathfinders program, a project of the Rotary Club of Rappahannock Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA.

Students take part in a field trip as part of the Pathfinders program, a project of the Rotary Club of Rappahannock-Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA.

By R. Scott Lyons, a member of the Rotary Club of Rappahannock-Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA 

How can you use your vocational skills to help students prepare for life after graduation? Three years ago, our club set out to answer that question with the help of Germanna Community College, the Spotsylvania Education Foundation, and our local high school. Here’s what we discovered. Continue reading

Preparing future leaders to pursue peace

Elsa Garcia Soto at the United Nations in New York.

Elsa Soto Garcia at the United Nations in New York.

By Elsa Soto Garcia, Rotaract Club of Mexicali Industrial, Mexico 

Walking through the doors of the United Nations headquarters building in New York was an awesome experience. Sitting in a room full of students from 30 different nationalities, sharing ideas on how to promote the model UN programs in our countries, was even more amazing.

I have been taking part in model UN programs for many years. Continue reading

Lessons I learned in teamwork

130912_enricoBy Enrico Giuseppe Ferro, past president of the Yale University Rotaract Club, New Haven, USA, winner of the 2013 “Rotaract Outstanding Project Award for the USA, Canada and Caribbean Districts” 

In 2009, I took part in a Rotary Youth Exchange to Canandaigua, New York, USA, which taught me many things about teamwork.

I worked side by side with Rotarians and other exchange students to develop strategies to enhance our service efforts. We held themed-cuisine nights where we cooked and sold food native to our home countries to raise money for projects and shared ideas on how to promote each other’s good works. I realized how through Rotary I could work with people from many different perspectives to tackle urgent problems in our communities.

Continue reading

What do you tell your children about Rotary?

Simone and Ariana Collins.

Simone and Ariana Collins.

By Simone Collins, past president of the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay, Western Australia, Australia

I have never forgotten a conversation I had with a Rotarian who was one of our strongest supporters, back when I was still a Rotaractor. Her own children had never joined Rotary or Rotaract, because they didn’t want to belong to something “boring” like their parents did! I was gobsmacked.

What precisely are we as Rotarians telling our children about Rotary? What do they see? Do they just see you going to “boring” meetings? Or do they see what inspires you about Rotary? Continue reading

The day we became a real Rotary club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

By Adrian Nelson, past president of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira, Australia

Last year, the wife of our district governor told me during their visit to our club that we had the best chips out of the whole district. She meant it as a compliment!

I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira for ten years. In the past year, we have celebrated our 25th anniversary with video messages from past youth exchange students and scholars and a look back at how we sent medical equipment to a needy hospital in rural Peru and set up computers for poor students in Brazil. A contingent from our friendship club, the Rotary Club of Ogaki West, Japan, even came over to my home for an Aussie barbecue, meeting my sons, age 5 and 7. We keep busy!  Continue reading

Using Facebook to promote Rotary

130828_wagner1By Erin Wagner, a member of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis South, Minnesota, USA

I am a product of Rotary’s youth programs, which taught me some amazing lessons. For example:

Open-Mindedness
A farm girl from Idaho, my youth exchange to France (2001-02) and the associated culture shock taught me to be aware of and question my assumptions, and to recognize that people are people all over the world. Continue reading

The happier we are, the better we serve

Mary Berge on a service project in the Dominican Republic. "Rotary service makes me happy," Berge says.

Mary Berge on a service project in the Dominican Republic. “Rotary service makes me happy,” she says.

By Mary Berge, a Rotary Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA

Did you know that people are more interested in the “why” than the “how?”

This applies strongly to Rotary membership. It’s far less interesting how you became a Rotarian than why you became, and why you remain, a Rotarian.

I became a Rotarian because of my innate character to give. I am, by nature, altruistic and I believe in doing the right thing (even when no one is looking). In a nut shell, I feel good when I’m helping others. I remain in Rotary because I feel good when I’m helping others. Continue reading

Cultivating a powerful social media presence

By Antoinette Tuscano, Rotary editorial staff

Social media has been a powerful tool in spreading Rotary’s message. When BigMarker conducted a survey this summer of which nonprofits in the Chicago market had made the biggest impact on social media, Rotary came out on top in our use of Twitter and Facebook (231,000 Facebook likes and 204,000 Twitter followers), second in use of all social media in the Chicago area, and 20th in the United States.

I was approached by BigMarker to answer a few questions for their blog on what it took to cultivate our social media presence. Here’s a bit of what I shared. You can see the full article here. Continue reading