Father, sons summit Kilimanjaro to aid typhoon survivors

David Johnson (right) and his sons on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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

One drop away from a polio-free life

Ade Adepitan with other polio survivors in Nigeria.

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

Dolly, Rotary put books into the hands of children


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

What’s big, green, and saves lives?

ShelterBox deployment near Bologna, Italy, following a 5.9-magnitude earthquake 20 May. Photo by James Edgerley/ShelterBox

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

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 by Rotarian Tom Henderson, 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

Dolly and Rotary help spread literacy

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.

Sharing the tale of polio in Canterbury

Steve Root organized a Rotary display in Canterbury.

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.

Continue reading