RI President's Message - June 2017
Growing up in Chattanooga, Tenn., my brothers and I learned young
to work hard. It was a lesson taught to us by our father, who had
come to the United States, alone, as a teenager. He wanted our lives
to be better and easier than his had been; he wanted to give us
the education and opportunities that he had missed. We always knew,
when he came home at 8 o'clock in the morning after working a night
shift at the paper mill, that he was doing it for us.
Looking back, through the prism of many years, I see in my father's
hard work not only an expression of his love for us, but the universal
desire of each generation to care for and lift up the next. And
looking back at this year of service in Rotary, I see that desire
reflected in each of us who have chosen to be part of this great
organization. It is natural for parents to want to make things better
for their children. Through Rotary, we can do so much more: We can
make things better, not only for our own children, but for all children.
We have the opportunity to care for and lift up those who need us
the most – whether they are in our own community or on the
other side of the world.
As Judy and I have traveled the world for Rotary over the last two
years, we've been reminded, again and again, of what motivates us
in Rotary: the simple desire to be of assistance, to give a helping
hand to those who need it. Whether it means building a blood bank
in Uganda, delivering an X-ray machine to a village in Guatemala,
or taking care of refugees in Lebanon, Rotarians are doing what
is needed most for the people who are most in need. They're working
hard for the communities they care about, helping the people of
those communities lead better lives.
To me, that is the essence of Rotary: that desire to be of assistance,
that willingness to work for the good of others. In Rotary, when
someone needs help and you can give that help, you don't walk away.
You don't turn your back. You say, I'm here for you. I'll do whatever
I can. And I know that whatever I do, I'm not doing it alone –
I'm doing it with Rotary Serving Humanity.
John F. Germ
Source: Rotary International
Trustee chair's message
- May 2017
We've had a wonderful time celebrating all the extraordinary achievements
of The Rotary Foundation's first 100 years. As we approach the
end of this centennial year, it's time to turn our attention to
the Foundation's future. What can we do right now to
ensure that the Foundation will reach even greater heights in
the next 100 years?
First, we must finish our work to eradicate polio. If we fail,
we risk a global return of the disease – up to 200,000 new
cases every year, within 10 years. But if we succeed, the world
would enjoy a savings as high as $50 billion by 2035. There really
is no choice: We must succeed.
What can you do? Raise money, advocate for government support,
and share the inspirational story of Rotary's steadfast commitment
to a polio-free world.
Of course, our work to end polio isn't the only compelling story
we have to tell. Your club's district and global grant projects
are successes that you should share with your local community
and media. Tell them about the scholars you are sponsoring, the
vocational training team that is visiting or traveling from your
district, and the causes the Foundation supports.
After you've impressed people with the Foundation's many accomplishments,
ask them to join us – as members, supporters, or volunteers.
I believe that every Rotarian should make an annual contribution
to the Foundation, because it is our Foundation, and we are ultimately
responsible for its success – yet that doesn't mean that
we shouldn't also encourage others to contribute. Telling others
about our work
Kalyan Banerjee - Trustee
Celebrate the new year
January marks the start of a new year on many
calendars, but in Rotary, we begin our year in July. That puts us
at the halfway point — a good time to take stock of our progress
and set goals for the remainder of the year.
An annual to-do list for The Rotary Foundation
might include the following items:
Contribute to the End Polio Now campaign to take advantage
of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2-to-1 match.
Start a simple or large-scale project in your
community supported by a grant and keep the community informed.
Recommend a promising candidate for the Rotary Peace Centres programme.
Host a Rotary Scholar or vocational training team.
Enroll in Rotary Direct for easy recurring giving.
Include a bequest to the Foundation in your estate plan.
Apply for a Rotary International credit card, which allocates a
portion of each purchase you make to The Rotary Foundation.
As you can see, there are many ways to support
our Foundation and carry out its humanitarian mission. This year,
we have another item to add to our checklist: Celebrate The Rotary
Here are some of the ways you can observe
Work with your club to plan a birthday party, fundraiser, or event
in your community to let others know more about Rotary and its Foundation.
Download a promotion kit from rotary.org/foundation100 for ideas.
Promote your club’s Foundation grant projects to local media.
Dedicate club meetings to the discussion of Rotary Foundation
Read the history of The Rotary Foundation in Doing Good in
the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation’s
First 100 Years. Copies are available in hardback or e-book
format at shop.rotary.org.
Share your centennial plans and events on social media using #TRF100.
Of course, the biggest birthday party of all
will take place in Atlanta from 10 to 14 June, when thousands of
Rotarians will come together for the Rotary International Convention.
I hope you will join me and the Foundation Trustees to make this
the best party of the year.
Trustee Chair's Message, January 2017
- Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair 2016 - 17