What is Rotary?
Rotary is a global network of community volunteers.
Rotary club members are business, professional, and community leaders in your locality who meet regularly to plan and implement community service activities and network with other professionals. For those inter- ested, members can also choose to become involved in international humanitarian service efforts. More than 1.2 million men and women in over 200 countries and geographical areas belong to over 33,000 Rotary clubs.
Rotary builds international understanding through scholarships, exchange programs, and humanitarian grants. Throughout the world, Rotary clubs participate in a broad range of educational, intercultural, and hu- manitarian activities designed to improve the lives of others.
Rotary is a dynamic worldwide organization consisting of over 1.2 Million Rotarians in more than 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideals of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and in particular to encourage and foster:
1. The development of acquaintances as an opportunity for service;
2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to service society;
3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business and community life;
4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
Rotary meets weekly. A typical Rotary meeting would include a meal, introduction of guests, announcements and a short program. Each member is assigned a classification based on his vocation. You will have a name badge to wear at meetings and it is usually kept in a location near the check in.
We stress attendance and below 50% is not acceptable. It is easy to make-up though with 77 clubs in our own district and 33,000 clubs worldwide. You can also receive a make-up for working Rotary sponsored local functions, attending a Club Board Meeting, as well as attending the Rotary District Conference and/or International Rotary meetings or programs. You have two weeks before you miss or two weeks after you miss to make-up.
Rotary consists of its members and clubs. Clubs are in a district governed by a district governor who serves for one year. An International President and a Board of Directors govern Rotary International. Our district is 6110 and is made up of parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. We are considered to be in the top 10 districts in the world based on the furtherance of Rotary ideas.
Usually clubs work independently of each other on projects. One project all clubs in our district work together on is the District 6110 Medical Supplies Network Inc (MSNI). This operation is based in a Tulsa warehouse where we accumulate used medical equipment and supplies that we ship to less fortunate countries. Over 117 truckloads have been sent out of this warehouse to 32 different countries since January 1996. Usually one truckload per month is shipped overseas.
It is not unusual for clubs to have local, district, and/or international projects. Clubs sometimes work independently or with district or international partners.
The four avenues of service in Rotary are Club Service, Community Service, International Service and Vocational Service.
1. Club Service: Rotary's First Avenue of Service involves actions a Rotarian must take within the club to help it function successfully. This means having a good place to meet, good food, good fellowship, fun, and having good programs and speakers each week.
2. Vocational Service: Rotary's second Avenue of Service. Its purpose includes promoting high ethical standards in businesses and professions, recognizing the worthiness of all occupations, and fostering the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations. The role of the club includes developing projects that help members contribute their talents to meeting society's needs. The role of Rotarians includes conducting themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary principles and responding to projects their clubs develop.
3. Community Service: Rotary's Third Avenue of Service comprises varied efforts Rotarians make, sometime in conjunction with others to improve the quality of life for those who live within their club's locality or municipality. This is a most critical avenue, for if a club is not active in the community with projects, it will not grow and prosper.
4. International Service: Rotary's fourth Avenue of Service comprises all the things that a Rotarian can do to advance international understanding, goodwill and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, problems &endash; through reading and correspondence, and through cooperation in all club activities and projects (including those associated with the Rotary Foundation) designed to help people in other lands. Our District 6110 Medical Supplies Network is an example of International Service.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is involved in many educational and humanitarian projects. The Foundation had assets of $709.2 million in fiscal year 2006 with revenues of $162.1 million dollars.
In 1985 Rotary undertook the project of eradicating polio in the world. Before eradication efforts began in 1988, polio paralyzed more than1,000 children a day, which totaled about 350,000 children annually. Over 2 billion children have been given the oral polio vaccine since 1988. The incidence of polio has declined by more than 99 percent. Rotary International is the spearheading member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and is the largest private sector donor. It has contributed more than $600 million to the polio eradication activities in 122 countries. In addition, tens of thousands of Rotarians have partnered with their national ministries of health, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the U.S. centers for Disease control and Prevention, and with health providers at the grassroots level in thousands of communities. Today only four countries remain polio endemic &endash; Nigeria, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The Foundation is involved in many educational and humanitarian programs throughout the world. A few of these are Ambassadorial Scholarships, Rotary Centers for International Studies, Rotary Grants for University Teachers, Group Study Exchange, District Simplified Grants, Individual Grants, Matching Grants (Major and Minor), Health, Hunger, and Humanity (3H) Grants, Blane Community Immunizations Grants, PolioPlus, and PolioPlus Partners.
The Rotary Foundation receives its monies from individuals contributing money to the Rotary Foundation. Those who contribute $1,000 are eligible to become a Paul Harris Fellow. An individual may also contribute additional monies and become a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Major Donor, or a member of the Arch Klumpf Society. Those who wish to provide for a gift in their estate plan may become Benefactors or Bequests Society members.
Rotary was started in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris who got a group of four businessmen together to meet weekly. Their original purpose was to refer business to one another, and they rotated the meetings among their offices to get better acquainted. Hence, they decided to name it The Rotary Club. Soon, they realized that business men could not be held together by fellowship alone. They decided to do an occasional service project in order to attract more members. From this simple beginning, Rotary has developed into one of the most dynamic service organizations in the world. As Rotarians we follow the 4-Way Test in the things we think, say or do.
1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIP?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?