Tuesday, November 5, 2019

All the Ways You Contribute

A video on All the Ways you Contribute
Video on All the Ways you Contribute

All the Ways you Contribute
I have visited almost all the clubs in our District and am amazed, excited and inspired by the range of ways Rotarians contribute to and change the world in our District. So here's a list of how you each in your own way contribute to the range of our contributions.
1. RYLA, our leadership program for young people. I mention it first because we just finished a RYLA weekend when 75 high school students became leaders and their lives were changed.
2.  A club sees a need for an informative quiet space in a Middle School and gets a District Managed Grant to install an aquarium.
3. The Food Bank in another town needs a food freezer and a club gets a District Managed Grant to buy a freezer for the Food Bank.
4. Yale Rotaract got a Global Grant to buy medical equipment to serve Syrian refugees in Turkey and are right now working to buy medical equipment to serve Rohingya refugees in Bengladesh. In both cases the connections of Rotary allowed the club here in New Haven to connect with Rotarians on the ground in Turkey and in Bengladesh.

5. Our Interact students do service in every one of their communities and raise money District wide($20,000 in the last three years for Gift of Life and Polio) The success of Interact Clubs is assured in each case by a Rotarian who cares.
6. And our District helped found a school for girls in Africa and that school has grown so much that it needed help with a water system. PDG Trish Pearson and many, many of our clubs helped provide that water system.
7. And the eradication of polio is so important. It will change the world. Rotarians throughout the District give to help with the fight. The Ridgefield Rotary Club ran a concert which contributed a large amount to the polio effort and now Arlo Guthrie is coming November 22 and much of the income will be donated to eradicating polio.
8. And Youth Exchange. Every year we send students overseas and receive students from abroad and this changes their lives. Dedicated Rotarians in our District enable this to happen.
9. And one club in our District helps people with dementia and Alzheimers to live a little better. They bring people from Nursing Homes to a location where they can sing to and with each other. Music Mends Minds is the organization and our Ansonia Rotary Club is leading the way on this project.

10. Scholarships. Many clubs provide scholarships to high school students. Interviewing those students is such a rewarding experience for our Rotarians. The students receive help from our Rotary Clubs.
11. This year we have Service above Self Scholarships $5000 each that your scholarship winners from recent years can win. Recommend that the recent winners of your scholarships apply.
12. Clubs(New London and others) have built pavilions for their town. It is so satisfying to see a lasting result for your town from your Rotary efforts

13. Some clubs beautify their towns by planting and weeding town gardens in the Spring.
14. A few clubs do Breakfast with Santa or Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. The Interact clubs often help with these events. In at least one case over a 1000 people come meet Santa and have breakfast.

15. There are many fundraising events where it's all hands on deck. For example Lobster Fest or Shad Bake or....  Although these are a lot of work, the satisfaction from working with your fellow Rotarians is wonderful. And the proceeds go to help your town, fund your scholarships and other good works.

16. And packing meals for Haiti or Bahamas or .... These meal packing events are a wonderful combination of service and fellowship.

17. And I hope you are all planning to do something in support of STEM(Science Technology, Engineering and Math) and Robert insists with good reason that I add Arts. This is very rewarding and does not require you to be an expert.
18. We have another youth program, called Next Generations, which allows young people to talk about their issues and the World. This is enabled by contributions from your club.
19. And a club has people skilled in prosthetics(artificial limbs). They take their expertise and equipment to Peru and help people there who need help.
20. Gift of Life. Many Rotarians in our District help this program for bringing life saving surgery to infants in many parts of the world. Lynda Hammond leads this effort but you make it happen.
21. At Thanksgiving time and other times many clubs give food to the needy.
What a variety of ways to give back to your community and the world. There are many, many other projects and activities , which people in our District do, which bring value to our communities and to the world. Way too many to mention. But think about it, you know how much your club does and multiply that many times for all the clubs and all the people.
But if you have an idea, a passion that is not addressed, you can enlist the help of your fellow Rotarians and make it reality. And don't worry if some Rotarians are not interested now, keep trying, find others and you will find a team to help you make it happen. 

Rotary is a Gift.

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