By Chris Roesel, a member of the Rotary E-Club of WASH, District 9980
I am a Rotary member and the son of a Rotarian, and grew up in rural Georgia, USA, before the Civil Rights Movement. I saw structural and economic problems that I wanted to help but didn’t know how. Later, I attended the Air Force Academy, but that didn’t show me how to empower the people in impoverished communities, either. After I graduated from the academy, I joined the Peace Corps and volunteered in Guatemala. What I saw and experienced there shocked me.
By Helene Dudley, past president of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove, Florida, USA
My eyes filled with tears as I attended a Zoom meeting of the Yumbe, Uganda provisional Rotary Club discussing a service project they were planning to help a nearby village. I reached out in chat to another participant of the meeting who admitted she too was tearing up. The club is not yet officially recognized by Rotary International and the women are well below the poverty line but they are already doing service projects.
By Randy Bretz, Rotary Club of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
A woman from Africa and her six children will soon have a new home in Lincoln, Nebraska, thanks to our Rotary club and Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln.
Construction will begin soon on the home for Martha and her children, giving them a place to live that isn’t cramped and even with a yard for the family to enjoy. Martha’s salary can only afford a two-bedroom apartment, but with the help of nearly $40,000 from our club, Habitat for Humanity will be able to construct a three-bedroom home on a lot in Lincoln that she can afford to buy.
By Lisa Hunter, Rotary Club of Maidenhead Bridge, Berkshire,England
I am so proud to belong to an organization that empowers ordinary people to work together to make a difference in other people’s lives. Through the Rotary network, we come together to use our skills and knowledge to support each other and build up our communities.
Nowhere was this more apparent to me than at the beginning of the pandemic, when our community went into lockdown and people were isolated and shut in. My club formed a Community Response Team to mobilize a network of volunteers to do what we do best: support those who need help in difficult times.
A decade ago, Jackie Huie and members of the Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA, launched a program that has helped hundreds of local high school students learn more about their dream careers by connecting them with professionals in those fields. The program is still running strong. And Huie talks about the value of the program, and what she loves about Rotary in this podcast. Learn more about the program at https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-pairs-students-top-mentors
By Barton Goldenberg, immediate past governor of District 7620 (Maryland and Washington D.C., USA)
If you’re a baker, you know that a great cake is made up of individual ingredients that come together to produce something special. A great Rotary club is like that, in that it is made up of a unique mix of ingredients. Here are the five that I have found in most, if not all, successful Rotary clubs.
By Byung Woo Kim, past president of the Rotary Club of Cheongju-Musim, South Korea
My Rotary club has been working on more than one global grant project every year. When we were planning an initiative this year, we were seeing a high rate of COVID-19 cases. At that time, the government’s guidelines required that those suspected of having COVID should be tested at their nearest screening center. But as they travel from their home to the screening center using public transportation, they come in contact with multiple people and risk infecting still others in the hospital performing the screening.
By David Harmon, president, Rotary Club of Ballina on Richmond, New South Wales, Australia
If we want to reverse the decline in membership that many clubs have been experiencing the last 10 years, we need to have a cause that engages our members and communities. With this in mind, our Rotary club created a focus group three years ago that searched for an issue that would make a real difference in our community. After carefully consideration we decided to adopt a project to address domestic violence and family abuse. Since our involvement in this project, we have grown from 31 members to 76 members.
Eva Kurniaty harvests a paddy field that was turned into productive land through a global grant.
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 →
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 →