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When someone asks "What is Rotary," or when we talk with a person that we feel might make a good Rotarian, we very often explain that Rotary is a service organization and then talk about the projects that occur in our local or international community. One thing we often don't stress is what people get out of joining our great organization.
From my observations throughout my Rotary life, I believe there are three main items we receive when we join and become engaged within our club:

Personal growth
Professional development
Family values

Personal growth comes about through the opportunity of acquaintance. We meet people we might otherwise never would have come in contact with. Through these relationships, we learn what others do in their vocation, along with their hobbies and interests, and those interactions enrich our own life. That bond of friendship strengthens as we work alongside our fellow Rotarians to complete our mission of service. These relationships and networking opportunities expand even more when we attend district assemblies and conferences. Also, personal growth happens as a result of the programs and speakers that are a part of all Rotary meetings. Our knowledge of local and international issues increase, which we then use to share ideas with the intent of taking action.

There is no shortage of professional development when we are a member of Rotary. There are many opportunities to hone our leadership skills through the Rotary Leadership Institute program, District Assemblies, and the President Elect Training Seminar (PETS), or from simply observing others in Rotary. Leading a project allows us to learn about project management, salesmanship, fund raising, and volunteer management. Many of our fellow Rotation have those skills as part of their career but are always happy to mentor a fellow member in order to achieve success. One thing that is pretty universal with Rotarians  is that they never want anyone to fail.

There is an inherent value system that we get front Rotary based on our two tenets of our motto, Service Above Self, and our 4-Way Test. By accepting and trying to live up to these two things, others, including our families and people we associate with, see us as individuals who are walking the talk by doing things to make the world a better place. Our children learn by observation and what a better thing to teach them than the idea of paying it forward. That life lesson will hopefully manifest itself into an ever increasing population of people spreading peace and understanding around our world.

Many people give quite a bit in Rotary but we also get a lot in return. As we do our Rotary job by giving others hope, opportunities, and saving lives, we, as individuals, grow, learn, and share our values. These things are what fuel our Rotary Passion. These things are what future Rotary members can expect by saying "Yes" to an invitation to join.
 

 
 
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Rotary AIDS day event turns spotlight on world’s deadliest infectious disease
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the worst ever, has claimed several thousand lives and generated worldwide concern. But its impact pales in comparison to that of AIDS, which, despite advances in treatment, still kills more than a million people a year, the majority of them in Africa. "Even with the Ebola outbreak at its worst expected levels, it's never going to reach what we've seen with the HIV/AIDS epidemic," said Dr. Timothy B. Erickson, director of the Center for Global Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaking at Rotary's World AIDS Day event in Evanston on 1...
Statement by Rotary International on the deadly school attack in Pakistan
Rotary International condemns the horrific attack that killed more than 130 schoolchildren and wounded over 100 of their classmates in Peshawar, Pakistan. We believe that children everywhere have the basic right to receive an education in an environment unthreatened by violence or fear. Rotary extends our heartfelt sympathy to all of the families in Pakistan, including those of seven Rotary members, who have lost children as a result of this unfathomable tragedy. We stand with them in mourning their loss. Gary C.K. Huang, PresidentRotary International
Indoor air pollution linked to millions of deaths
After decades dreaming about the Himalayas, Rotary member George Basch went on his first trek through the mountains in 2001, when he was 64. A member of the Rotary Club of Taos-Melagro in New Mexico, USA, Basch found that the experience was even more than he had hoped. "My expectations were high, and dramatically exceeded," he remembers. But a less-than-pleasant aspect of the experience was the indoor smoke pollution he encountered in the guest houses and private homes he visited. Many families in the Himalayas use rudimentary cookstoves or, in some cases, an open fire pit inside the home to...
Rotary staff members bond over Miles to End Polio bike ride
For six staff members from Rotary headquarters in Evanston, the fight to eradicate polio has become personal. Together, they biked the physically grueling 104-mile (167-kilometer) Tour de Tucson in Arizona, USA, collectively raising more than $20,000 for polio eradication while putting their bodies and minds through a feat of endurance. For the tightknit group, the experience was about more than just raising money and crossing the finish line. It was about learning about each other and what Rotary members are doing to rid the world of this crippling disease. They advocated together, trained...
How a simple school project in India became a global grant
Two years ago, U.S. Rotary members in Maine set out to improve the education system in Bikaner, Rajasthan, an Indian city near the border of Pakistan. The Rotary Club of Kennebunk Portside chose Bikaner because club member Rohit Mehta was originally from the area and had connections there. Mehta put the club in contact with Rotarians in India to provide desks for four government-run schools. But when community leaders returned with a request for more desks, the Maine Rotarians decided they had to think bigger. The Rotary Foundation had rolled out its new grant model, which required that the...
 
 
 
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