What I’ve learned as a member of Toastmasters and Rotary

Mark Burchill

By Mark Burchill, DTM, past president of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, California, USA, and founder and chair of the Rotary Means Business Fellowship

Leadership challenges are invigorating. I have launched or led four businesses, a Toastmasters club, a Rotary club, a Rotary International Fellowship, and more. As a Rotarian and a Toastmaster, I can tell you that both organizations transform lives, although in different ways. And both have had an impact on my life, starting many years ago. Continue reading

Month by month, pillar by pillar: Engaging my club in Positive Peace

KC Williams

By KC Williams, president, Rotary Club of Maryville, Tennessee, USA

I absolutely love being a member of Rotary. My Rotary membership experiences both in the United States and in the Caribbean over the past 15 years have created a lasting impact on my life choices and experiences. So, it is not lightly that I admit that I have successfully avoided serving as president of a Rotary club until now and, as usual, my timing is impeccable. Continue reading

5 ways to support education during the pandemic

Hero imageBy Rotary Voices staff

The COVID-19 crisis has created significant challenges in education. Developing remote learning plans and using new technology compounds the already complex task of teaching children and achieving the desired educational outcomes. Rotarians are quick to want to help, but not all responses have the same kind of impact. Read these suggestions for Rotary clubs wanting to support education sustainably through a global grant project. Continue reading

Sunrise after Dark increases Rotary’s diversity in Louisiana

Sunrise After Dark members

New members of the Sunrise after Dark satellite club during an induction ceremony earlier this year.

By Tracey Antee, past president of the Rotary Club of Opelousas Sunrise, Louisiana, USA

During my tenure as club president in 2019-20, I made a goal of starting a satellite club that would meet after regular business hours, hence the name Sunrise after Dark. A young professional group in the community just ended, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reach out to these individuals and invite them to join Rotary, within the ease provided by the satellite format. Continue reading

The magic of Rotary: touching lives in Indonesia

Eva harvests paddy field

Eva Kurniaty harvests a paddy field that was turned into productive land through a global grant.

Eva Kurniaty

Eva Kurniaty

By Eva Kurniaty, Rotary Coordinator, Past District Governor, and member of the Rotary Club of Jakarta Sunter Centennial, Indonesia

When I was a district governor in 2013, there was a Rotary club in my district, in Cilacap, Central Java, that only had a few members. My senior leaders advised me to terminate the club since they were inactive, held no meetings, conducted no projects, and never contributed to The Rotary Foundation. But I was determined not to end it; I knew it was possible to revive it. Continue reading

Discovering a new partnership

Editors note: The following blog post was written before COVID-19. It has been edited with permission to reflect the impact of social distancing and meeting virtually. Please visit the Rotary and Toastmasters websites for further info about how these organizations are keeping members safe and connected during the pandemic.

Al Brothers

Al Brothers

By Alfred Brothers, governor of District 6540 and a member of the Rotary Club of Anthony Wayne (Fort Wayne), Indiana, USA

I had heard of Toastmasters, but never got involved with the organization until last year, when Rotary members from our area and I attended the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. There we heard about Rotary’s collaboration with Toastmasters. Continue reading

No use crying over spilled milk

Martin Cohn holds up containers of Green Mountain Yogurt made from surplus milk.

By Martin Cohn, past president of the Rotary Club of Brattleboro, Vermont, USA 

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vermont dairy farmers were in trouble. With the close of colleges and restaurants, there was too much supply of milk. This excess was headed to be spilled into mudholes. At the same time, the need to help food-insecure families was increasing. How could food that was being wasted reach people who needed food?

That’s when I heard about a project where the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets was coordinating an effort to recover raw milk from being disposed of while creating a new, temporary food supply for Vermont Foodbank. In collaboration with the Vermont Community Foundation, $60,000 was made available to purchase this milk for the benefit of Vermonters. These efforts were particularly important as Vermont’s dairy industry, like all sectors, had been challenged by COVID-19 but remain essential to the state’s food supply. However, more money was needed. Continue reading

Rotary members feed thousands in Cape Town

Hall full of food purchased by the Rotary Club of Newlands for distribution to 17 Early Childhood Development Centres in Langa, Cape Town, South Africa.

By Vanessa Rousseau, Rotary Club of Newlands, South Africa

As members of the Rotary Club of Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa, we could not stand by watching the devastating effects of COVID-19 on food security in our country and our city. 

Soon after the initial lockdown period was announced, we jumped into action to do what we could to alleviate the suffering. To ensure that we provide what is needed to those most in need, we have drawn on our longstanding relationships with community leaders who have worked with us on projects over many years. Continue reading