Italian Rotarians screen homeless for COVID-19

Healthcare workers apply rapid serology tests to consenting homeless individuals on the streets of Palermo, Italy, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless and those who help them.

Italian Rotary members through a partnership between the Rotary Club of Palermo, the Associazione Francesca Morvillo, and Karol Strutture Sanitarie, launched a screening campaign to help stop the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population of the City of Palermo. It is part of the ongoing efforts of Italian Rotarians to use their skills and connections to counter this pandemic. Continue reading

Million Mask challenge displays power of Rotary network

A 26-foot truck, emblazoned on all sides with the Million Mask Challenge Tour
message, distributed face masks to Rotary clubs throughout New England.

By Robert Friend, Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

In the early morning of 29 September, a cargo ship carrying 800,000 face masks arrived at the Port of Boston. Over the course of the following 14 days, those masks were delivered to first responders, healthcare providers, and frontline workers in cities, towns, and villages across New England.

This is a story of service and leadership. It’s a story of how our District and Zone responded to a crisis, rallied its resources, put boots-on-the-ground to bring disparate and far-flung communities together to spread goodwill. Most importantly, it’s a story about working together and using our collective professional backgrounds through the Rotary network to make a difference. Continue reading

Love, loss, a novel, and a new Rotary club

Soumya and Rupa Mohanty

“Those we love never truly leave us, Harry. There are things that death cannot touch.”
—Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

By Soumya Mohanty, Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar Smile, India

We all fall in love, at different stages of life. But there is always that one person you meet and hold dear to your heart. No matter how many new people you meet or how many acquaintances you make, you look for traces of that one person in anybody and everybody. That is the kind of impact they have on you. Now imagine never being able to see that person again – because that is how destiny likes to play. And all you have left are memories that last a lifetime. Continue reading

Why I Raise for Rotary: Doing Good with the World Fund

Trustee Brenda Cressey

By Brenda Cressey, Trustee and Rotary Member of South Portland-Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA

Several years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to take part in a multi-project mission with more than 100 Rotarians, spouses, Rotaractors and even a few new Rotarians from Rotary District 5280. We flew to Panama to visit project sites, perform cataract surgeries, and deliver wheelchairs.

There were several “Rotary moments” on that trip, but the truly unforgettable moment for me was when a grandfather, having no legs, was presented with the gift of mobility in the form of a bright red wheelchair. Continue reading

My escapades during the pandemic lockdown

Rotary member Su Boertje, right, delivers supplies to The Baby House in Westville, South Africa.

By Su Boertje, membership and PR chair, Rotary Club of Westville, South Africa

In April, I learned that the Baby House in Westville, South Africa, a safe house for abandoned babies, desperately needed basic supplies. Due to the country-wide lockdown, donations had all but dried up, and the two house mothers and 10 babies (aged 1 week to 23 months) needed help.

”Not all super heroes wear capes,” I thought to myself, “some wear Rotary badges!” So I contacted our club treasurer to see if I could spend some of my PR budget to assist and they agreed. Continue reading

Juicy apples deliver End Polio message

District 2530 officials hold apples with the special End Polio mark at their district conference.

By Motoaki Sagara, District 2530 Public Image & IT Committee Chair, Japan

How can we get more people to learn about Rotary’s polio eradication efforts? This is a question my district asked recently. It’s not easy to get the public’s attention. It’s even less so in Japan, where polio has not been circulating in the wild for some time.

Last year, District 2530, Fukushima, sold Fuji apples, a local product of Fukushima, with the word “END POLIO” marked on them. As a result, we were able to raise more than $3,000 for polio eradication. It was an innovative idea. But there was another reason I was interested in this project. Continue reading

Public image in the age of COVID-19

By Laura Spear, assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 32

How can your club promote your activities and service projects if almost all of it is virtual today? Your club’s website and social media channels are now more important than ever.

Many clubs are meeting virtually, using tools like Zoom, WebEx, and GoToMeeting. Capture a screen image of your members and post it on your digital channels to show that your club remains active. Post club bulletins and newsletters to update your members and community on your club’s activities, even if you aren’t meeting in person. Consistent communication with both members and the public is essential for keeping your club visible in your community. Continue reading

How to plan a virtual World Polio day event

2019 WPD event

Local civic and government officials and representatives from ten Rotary clubs at the 2019 World Polio Day event. Photo by David Andrews

By David F. Andrews, three-time past president, Rotary Club of Oshawa-Parkwood, Ontario, Canada, and chair of District 7070’s Public Image Committee

After many years of celebrating World Polio Day with proclamations, updates from Rotary and health leaders, and flag-raising ceremonies, the 10 Rotary clubs in District 7070 (Ontario, Canada) took a different course in 2018. An in-person event held in a new global classroom and simultaneously streamed live is now serving as a great model as we approach holding our first World Polio Day live event in a COVID-19 world.

Continue reading

We heal as one

A member of the Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines, delivers a packet of food.

By Elizabeth P. Directo, Rotary Club of Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines

Knowing that many people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, incoming club presidents in our district (3780) were looking for a way to spread a little bit of hope to those who lacked it. So we partnered with a mobile kitchen, run by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to make and distribute meals for residents in need. Continue reading

Rotary in Kirkintilloch is alive and well

Bob Tomlinson

By Bob Tomlinson, president of the Rotary Club of Kirkintilloch, Scotland

The COVID-19 pandemic is horrifying. The lives lost are not just statistics. Each death is a life cut short and a family and friends left grieving. This reality is something we must never forget. Our way of life has been profoundly challenged.

For organizations, such as Rotary, a common question asked is: “what will Rotary be like if we survive this?” The questioner invariably makes the addendum, “We’ve never been through anything like this before.” As individuals, very few of us have been through anything like this. But Rotary International has, several times, and came through to the other side — 1918 Spanish Flu, the Great Depression of the 1930’s, World War II, Korean and Vietnam wars, etc.

This is the account of how one club is working to survive. Continue reading