Humanitarian Service

Rita Esterly District Governor

The two part harmony of the topic for July focuses on our humanitarian service component of the mission of Rotary. Through our service projects we start with our own communities and then extend our reach by serving the world. How does this topic help us to grow as a vibrant club?

Let’s look at the three components of the Rotary International Strategic plan and see how focusing on this topic in July can help us grow in these three areas. First, we can Strengthen our Club because when we engage in a project in our local community or in another country, we give our members something that is meaningful with which to participate and thus retain enthusiastic members. Because we need someone to lead the project, we develop leaders. As we work in the community, we are given the opportunity to interact with others so people know the service Rotary does and make connections by networking. Action: Choose one of the five avenues of service (club, vocational, community, international, new generations) and ask a group of new Rotarians from your club to develop a service project focused around that area.

Second, when we work to build communities and bridge continents, we have the opportunity to increase Rotary’s Public Image. When stories of good works are published in the newspaper, broadcasted on radio, written on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, or shouted on blogs, we are letting like minded people know that we can give them the opportunity to serve if they join our Rotary group. Action: Create a blog on your website and blog about all the service projects in which you participate throughout the year. Connect your blog to other blogs.

Third, as we build our communities and bridge our continents, we Increase our Humanitarian Service. Directing our efforts to concentrate on the six areas of focus will help us grow in our ability to carry out the Future Vision Plan. When we develop sustainable projects and build partnerships to help us in our service efforts, we grow our ability to help people in the world. Action: Find a non-governmental partner to collaborate with to do a project in one of the six areas of focus.

Thus, as we strive to engage in service in our communities and internationally, let’s broaden our scope. Let us go beyond what we have always done and create new, unique projects that can help breath fresh air into our own membership. Perhaps new leaders will emerge. Perhaps more publicity will result. Perhaps a collaborative partnership will give a club the opportunity to create service beyond what the club itself could ever have thought possible. Reach for the stars. You are only limited by small thinking, so think bigger, better, and bolder to become a vibrant club.