Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsancak during their trip down the Mississippi River.
By Ken Robertshaw, Rotary Club of Halifax, Yorkshire
On 7 August, my friend Grace and I set out on an expedition to kayak the length of the Mississippi River. We completed the journey on 4 October.
Our goal was to raise funds for a charity in the United Kingdom, The Theodora Children’s Trust, that places specialist entertainers in Children’s hospitals and hospices to cheer up ill children and assist their recovery through laughter.
The journey was not without problems. We encountered severe electrical storms, woke Continue reading
Ken Robertshaw and Grace Alsancak during a stop in the kayaking challenge.
By Ken Robertshaw, a member of the Rotary Club of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
I had the misfortune of seriously injuring my leg 35 years ago, requiring six operations, and the leg still troubles me. So I know how challenging hospital stays can be, even with the best efforts of the medical staff.
Imagine how much worse it is for a child; frightened, sick, and away from family and friends. A while ago, I learned about a small charity in the United Kingdom called the Theodora Children’s Trust that specializes in sending in trained entertainers to bring mirth and merriment to children in the hospital. Continue reading
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Luke Addison at the PeaceJam conference in Monaco.
By Luke Addison, a member of the Rotaract Club of University of Winchester, England
Two years ago, two members of the Winchester Rotary Club gave a talk at the University of Winchester. I was so inspired by the work they described and their own personal reasons for joining that I stayed to ask them how I could help out.
Eventually the experience motivated me to seek out other students and form a Rotaract Club. The club took off amazingly, and through our local and international service projects, my eyes were open to the amazing work Rotary and Rotaract members do. I developed a passion for the world outside Winchester and a strong desire to make a difference. Continue reading
David Johnson (right) and his son, Tom (left) with their sherpa on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
By John Hiscock, past president of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England
The exciting thing about Rotary is being able to get to know and serve alongside some fantastic individuals, who help inspire us all to greater things. David Johnson, a member of my club, is one such person, who has captured the imagination of our local community, and inspired members of Rotary throughout our district with his fundraising dedication. Continue reading
Ade Adepitan with other polio survivors in Nigeria.
By Ade Adepitan, polio survivor, United Kingdom broadcaster, and former Paraylmpian.
I contracted polio at the age of 15 months while living in Lagos, Nigeria. I had been given two drops of the polio vaccine, but the virus caught me before I had the third and final drop which would have protected me for life. Continue reading
Above: Dolly Patron talks about the Imagination Library and the partnership with Rotary during the 2010 Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
By David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation
The wonderful partnership between Dolly Parton and Rotary International continues to flourish in communities both large and small all across the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most recently Australia.
Although every community approaches the program in its own way, one thing impresses me much more than dollars raised or even time invested –and this is the enormous influence Rotarians exert in their communities. Continue reading
Rotary International and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
have an ongoing partnership to put books into the hands of children in communities both large and small all across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Continue reading
By Harriet “Pepi” Noble, a member of the Rotary Club of Mechanicville, New York, USA
ShelterBox deployment near Bologna, Italy, following a 5.9-magnitude earthquake 20 May. Photo by James Edgerley/ShelterBox
For the over one million people whose lives have been saved the answer is easy: it’s a ShelterBox. Founded in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, this international disaster relief charity delivers emergency shelter including a 10 person tent, blankets, cooking utensils, water storage and purification and other essential life saving equipment all wrapped in a big green box. Continue reading
You can never get enough books in the hands of children, says country music legend Dolly Parton.
Since 2009, Rotary International has been working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading. Through the program, a child receives an age-appropriate book each month until age five. Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been teaming up with Dolly to bring books to children in roughly 300 communities.
Dolly talks about the reasons she began her program, in this video from the Imagination Library. You can also read about Rotary’s work with the Imagination Library in the March issue of The Rotarian. David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation, took part in a literacy webinar sponsored by Rotary on Tuesday.
Steve Root organized a Rotary display in Canterbury.
By Steve Root, Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise, England
Three years ago I was invited to a Rotary meeting by a customer. I’d heard of Rotary but really had no idea what the organization did.
I quickly realized that everyone there wanted to do good things in the community and that together, we could achieve a lot more than we could as individuals. I’d be able to join in and help with projects others were working on — for example, helping at a charity fundraising day — as a new member.