A passport to Rotary

Misha Garafalo created passports for her club members to fill with "visa" stamps of their service activities.

Misha Garafalo created passports for her club members to fill with “visa” stamps of their service activities.

By Misha Garafalo, president of the Rotary Club of Shorewood, Illinois, USA

As a former Rotary Youth Exchange student to Sweden more than a quarter century ago, one of my fondest possessions is my beloved passport filled with sought-after stamps from countries I visited so long ago.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to travel internationally in many years, every now and again, I would come across the passport, flip through the pages, and reminisce about the sights, smells, and sounds which stirred my global awareness, curiosity, and perspective.

When I became president of my club this year, the only African-American club president in Will County, Illinois, USA, I decided to incorporate the theme with my love of that impactful experience by creating Rotary-themed passports.

At my installation ceremony, each member received a “Passport To Rotary.” The “visa” on the inside had to be signed by me and the member as an understanding of their commitment to care. Subsequent stamps would be provided to help them engage Rotary through specific activities and projects within the club, community, district, and beyond.

At the end of my term, I will personally award Rotarians who have filled their passports with service and, hopefully, memories of how they changed lives.

35 thoughts on “A passport to Rotary

  1. Aloha from Hawaii! I would like to get a sample of your passport when it becomes available. Great idea. Mahalo, Nalani Flinn. Waianae Coast Rotary Club


    • Aloha, Edith! 🙂

      We will actually have something on the website very soon; the Club had a very busy fundraising weekend at our community’s huge festival – Thanks for the interest and support!


  2. Misha your idea is inspirational and I’d love to try it to wake up our small and tired club in the Caribbean. I’ve noted your site and that you will put the passport there soon. I’ll keep checking for it and thanks for sharing. Cheers


  3. This is a wonderful idea of engaging Rotarians. Can you please send me a soft copy of the ideas and the passport. It is worth emulating.


      • Hi Misha
        I commented when you first brought out this concept., but would like to ask if you are now in a position to let me have more details on how this works and to let me have a sample so that I can look at it and see if I can use it in my club.
        Hope you are keeping well and enjoying your year
        Yours in Rotary
        Jenny Fi


  4. This is an awesome idea! Please are you willing to share a copy. I am just in the beginning of organizating a Rotaract club. We can use something like this.
    Yours In Rotary,
    Sandy bosin, AG


  5. As President Elect for 2014 – 2015, I am already looking for ways and means to rejuvenate our club and this sounds a fantastic way of doing so. Would you mind sharing the idea with me and if so, could you let me have details of the passbook, etc.
    Well done on your wonderful idea and looking forward to hearing the end result.,


  6. Pingback: Today’s Links | Rotary International District 3040

    • PDG Dr. Vijendra:

      We actually received a lot of requests for samples, and didn’t have extra stock, but are in the process of obtaining more.

      Please keep in touch, and we’ll keep you updated – Many thanks for the kind words of encouragement! 🙂


  7. Its something really wonderful idea to implement all around. If possible, please send me the soft copy of this idea in detail on .
    we Rotaractors from RID 3292, Nepal & Bhutan can implement this thing in our district after a small talk!
    Hope for your positiveness.


    • The Club is actually working on formalizing the idea for others, and will try our best to release something on our website soon (www.rotaryclubofshorewood.org) – Thanks and be well!


  8. How nice to “rope” in members to become participating Rotarians – an effort that can be emulated.
    I wish I have a copy of the “Passport”. Can I have one?
    Rtn PP Prof R Panchanadhan
    Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli – D 3000 – India
    5, 9th Cross, 7th Main, Srinivasanagar, Tiruchirapalli 620 017 INDIA


    • Panchanadhan,

      Our Club received so many responses asking for passport samples, that we didn’t have enough residual stock to send out, but we’ll definitely be looking into how to help other Clubs interested in receiving them – Thanks for asking! 🙂


      • How nice of you, President
        Even if you have images of the pages, they could be of immense use
        Blessings for all Success


  9. Pingback: A passport to Rotary | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.