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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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Intense summer program gives Israeli and Palestinian teens new perspectives
Students from Israel and Palestine sat together at a local art studio in Encinitas, California, USA, one day last summer, drawing portraits of one another and learning how to live in peace. Kelly Mellos, an organizer of the project from the Rotary Club of Encinitas Coastal, says that drawing someone who is sitting so close helps break down social barriers between the young people. "They see how many similarities there are between them," she says. "And they begin to understand we are all just people. There is a respect and trust that builds." The students were participating in a program run by...
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...
President-elect urges Rotary members to ‘Be a Gift to the World’
Using their talents, expertise, and leadership, Rotary members worldwide are asked to be gifts to the world this upcoming 2015-16 Rotary year. Rotary International President-elect K.R. "Ravi" Ravindran called Sunday's address to incoming district governors the "most significant moment of my life." "All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become -- and Be a Gift to the World," said Ravindran, revealing his presidential theme at the annual five-day training meeting...
Man in iron lung discovers Rotary
One might think a man living with polio in an iron lung would know about Rotary. But it wasn't until Paul Alexander had a business meeting with a member in Duncanville, Texas, earlier this year that he learned Rotary fights to eradicate the very disease that left him almost completely paralyzed. "I was completely blown away by the idea. For all these years, I didn't know the work they were doing," says Alexander, a practicing attorney in Dallas. "It's such a perfect fit for me." Alexander contracted polio during a major U.S. outbreak of the disease in the late 1950s when he was six years old...
Alumni recognized for expanding mental health services and supporting Rotary’s work
Dr. Geetha Jayaram has dedicated her life to helping people in her native India and the United States overcome the torment of severe depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, and other mental illnesses. Jayaram is a psychiatrist and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Her work expanding access to mental health services is much needed. Depression affects at least 350 million people and is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. "In India, there is no mental...
 
 
 
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