R. I. President and Trustee Message - Aug

RI President 2023-24 Gordon R. McInally
Rotary Club of South Queensferry
Lothian, Scotland,


Dear Fellow Rotarians, Rotaractors, and friends
August 2023


At the 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, I asked all Rotary members to become champions in our effort to illuminate mental health needs near and far. This includes helping one another feel more supported, advocating for mental health services, and building bridges with experts in the field to expand access to treatment. 

It’s an important task and a big ask. But it’s also something that should feel familiar to every Rotary member — because everything we do is in the spirit of caring, giving, friendship, and compassion, and has been from the beginning of our organization. 

We’ve grown into an amazing global network of 1.4 million interconnected community leaders — leaders who share a deep commitment to doing good in the world. But what makes Rotary powerful isn’t just what we do for the communities we serve. We also support and empower each other, by creating a safe space for our members to bring their whole, authentic selves. We show each other comfort and care.  

These connections are deeply meaningful. The U.S. surgeon general recently declared loneliness a public health epidemic. Dr. Vivek Murthy said, “We must prioritize building social connection the same way we have prioritized other critical public health issues such as tobacco, obesity, and substance use disorders.” I am proud of what Rotary has done across generations to build those kinds of social connections — and this magazine focused on loneliness and what Rotary can do about it in its January 2023 issue. 

Our worldwide community and our foundational value prioritizing Service Above Self makes Rotary a powerful global advocate for mental health. A recently published study by Ohio State University found performing acts of kindness was the only one of three mental health interventions tested that helped people feel more connected to others. Study co-author David Cregg said, “Performing acts of kindness seems to be one of the best ways to promote those connections.” 

This research suggests what we’ve known all along — that doing good helps transform not just the communities we serve, but it also transforms us. As we put a greater focus on mental health, let’s not think of this effort as something new to Rotary, but rather as something we can do better and as a result have a greater impact on ourselves and the people we serve. 

We are not starting this effort from scratch. The Rotary Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives has been focused on these kinds of issues for several years — and we will be looking to members of that group for leadership as we continue to build awareness. 

Mental health care fits comfortably within several of our areas of focus. As of May, there are 41 global grant-supported projects with a mental health focus. Many of them have tremendous promise, and we will be highlighting them in the months ahead.
 
So let’s work together to erase the stigma associated with emotional well-being, raise awareness of mental health needs, and improve access to preventive and interventional mental health services.  
Together, we will Create Hope in the World. 
.

Gordon R. McInally
President 2023-24

Trustee Chair's Message - August 2023

Barry Rassin
Trustee Chair 2023-24
Rotary Club of East Nassau,
New Providence, Bahamas,

Trustee chair's message
BIO
August 2023


This year, I urge all of you to think bigabout The Rotary Foundation. To reach our goals and make the impact we know we can make, we must think outside the box and embrace innovation. We must make bold plans to expand our reach today, tomorrow, and in the future. 

Start by thinking big about Foundation-supported projects. If your club hasn’t engaged in a Rotary Foundation district grant or global grant, make this the year you do. Collaborating with your Rotary counterparts in another district on one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus can make a lasting impact beyond your wildest dreams. Explore Rotary Showcase at rotary.org/showcase or arrange a meeting between your club and your district Rotary Foundation chair to start a conversation.

Let’s also think big about our polio fundraising this year. Begin planning your World Polio Day fundraiser now for 24 October if you haven’t already. Let’s see how Rotaract and Rotary clubs can make this year’s fundraisers our best ever.

Thinking big about the Foundation also means remembering that through it, our impact goes beyond the current Rotary year. We see this through not only the emphasis on sustainability in our grant projects but also in initiatives such as Programs of Scale. The third Programs of Scale recipient will take on a big challenge: combating cervical cancer and enhancing women’s health in Egypt through awareness-raising and improved access to preventive care.

The success of the Programs of Scale grant model lies in our approach of closely collaborating with partners to amplify proven methods. Each year, The Rotary Foundation awards $2 million to a member-led program that has demonstrated success and has the potential to reach more people through scaling up over a three- to five-year period.

Our Programs of Scale are the epitome of thinking big: Through them, we aim to establish sustainable partnerships and cost-effective programs that deliver tangible benefits beyond the funding period. This way, Rotary and its Foundation can reach and assist more people in more places.

Lastly, let’s remember that our efforts to make the world a better place should extend beyond our time on earth. As we strive to reach $2.025 billion by 2025 for Rotary’s Endowment, consider how you can leave a legacy by making a gift or a commitment to a Rotary endowment. This will ensure that Rotary’s future generations will have greater financial resources to create positive change, just as so many are doing now, in so many ways.

http://www.endpolio.org/donate.

Barry Rassin
Trustee Chair 2023-24

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