How will you Light Up Rotary this year?

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Jesse Allerton, Rotary Programs staff

Light Up RotaryRI President Gary C.K. Huang is encouraging all Rotary members to Light Up Rotary in 2014-15 “by sharing our service, strengthening our clubs, and letting our light shine in our communities.”

Hosting a Rotary Day is a great way for clubs to put the President’s theme into action. It’s simple: hold a fun, informal event in your community to introduce the general public to Rotary and drive interest in membership and other opportunities for engagement. You can refer to the Rotary Days brochure for ideas on how to structure and promote a Rotary Day event and find more tips in this article from the July edition of Rotary Leader.

Remember to share photos, videos, and stories of your event with the Rotary community and beyond. Here are just a few ways you can publicize your impact:

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My Rotary Youth Exchange — this year has opened my eyes

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

By Victoria Alvarez, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Argentina to the United States

Most of you have probably heard of Rotary Youth Exchange, and maybe some of you have even been involved with the program. I recently completed my exchange year in the United States, and wanted to share the perspective of someone who has just taken part in one.

I come from Argentina, a little country on the edge of South America that you may have heard of recently because of the World Cup. It is in many ways very different from the United States. In signing up for an exchange to America, I stepped out alone into a culture unlike any I had experienced, in an unfamiliar environment, in a house I did not know, to live with people…

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ShelterBox and Rotary work together to assist flood-hit communities in the Balkans

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Melissa Martins Casagrande, ShelterBox staff, and Ellina Kushnir, Rotary Programs staff

Following May flooding and landslides in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the Balkan region’s worst natural disasters in recent decades, ShelterBox response teams, with the support of Rotary club members, local fire departments and government agencies, have been providing vital aid to the most vulnerable in communities in both countries.

In addition to sending response teams, ShelterBox supplied mosquito nets to Bosnia where disease was spreading due to high water levels, mosquitoes, and heat. Nine Serbian municipalities most impacted by the disaster have received tents, water filters and carriers, mosquito nets, solar lamps, groundsheets and blankets.

Watch ShelterBox response team member Giles Walker’s video below as he provides a glimpse into local relief operations and talks with Rotary members who have been invaluable to ShelterBox’s disaster relief work in the region.

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The earth is a nice place to live because of Rotarians

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Bharath Reddy during his Group Study Exchange.

Bharath Reddy during his Group Study Exchange in 2006-07.

By Bharath Reddy, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

In 2006-07, I took part in a Group Study Exchange to Missouri in the United States, where I learned and trained with other professionals in my field.

During the exchange, I sharpened my leadership skills and made lifetime friends. It also helped me to build a bridge of friendship between Rotary members in India and the Midwest region of the United States, which has resulted in doing more community service projects and making everyone say, “The earth is a nice place to live because of Rotarians.”

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How do you invite someone to join Rotary? Just ask

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Bill Wittich and a cup of his favorite brew.

Bill Wittich with a cup of his favorite brew.

By Bill Wittich, past president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise, Elk Grove, California, USA

Those who know me call me the Starbucks Guy! That is because I spend way too much time and money in my local Starbucks. But the truth is Starbucks is my best location for attracting new Rotary members.

Let me give you an example of a recent Sunday. My wife, Ann, and I are both Rotarians and we enjoy our tall Skinny Mochas. So sitting there we watched a young woman arrive with her computer and she was dressed for business. Both of us asked the question, “Is she a possibility for Rotary?”

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Rotary Family Health Days showcase the power of Rotary and the impact of partnerships

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By John Wahlund, Area of Focus Manager for Maternal and Child Health & Disease Prevention and Treatment

The fourth annual Rotary Family Health Days (RFHDs) took place throughout sub-Saharan Africa in April 2014, providing comprehensive health care services to the most vulnerable and underserved populations in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Lesotho, and Swaziland. RFHDs were conceived, developed and are continually managed by the Rotarian Action Group for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA).

As Rotary’s Area of Focus Manager for Disease Prevention and Treatment, and Maternal and Child Health, I have had the privilege and responsibility to establish strong working relationships with RFHA’s CEO Marion Bunch and her colleagues. This path led to my participation in the kickoff of the 2014 RFHDs in South Africa this past April. Having been involved in many PolioPlus National Immunization Days in years past, I thought I knew what to expect, but I…

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Service project in Nepal leads to greater good

Originally posted on Rotary Service Connections | English:

By Divya Wodon and Naina Wodon, Interact Club of Washington International School, and Quentin Wodon, Rotary Club of Washington, Washington D.C., USA, TRF Cadre of Technical Advisors, and authors of Membership in Service Clubs: Rotary’s Experience.

Neil and fellow Rotarians with the ambulance given to Setiganga Community Hospital, Nepal

Neil and fellow Rotarians with the ambulance given to Setiganga Community Hospital, Nepal

In 2009, after several years of planning, Neil Young from the Rotary Club of Towsontowne, Maryland, USA, traveled to Nepal with a group of Rotarians on the occasion of donating an ambulance to the Setiganga Community Hospital which serves over 100,000 people in the foothills of the Annapurna Range. The donation was made possible through fundraising by several clubs (Towsontowne, Hunt Valley, and Downtown Towson in the USA and Damauli in Nepal) as well as matching funds from the district and The Rotary Foundation. The project started when Prem Mahat, also a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Towsontowne who…

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Together, Let’s Light Up Rotary

Originally posted on Rotary Voices:

Gary and Corinna Huang at Rotary's annual training event, the International Assembly, in January.

RI President Gary C.K. Huang and his wife, Corinna, at the International Assembly, Rotary’s annual training event, in January.

By RI President Gary C.K. Huang

As we begin a new Rotary year, I would like to tell you that I’m honored to be your Rotary International president and to stand with you as Rotary members.

Being a Rotarian is about a way of approaching the world and its challenges. There are many people in this world who need help and many changes that need to be made. It can be overwhelming.

Confucius and Rotary share similar ideas, and one idea from Confucius is that “It is better to light one single candle than to sit and curse the dark.” To me, this means that we shouldn’t lose hope and do nothing.

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Top 10 things you should know about the new Rotary Foundation funding model

Originally posted on Regional Coordinator Blog:

By Ian Riseley, Rotary Foundation Trustee, Foundation Finance Committee chair

(This post was originally posted on Rotary Voices.)

I’ve been very involved in the development of our Foundation’s new funding model and have closely followed the questions being raised about it in social media and elsewhere. The new funding model for The Rotary Foundation was developed because our ability to continue “doing good in the world” depends heavily on the Foundation having long-term financial stability. In the interests of improved communication and understanding of the changes, here are 10 important things to know about the new model, which becomes effective on 1 July 2015.

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1. Rotarians and clubs will benefit

Rotary’s strength lies in the talents and dedication of its members and clubs. The recent recession showed that we must have adequate reserves in our Rotary Foundation to ensure that we don’t have to cut programs and services in…

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