David Jones and his wife, Judy, in San Francisco in 2006.
By David Jones, president-elect of the Rotary Club of Upper Arlington/Grandview (TriVillage), Columbus, Ohio, USA
In 2008, my world changed when my wife of 29 years was killed by an impaired driver. She was returning from a college visit with our 17-year-old daughter. My life revolved around Judy and our four children (Anne, Michael, Geoffrey, and Lara). We were so close that it felt like I had died too.
A year later, our youngest child left for college and I was alone in a five-bedroom house. I had to choose between curling up in a ball or going on living. I chose the latter and began speaking to first-time offenders convicted of a driving under the influence offense for several programs in central Ohio. Continue reading
By Monica Mulholland, Rotary Club of Queenstown, New Zealand
When I made the decision to come out as transgender to my Rotary club, my wife and I were worried that we would be shunned by our community and lose many of our friends, including those in the Rotary club. It is common for transgender people to lose half their friends and half their family when they come out. But we couldn’t have been happier with the acceptance and support we received from club members. Continue reading
Members of the Rotary Club of Silverdale interview a job seeker (left, back to camera)
By Cathy Bisaillon, President & CEO of Easterseals Washington, and a member of the Rotary Club of Silverdale, Washington, USA. Video and photos by Steven Boe, Rotary Club of Silverdale
When I shared with my fellow Rotarians last fall that 70 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed or under-employed, in spite of a national labor shortage, we decided to take action. Our club has a diverse membership, and it values a diverse workforce. By pulling from District 5030’s Partners for Work Program, we organized a high-energy mock interview during our club’s meeting on 31 January. Continue reading
By Katey Halliday, Rotaract Club of Adelaide City and the Rotary Club of Adelaide Light, South Australia, Australia
Rotary recently adopted a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement that sends a strong message that we embrace inclusivity. Rotary has clubs all over the world and reaches a broad range of people with our service projects. So we are already diverse, but a second ingredient, inclusion, is the key to unlocking and maintaining the full benefits of that diversity. How inclusive is your club? Continue reading
By Dinesh Gajeelee, Rotary Club of Haute Rive, Mauritius
One of the ongoing challenges in Rotary is maintaining a healthy level of membership. My club of Haute Rive is no exception. We started the club in 2014 with 20 members, and despite the fact that we have gained new members since then, we’ve also lost a few. So much so that membership fell to just 18 as of 1 July 2017. Fortunately, our leadership team was proactive and began forming a plan to address the situation. Continue reading
Joyce Lau’s Rotary experience helped her land a position with a major financial firm in Hong Kong. Four Rotarians serve on the board of directors.
By Joyce Lau, past president of the Rotary Club of Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong
On my first day at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a college senior invited me to the Rotaract Club of Chung Chi College. This small step introduced me to the wonderful world of Rotaract, where I strengthened my leadership and organizational skills while taking part in some amazing activities, including bringing smiles to the faces of people with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, hosting a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards training camp, and helping charter a new community-based Rotaract club.
Having benefited so much from Rotaract, it was natural for me to join Rotary when I had the chance. But never would I have thought that Rotary would take my career to the next level. Continue reading
A Rotary team visited the Nakivale Rotaract Club in January (select cc for English subtitles)
By Francis Xavier Sentamu, District 9211 (Uganda) governor-elect
When I first saw a story on BBC in the spring of 2016 about the Nakivale Refugee settlement, I didn’t give it much thought. It was distant to me. Somewhat coincidentally, I attended a “changemaker” event that November organized by the American Refugee Committee, where 13 youth from the Nakivale Refugee settlement were being honored for their project ideas to impact the refugee community. Continue reading
Shogo Williams-Matsuka, left, attends a club event in 2016. Williams-Matsuka says he joined Rotary partly to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community groups.
By Shogo Williams-Matsuoka, president-elect, Rotary E-club of Western Australia
My life as a Rotarian began in 2014, when I became a member of the Rotary Club of Cockburn in Western Australia. Since then, I have joined the Rotary E-club of Western Australia and am the current president-elect for 2019-2020. My involvement in Rotary is motivated by the need to do more to improve the representation of people with disabilities in community organisations. Often people with disability are portrayed as the passive recipients of charity, undermining our capability to provide meaningful contributions to society. Continue reading
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of blog posts celebrating Membership Month.
By Michael Walstrom, president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton, Florida
Rotary, like any business, has customers. For us, those customers are our members and we must provide value to assure satisfied customers. The key to attracting and retaining young professional “customers” is presenting a Value Proposition that is attractive. Continue reading