Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanks Given - Day Twenty Nine

Another day late. At least I'm consistent...

Today, I am thankful to be a part of Rotary. I know I've said a word or two on here about our group, but it's probably time for more of an explanation. Rotary International is a service organization with a motto of "Service Above Self" with 34,000 clubs all over the world and over 1.2 million Rotarians. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. One of their largest, and most familiar, initiatives is the eradication of Polio across the globe. Through the Rotary Foundation, individual clubs across the world work on projects that are in one of six areas of focus - 
  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development
Source (and to learn more): Rotary International

So, what do we do? And, why am I thankful? Our club meets every Thursday at noon at the local Ponderosa and is comprised of a variety of business professionals throughout the community. Each meeting has a time of Happy Bucks where we each put money in the pot to talk about something, really anything, that has happened in the last week. This money goes towards our many projects throughout the community. Generally, we also have a speaker. 

Outside of our meetings, we work on all kinds of service projects. We take apples to all of the teachers in the local school district once a year. We raise money for fresh water in other countries. We ring the bell to raise money for the local Shop with a Deputy at Christmas. We pick up trash on the highway. We sponsor exchange students - both inbound and outbound. We put up pergolas on the local bike trail. 

Our largest, signature project is the Gift of Life program. I talked a little bit about it in this post. We have a huge auction every year to raise money for the program which funds heart surgeries for children around the world. This year, we are the sponsoring club for a Vocational Training Team heading out for Uganda tomorrow. One of our club members is the team leader and will take over a team of doctors and nurses to train the surgeons in the hospital there more about heart surgeries on children. That is what you call a sustainable project! You can follow their progress and cases on their blog. This is a photo from last year.

I am so proud to be a part of a club that does so much good in our local community and around the world. What a better path toward world peace than healing the sick, feeding the hungry and giving water to the thirsty. I am thankful to be a part of such a generous, hardworking club.

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