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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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Monrovia club’s Ebola fight not finished
After the first cases of Ebola reached Liberia's capital, Monrovia, last June, local Rotary members feared that the city's limited health care system wouldn't be able to contain the highly infectious, often-deadly disease. Those fears were realized when infections quickly multiplied, underscoring the speed with which Ebola can spread in an urban center. It was the first time the hemorrhagic fever had threatened a major city since it erupted in West Africa last March. Now, after months of crisis-level response, and with the number of new cases declining, club members are looking to the long...
Rotary member takes fundraising to new heights -- the summit of Mount Everest
Despite his longstanding interest in polio eradication, polio was not on Joe Pratt's mind as he prepared for a mid-April 2012 climb of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on earth. But that changed in late 2011, when the resident of Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA, participated in a polio immunization project in Pakistan with fellow Rotary member Steve Puderbaugh. Moved by the efforts of the Pakistanis to battle the crippling disease, and by the vulnerability of the young victims, Pratt reset the focus of his climbing adventure. Pakistan is one of three countries where polio has never been...
San Francisco club reveals formula for growth and retention of members
Members of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Evening meet at a wine bar after work, share a social outing, and promote all their activities on social media like Meetup and Facebook. As the first evening club in the city, it has attracted many young professionals from Silicon Valley tech firms whose work schedules keep them from joining a more traditional club that meets for breakfast or lunch. But more than that, the evening format has helped the club grow by 30 percent since it received its charter in mid-2013. Danielle Lallement, who was its charter president, says the club has been...
Colorado joins Kosovo club to restore sanitation in blighted local schools
Blighted schools in the mountain city of Peja in western Kosovo are a reminder of the ethnic strife and war that ravaged this area in the 1990s. To restore ruined sanitation facilities in some of those schools, local Rotary members recently partnered with their counterparts from Colorado, USA. Though residents have been slowly rebuilding the city's infrastructure after years of neglect under earlier governments, most resources are going to improve roads, rebuild homes, and create new businesses. Little money remains to restore the schools. As a result, students have fallen ill, stayed home...
Rotary releases $34.8 million for polio immunization activities worldwide
Rotary International released an additional $34.8 million in grants to support polio immunization activities in 10 countries, including Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan, the three countries where the disease has never been stopped. The funds, whose release was announced 20 January, will be used by the World Health Organization and UNICEF for polio immunization and surveillance activities in the 10 countries, as well as to provide technical assistance in several other countries in Africa. The grants include $8.1 million for Nigeria to support its final push to eradicate the disease. Nigeria...
 
 
 
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