Traveling around the world experiencing Rotary

By Brian Rocha, a member of the Rotary Club of Goleta, California, and District 5240 Public Relations Chair

I’ve done a bit of traveling in my life. But recently, I got an urge to turn my travel experience into something much more rewarding. I wanted to travel not just to travel, but to make an impact and make a difference in the world.

I pitched the idea to my Rotary club and Rotary International, and they were in full support. Support in terms of moral support. I financed the trip myself. So last year, I began an eight month journey visiting several different countries around the world, capturing pictures and video throughout the experience. 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

Little Free Libraries cropping up all over

A Little Free Library in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA.

A Little Free Library in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA.

By Harriet “Pepi” Noble, a member of the Rotary Club of Mechanicville, New York, USA

I grew up living on a country road in a small town in upstate New York. There were no other children nearby so my friends all lived in books. I helped Mary find the key to the garden, rode Black Beauty, sailed on the Hispaniola and solved mysteries with Nancy and so many more. I was never lonely, never bored. Continue reading

A reason to wear your Rotary pin

Ron Nethercutt

Ron Nethercutt

By Ron Nethercutt, past chair of the Rotarians on the Internet Fellowship and a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines

One of my unexpected surprises as a member of Rotary came during a large chamber of commerce meeting held at the Trade Center in New Orleans.

A young lady approached me and said “I want to thank you.” I asked “Why? Have we met?” She responded by saying she saw my Rotary pin that I was wearing and that she gave thanks to every Rotarian she saw.  Continue reading

Taking the law to the streets

Students in Washington, D.C., USA, learn basic legal concepts from the Street Law curriculum.

Students in Washington, D.C., USA, learn basic legal concepts from the Street Law curriculum.

By Divya Wodon and Naina Wodon, Interact Club of Washington International School, and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington, Washington D.C., USA.

Why do you teach the children to jump up at our throat? This question was once asked by an unhappy South African high school principal to Ed O’Brien, a long-time member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., USA, and founder of Street Law, a nonprofit that strives to teach individuals and communities, especially in underserved areas, about the law. Continue reading

Safe drinking water for every child

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

Rotary members tour one of the schools that received water coolers and purification systems.

By Nosherwan Khalil Khan, a member of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan

Earlier this month, Rotary members from Pakistan and India joined together to provide clean drinking water to two government-run schools in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Continue reading

Empowering young minds by promoting reading

Books Feeding Minds project participants. Photo courtesy of Judy Backlund

Books Feeding Minds project participants. Photo courtesy of Judy Backlund

By Judy Backlund, past president of the Ellensburg Morning Rotary Club, Washington, USA, and chair of International Reading Association-Rotary International Special Interest Group.

First and foremost, I am a teacher. I have also been a member of the International Reading Association for 20 years. And I’m a member of Rotary. My involvement with Rotary began about eight years ago when I attended a fireside event with my husband, also a Rotary member. One of the presentations described Rotarian-led U.S. and international literacy related projects. As a teacher I sat in awe and by the end of the presentation my head was spinning by possibilities. I said “sign me up.” Continue reading

What kind of a doctor are you?

Don Messer with students from Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Don Messer with students from Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

By Divya Wodon and Naina Wodon, Interact Club of Washington International School, and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.,USA

How come you know so much? What kind of a doctor are you? The child who asked this question to (Dr.) Don Messer is from the Stanton Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The school is located in Anacostia, one of the poorest parts of the city. Until recently, few children passed the mathematics and reading tests, but things have improved, in part because of a tutoring program run by Don. Continue reading

Rotary, a matter of the heart

Manaka

Manaka Kuwabara

By Joseph Batory, past president of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Six years ago, I agreed to serve on my district’s scholarship committee. I now have many fond memories of helping 12 students attain fully subsidized Rotary International scholarships abroad. I have also counseled and befriended 23 Rotary scholars from around the world who have studied in Philadelphia.

I could easily highlight some of the “scholar characters” I have met or even some marriages that have occurred among Rotary scholars studying here in Philadelphia, but I would rather emphasize just one story that illustrates the magnificence of Rotary. Continue reading

How to tell your Rotary story

Roy Gandy, left, members of the Rotary Club of Madison, Georgia, and volunteers stand by a ramp they built for a 47-year-old woman who had suffered a severe stroke in January.

Roy Gandy, left, and volunteers stand by a ramp they built for a 47-year-old woman who suffered a severe stroke in January.

By Antoinette Tuscano, Rotary International staff

As manager of Rotary International’s social media channels, I’ve heard from Rotary members who say they don’t have a good story to tell about their club. But everyone has a story to tell. And I’ve heard some good ones from Rotarians.

You might look at a ramp outside of a house, and just see a wooden ramp. I see a lot of heart – as well as a way to help attract members and donations to a Rotary club. Continue reading