R. I. President & TRF Chair's Messages

Rotary International John Kenny's May 2010 Message

May 2010

My fellow Rotarians,

Shortly after the earthquake hit Haiti in January, Rotarians began making phone calls and sending e-mails to discuss how they could help. When Rotary International posted its first story on Rotary's immediate relief efforts, Rotarians took this discussion online. The very first comment about the story expressed what so many Rotarians were thinking: "If they begin sending Rotarians over to help in any way, please let me know if I can help."

This plea was multiplied over the following days on Rotary's website and our social media pages. Rotarians also reported what they were doing: collecting thousands of dollars to fund ShelterBoxes and Aquaboxes, contributing to Rotary's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, and organizing ways to transport food, supplies, and medical personnel to the devastated country.

On the ground in and around Haiti, Rotarians were also busy. Local Rotarians helped distribute the ShelterBoxes to some of those left homeless. Rotarian Claude Surena, a physician, took 100 injured earthquake victims into his home, which he managed to turn into a makeshift hospital despite the damage it had sustained. District 7020 established a relief fund, flew in planes loaded with medical supplies, and strategized to provide assistance in the weeks following the disaster.

And it is in those weeks – and months and even years – that Rotary can make its greatest contribution. Rotary is not a disaster relief agency, but we are very good at long-term recovery. After all the media attention dies down, Rotary will still be there on the ground – in Haiti's case, with 17 local clubs and thousands of willing partner clubs. If Rotary's recovery efforts in Bangladesh, Honduras, Indonesia, and countless other countries are any indication, Rotarians will be in Haiti long after public interest has faded and the media have moved on.

In this month's Global Outlook, you can learn more about Rotary's success in helping communities and countries rebuild after a disaster – not only replacing what was lost but making it better as well. The Rotarian passion for helping those in need, combined with our perseverance and grassroots presence, will continue to bring hope to those whose lives have been torn apart by disaster.

Our response to the tragedy in Haiti manifests Rotary's concern and desire to help those less fortunate and offers evidence of what Rotary does best: give service. Thank you all for what you are doing.

The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands.
John Kenny
President, Rotary International


TRF Chairman's May 2010 Message

Why Rotarians support our Foundation

Over the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a number of Rotarians and their spouses inducted into the Arch C. Klumph Society. I’m always interested in hearing why these Rotarians give so generously to our Rotary Foundation. Their reasons vary. Bob Selinger, who experienced the practical assistance of his fellow club members during a health crisis, says that “you couldn’t ask for a more giving or loving organization.” Bill and Jean Wilson believe that by giving to the Foundation, they are “saying yes to a better world.” Peggy Bloomfield was inspired to give by her son, Bill, also an Arch C. Klumph Society member. His reason for giving: “It’s our responsibility to leave the sandbox better than we found it.”

Of course, you don’t have to give US$250,000 to have a good reason for supporting The Rotary Foundation. Most Rotarians have humanitarian goals they want to achieve. And like recent Arch C. Klumph Society inductees Jack and Vivian Harig, they know that “giving to the Foundation allows Rotarians to do extraordinary things worldwide that they normally couldn’t do themselves.” Those extraordinary things are what make our Rotary Foundation so critical in today’s troubled world, and your support is what makes it possible to continue this vital work.

Glenn E. Estess Sr.
Foundation Trustee Chair

Source: Rotary International

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