President's Message DECEMBER 2015
of Rotary Month
As we approach Christmas and the New Year we are
more conscious of a focus on family and family reunions. People celebrate on
some level, commerce - except retail - slows down and many families take their
annual holidays. So December is indeed a time to reflect on family values and
how Rotary shapes those values. In Rotary we see our life priorities as family,
work and then Rotary. But ideally we should not isolate Rotary from our family
life. In some clubs, children are not only welcome but an integral part of
Beyond the immediate family is the family of
Rotary. This is a large family indeed. The members include the alumni of all
the programs that Rotary supports directly and indirectly. There are the major programs such as Youth
Exchange, RYLA, RYPEN, GSE, NYSF, Ambassadorial, Peace and Global Grant
Scholars and many others. Sadly we all
too often lose contact with these family members after they complete their
program. It is the responsibility of Rotarians to do our best to keep them
within the family of Rotary. Sometimes,
like close family, there is a breakdown in the relationship and we go our
separate ways. Too often it is the
Rotary club that fails to reach out and keep that relationship vibrant or at
least ongoing. Most of us individually
have many names on our Christmas list for which the annual exchange of cards is
the only regular contact. It costs nothing to send an annual email message to
our past program alumni each year, other than the effort to do so. Obviously the list will be difficult to
maintain as the years go by but if these family members feel that we care, they
will make the effort to ensure that we know how to contact them.
We should ideally not just keep in contact
annually. These alumni have been the beneficiaries of Rotary generosity and it
is not unreasonable for us to ask them for assistance occasionally for some of
our projects. We should also ideally invite them to club functions from time to
time. Many prominent Rotarians began
their Rotary journey by participating in Rotary programs. How often do they have to wait for the
invitation to be asked to become a Rotarian? It will not always be the right time for
program participants to become Rotarians, especially our exchange students but
if we keep track of them and they know we really care, that time may come
sooner than we expect.
belongs to our Rotary Family?
and spouse groups (e.g. Inner Wheel)
parents and other relatives
of deceased Rotarians
Exchange students and their families
Rotaractors and RYLA members
team members, Ambassadorial Scholars and alumni
Why is the Family of Rotary important?
us to build lifelong friendships
our personal families' relationships
world understanding and peace
international solidarity and tolerance
to membership growth
to diversity of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion and profession
Rotary's public image
clubs and their commitment to service
How do we care for fellow Rotarians
birthdays and anniversaries
when they are sick, lonely, or having difficulties
their grief during and after a death in the family
at births, weddings, etc.
can Youth Exchange students become family members?
club members to invite them to their family functions
with the students' families back home
lifelong contact after the student has returned home
can we involve Interactors, Rotaractors and RYLA in the family?
them to participate in:
and district social events Christmas parties,
them attend other Interact, Rotaract, and RYLA activities
do we keep Foundation Alumni involved in the family?
them to join Rotary Invite them to speak at meetings
· Ask them to participate in club
projects Communicate regularly when abroad Welcome them upon their return.
[From District 9820]