The secret to increasing club giving

Flood victims in Kerala, India, receive job training under a global grant by the Rotary Club of Kalamassery. The $100,000 grant project benefited 500 families. N. Bhaskaran Pillai used examples like this one to encourage members to give to The Rotary Foundation.

By N.Bhaskaran Pillai, Rotary Club of Kalamassery, India

When I became treasurer of my club last year, I learned through Rotary Club Central that only 25 of our 39 members were Paul Harris Fellows (PHF). I also saw that our club had transferable Foundation Recognition Points that had been lying dormant for several years.

I saw an opportunity to rally our club around an effort to earn a 100% Paul Harris Club recognition using these points and collecting affordable contributions from members who were not yet PHF. Continue reading

How to engage members during the coronavirus pandemic

Keep members engaged through virtual meeting platforms.

By George Robertson-Burnett, Zone 34 Rotary Coordinator and past governor of Rotary District 6890

These are certainly interesting times we live in. None of us could have foreseen these extraordinary circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Rotary clubs everywhere are wrestling with the question, How do we maintain membership engagement during the pandemic?

Well, this is Rotary and I am sure that these challenges will bring out our considerable strengths – ingenuity, decisiveness, flexibility, and integrity. Continue reading

Australian Rotarians respond to brushfires

Meals for firefighters

Rotary members cook and serve meals for Emergency Services volunteers fighting the brushfires in New South Wales.

Ross Wade

By Ross Wade, Past President, and Issa Shalhoub, member of the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia

From August through October of last year, residents of the coastal community of Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, watched somewhat passively as reports came in about the serious brush fires in other parts of the state and in Queensland.  But they were shaken out of their complacency the last week of November when a serious bushfire began spreading rapidly much closer to home. Continue reading

Artists unite to help The Bahamas rebuild

Julien Believe

Julien Believe, singer, songwriter and Rotarian, performs at the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg. Julien is collaborating with other artists and Past RI President Barry Rassin on recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

By Julien Believe, singer, songwriter, entertainer, and member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau

Three years ago, I penned “I Believe in You,” along with my amazing team, with one purpose in mind – to inspire and motivate. It is a timeless song for anyone that needs a moral boost or just a little nudge to say, “you matter.” After the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in both Abaco and Grand Bahama, it was only fitting that I release ”I Believe in You” with a few tweaks. My fellow country mates needed help but most importantly they needed HOPE. This song is designed to create a sense of hope, strength and assurance in knowing that we, as a nation, will live up to being strong. Continue reading

Rotarians respond in the Bahamas

Report compiled by Diana White, past district governor, and District 7020 Rotarians

The destruction left behind by Hurricane Dorian is devastating. In parts of the Bahamas, literally everything is gone, replaced by piles of rubble where homes once stood. Roads blocked with debris and thousands on thousands left homeless and in need of supplies.

As Rotarians in District 7020, one of two districts that cover the Caribbean and hard-hit Bahamas, we immediately switched into assistance mode. Significant donations of supplies are funneling in from various local efforts and through international disaster relief agencies. Continue reading

Family of Rotary helps after wildfire

At the District 5160 conference

Pam Gray and her husband, Brian, (third and fourth from right) at the District 5160 conference in 2018.

By Pam Gray, Rotary Club of Paradise, California, USA

I grew up in a small family. My parents were both only children – that means I have no aunts, uncles or first cousins. As a child, my entire immediate family could sit around a dining table set for eight. My four grandparents, my parents, my sister and I filled the table. There was no additional ‘kids’ table!

Fortunately, my dad was a member of the Rotary Club of Paradise. Our Rotary family consisted of five families, all of similar age, so we had plenty of celebrations with this extended family growing up. Continue reading

What it’s like to escape a wildfire

The Gray’s home after the fire.

By Pam Gray, past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Paradise, California, USA 

While 77 days may seem like a long time, it has been a flash for those of us who were living in Paradise, California, and the surrounding foothills on 8 November, 2018.

My husband and I are members of the Rotary Club of Paradise. I was a District 5160 Governor during the 2014-15 Rotary year, and my husband, Brian, is currently club president. Brian was known as the “First Dude” as we traveled to visit 71 Rotary clubs the year I was governor. Continue reading

How Rotary is assisting recovery in Puerto Rico

By José Lucas Rodríguez, governor of Rotary District 7000 (Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico is an island in the Caribbean, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, which is distinguished by its natural beauties, the talent of Puerto Ricans in music, arts, and sports, and above all for the warmth of its people.

But the so-called island of Enchantment was transformed by what already has been classified as the most catastrophic event in the history not only of Puerto Rico, but of the United States. More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, our people are still struggling to recover from the impact of this natural phenomenon, which left so much desolation in its wake. Continue reading

How Rotarians are providing disaster relief

Heart to Heart medical director Rick Randolph treats a child at a mobile clinic in Florida. Photo courtesy District 5710

By Pat O’Donnell, public image chair for Rotary District 5710 (Kansas, USA)

The 45 Rotary clubs in my district have come together to support Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Immediately after Hurricane Harvey devastated the gulf coast of Texas with over 51 inches of rain, followed by the damage caused in Florida by Hurricane Irma, our Rotary members opened their hearts and checkbooks to help. Continue reading

Visit to new ShelterBox HQ in Truro

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett briefs Newton

Operations Coordinator Sam Hewett (left) briefs MP Sarah Newton on preparations to help people fleeing Mosul. Photo © Thom Axon

By Sarah Newton, Rotary Club of Falmouth, and a Member of Parliament representing Truro and Falmouth, United Kingdom

In July, Cornwall-based international disaster relief charity ShelterBox moved its headquarters to Truro, keeping its warehousing and aid-packing base in Helston.

On 10 November, I made my first visit to Falcon House, now that ShelterBox has relocated most if its staff, including its operational and fundraising teams, into my Continue reading