Bring sunshine to a stormy day

Taking part in a service project in Manila.

By Maria Elena “Marilen” Tronqued-Lagniton, past president of the Rotary Club of Cubao Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines

I shall pass this way but once. Any good that I can do or kindness I can show let me do it now.

But what if today was the last day of your life? Would you be fulfilled with how you have invested your time? Would you have any regrets? Time is the currency we begin each day with. It is our most valuable and most limited asset. Continue reading

Resolve to protect the Rotary brand in the new year

Amanda Wendt

Amanda Wendt

By Amanda Wendt, vice chair of the RI Communications Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I recently saw a story on television about a West Papuan woman who received life-changing facial surgery to fix a a deformity which had caused her a lifetime of struggling to eat, drink and speak. Members of the Rotary Club of Liverpool West and Bendigo Strathdale flew the woman to Australia for the surgery. I was instinctively moved to share the story immediately with my network, congratulating the team involved and expressing how truly proud I was at that moment to be a Rotarian.

I’m sure many of my fellow Rotary members can relate to this feeling. We’ve all experienced pride when our Rotarian friends locally or abroad have helped change the world. But this instance made me realize that we have something else that communicates that sense of pride and it is valuable to preserve and promote. Continue reading

How to be innovative with People of Action campaign

People of Action campaign assets are available in the Brand Center.

By Ron Janssen, governor of District 6980 (Florida, USA)

Our People of Action campaign tells the world Rotarians are people of action. But are we as district leaders being people of action when it comes to that very campaign?

Faced with a tight budget, many district leaders think there is little room in their spending plan for discretionary items like People of Action ads. The campaign is designed to increase awareness in Rotary and our humanitarian efforts. The desired result is membership growth, which ultimately grows dues and our budget. So isn’t it ironic that it is among the last things we tend to fund? Continue reading

Changing public perception of homelessness

Rotaractors deliver Bento Boxes

Rotaract members in the Taipei Tin Harbour club talk with a homeless person as they deliver a single-meal home-packed “Bento Box.” Members are trying to change people’s stereotypes of the homeless.

By Elyse Lin, Rotaract Club of Taipei Tin Harbour, Taiwan

Being a part of the Rotary family for years, I’ve learned to be more aware of social issues in our community. Having taken part in a number of service projects, I started to think about what we could do to make sustainable change in the city.

Homelessness is a complicated issue in Taipei. Most people have a stereotype of the homeless that makes it difficult for them to find a job or break out of the vicious cycle they are in. We decided to take action to meet the basic needs of people living on the street and change people’s perceptions about the homeless. Continue reading

No checks please! Better photos tell better stories

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By Chris Offer, Rotary Club of Ladner, Delta, British Columbia, Canada (District 5040)

I was recently at a Rotary conference in Karachi, Pakistan. One session was a series of short presentations on club service projects. Most of the presentations were in Urdu, which I don’t speak. Fortunately, several speakers had very good slide presentations. I could understand the presentations. Photos of children at computer terminals with smiles or women at a clinic told me about the projects. I missed details but not the main ideas.

When photographs are used, they tell better Rotary stories. Continue reading

People of Action campaign rocks San Diego airport

People of Action videos greeted travelers at the San Diego International Airport 10-24 January.

By Scott Carr, 2017-18 governor of District 5340

We enjoy serving as the host district for Rotary’s annual training event of incoming district governors here in San Diego, California, and are honored to provide volunteers to help with transportation, serve as hospitality night hosts, and greet arriving leaders at the airport. It is an important role. When you’ve been flying in a cramped airplane for 20 hours or more, there is no better sight than a smiling Rotarian to greet you and help you get to your destination. Continue reading

How Rotary became the heart, soul of polio eradication

Ken Solow

By Ken Solow, past governor of District 7620

Have you ever wondered how Rotary became involved with polio eradication in the first place? I did. I used to use polio eradication as an example of poor goal setting in my presidents-elect training seminar classes. It was up there right next to world peace. I mean … really?

It turns out that one of the true giants in our story was a past governor in my district (7620). His name is Dr. John Sever. While you’ve probably never heard of him, I think when you learn his story you will be amazed. You will also learn about many other Rotary leaders who have been a part of the incredible story of how Rotary got started on our journey to eradicate polio.  Continue reading

7 steps to increasing your club’s Facebook presence

Facebook cover photo

Use a cover photo that really speaks to your club’s mission.

170214_wardBy Melissa Ward, Rotary Club of Twin Bridges, Southern Saratoga, New York, USA and chair of the Rotarians on Social Networks Fellowship

A Facebook page gives your club a voice on Facebook. With so much other “noise” on social media, there are several things you can do to raise your club’s page above the distractions.  Continue reading

How to promote your club by not talking about your club

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless.

Volunteers from Capitol Hill Group Ministry assist the homeless. Photo courtesy Capitol Hill Group Ministry

By Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., USA

Sometimes the best way to gain a little attention for your club is to not talk about your club, but about other worthy groups and volunteers you are working with.

Rotary members are becoming more aware of the need to tell their Rotary story. But here’s the catch. It may be better to use local blogs or magazines in your community rather than your club or district’s own channels. This is because typically, these external sources will have a much larger readership. Continue reading

How to reach prospective members in the workplace

The Rotary Club of Cayman Island's project team to Guatemala.

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s project team to Guatemala.

By Gina McBryan, a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 

We all have our stories of how we were introduced to Rotary, and for the most part, those stories are positive. I could have been a Rotary member much sooner, had someone approached me.

I’m sure every club encourages their members to bring along guests and sponsor new members. For the past five years I have been a Rotary member, I’ve heard the same words of encouragement from my club leaders. And worldwide, our membership totals have remained stable. This makes me think of that line about the definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results.” Continue reading