Changing Detroit one entrepreneur at a time!

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By Lawrence Wright
Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

The tagline above was one of the early lines we in Rotary District 6400 used during our LaunchDetroit open house events when we were telling our story to prospective applicants. Later, I remember thinking about that line and wondering if it was too much of a cliché.

Fast forward to today and I have become a true believer. This program, which we started in 2013 to provide microloans, training, and mentoring to those trying to start local businesses, has had that transformational effect on several budding entrepreneurs in Detroit. Continue reading

Rotary taught me how to be a socially conscious entrepreneur

Cynthia Salim models her brand of socially responsible professional wear for women in New York City.

Cynthia Salim models her brand of socially responsible professional wear for women in New York City. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Cynthia Salim

At the age of 21, I was a fervent student activist at Loyola Marymount University, walking picket lines to advocate for a living wage in Los Angeles, California, USA. I never would have imagined that at 28 I’d be starting a fashion label in New York City and doing social change work through a lifestyle brand. That’s the power of the Rotary experience — it widens perspectives and inspires change from every industry. Continue reading

Help Rotary make a positive difference on #GivingTuesday

Thank You #GivingTuesday from Rotary International on Vimeo.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people — children, families, and entire communities — benefit from projects funded by The Rotary Foundation. See how your generosity is making a positive difference in communities around the world. Then consider making a gift to The Rotary Foundation as part of #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday was founded two years ago by 92ndStreet Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The concept has been steadily growing since, with more than 10,000 charities and businesses taking part this year.

Amazing projects shared on Rotary Showcase

Women use Hippo Water Rollers in Africa to transport clean drinking water.

Women use Hippo Water Rollers in South Africa to transport clean drinking water.

By Rotary Voices staff

Rotary members in Juneau, Alaska, USA, are using their loose coins to create big change in different parts of the world.

The Rotary Club of Juneau-Gastineau collects nickels, dimes, and quarters from members in glass jars placed around the room during its weekly meetings. More than $8,000 has been collected since the program began. But more amazingly, the spare change has been turned into more than $39,000 in micro loans, by working through the microfinance website Kiva. Continue reading

Why your gift to The Foundation makes a difference

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

By Brenda Cressey, Rotary Club of Paso Robles, California

November gives us the chance to build greater ownership and pride in our Foundation. We have so much to celebrate. The new grant model, Rotary’s website, our publications, and our new branding effort all focus on building a strong message — the importance of contributing to and supporting our Rotary Foundation. Continue reading

Philippine Rotary Day shines a light on Rotary Community Corps

A member of the Rotary Community Corps Calawis harvests rambutan.

A member of the Rotary Community Corps Calawis harvests rambutan.

By Jesse Allerton, supervisor of Rotary Service Programs at Rotary International World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA.  

On 22 August, I had the opportunity to attend a national Rotary Day in Manila celebrating the accomplishments of Rotary Community Corps (RCCs) and other community service partners. The event was held at the Tuloy Foundation’s Don Bosco Streetchildren Village, an amazing nonprofit institution that has provided residential care and vocational training to more than 17,000 disadvantaged youth over the past 20 years. More than 600 Rotarians, RCC officers, and civic leaders came together for the event. Continue reading

Rotary Scholar helps the homeless through art

Katie (center) with two of her paintings, held by Liz Powers and her brother, Spencer.

Katie (center) with two of her paintings, held by Liz Powers and her brother, Spencer.

By Liz Powers, 2011-12 Rotary Scholar to Edinburgh, Scotland

“You feel like you are on guard 24/7,” shared Scott Benner, a homeless individual in the Boston area.

Scott is one of the many homeless individuals who has shared with me the everyday dangers and fears that he faces. My friend Katie Hickey Schultz faced similar challenges during her 10 years of chronic homelessness. Continue reading

As little as $2 a week does a world of good

140725_bergmanBy Teree Bergman, an assistant regional Rotary Foundation coordinator

A new Rotary year began 1 July, and that means it’s time to begin a new effort to have our members participate in Rotary’s work by donating to the Annual Fund. Rotary’s Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) initiative empowers every Rotary member to be part of the humanitarian accomplishments of The Rotary Foundation.

Let me share a number I find unbelievable. During the year that ended 30 June, only 44 of the 666 clubs in the southwest region of the United States where I serve as coordinator earned an EREY banner. That’s a whopping 6 percent! (And keep in mind, not every member has to give $100 to qualify for the banner; the banners go to clubs that achieve a $100 average per member with every member giving some amount, however small.)   Continue reading

Biking against hunger

By Benjamin Rasmus, a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle-International District, Washington, USA, and program director for Rotary First Harvest

Hunger exists across America.

Roughly 50 million Americans face hunger everyday.Simultaneously, there is incredible food waste — 130 billion pounds of edible food is wasted every year. Often highly nutritious produce is tossed because of cosmetic imperfections or market variations. Many Americans mistakenly believe food insecurity is a problem confined to developing countries. However, hunger is a serious issue facing families from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C., and everywhere in-between. Continue reading

Top 10 things you should know about the new Rotary Foundation funding model

140616_riseleyBy Ian Riseley, Rotary Foundation Trustee, Foundation Finance Committee chair

I’ve been very involved in the development of our Foundation’s new funding model and have closely followed the questions being raised about it in social media and elsewhere. The new funding model for The Rotary Foundation was developed because our ability to continue “doing good in the world” depends heavily on the Foundation having long-term financial stability. In the interests of improved communication and understanding of the changes, here are 10 important things to know about the new model, which becomes effective on 1 July 2015. Continue reading