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District 5440, Inc.
 
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When someone asks "What is Rotary," or when we talk with a person that we feel might make a good Rotarian, we very often explain that Rotary is a service organization and then talk about the projects that occur in our local or international community. One thing we often don't stress is what people get out of joining our great organization.
From my observations throughout my Rotary life, I believe there are three main items we receive when we join and become engaged within our club:

Personal growth
Professional development
Family values

Personal growth comes about through the opportunity of acquaintance. We meet people we might otherwise never would have come in contact with. Through these relationships, we learn what others do in their vocation, along with their hobbies and interests, and those interactions enrich our own life. That bond of friendship strengthens as we work alongside our fellow Rotarians to complete our mission of service. These relationships and networking opportunities expand even more when we attend district assemblies and conferences. Also, personal growth happens as a result of the programs and speakers that are a part of all Rotary meetings. Our knowledge of local and international issues increase, which we then use to share ideas with the intent of taking action.

There is no shortage of professional development when we are a member of Rotary. There are many opportunities to hone our leadership skills through the Rotary Leadership Institute program, District Assemblies, and the President Elect Training Seminar (PETS), or from simply observing others in Rotary. Leading a project allows us to learn about project management, salesmanship, fund raising, and volunteer management. Many of our fellow Rotation have those skills as part of their career but are always happy to mentor a fellow member in order to achieve success. One thing that is pretty universal with Rotarians  is that they never want anyone to fail.

There is an inherent value system that we get front Rotary based on our two tenets of our motto, Service Above Self, and our 4-Way Test. By accepting and trying to live up to these two things, others, including our families and people we associate with, see us as individuals who are walking the talk by doing things to make the world a better place. Our children learn by observation and what a better thing to teach them than the idea of paying it forward. That life lesson will hopefully manifest itself into an ever increasing population of people spreading peace and understanding around our world.

Many people give quite a bit in Rotary but we also get a lot in return. As we do our Rotary job by giving others hope, opportunities, and saving lives, we, as individuals, grow, learn, and share our values. These things are what fuel our Rotary Passion. These things are what future Rotary members can expect by saying "Yes" to an invitation to join.
 

 
 
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Member Spotlight: The book on Brad Rubini
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian When Brad Rubini was reading a bedtime story to his seven-year-old daughter, Claire, she asked him why he was reading the words wrong. “I’m dyslexic, so I thought I was reading the words right,” recalls Rubini, a past president of the Rotary Club of Toledo, Ohio. After he explained his problem, she began to read to him on most nights instead. “She was a voracious reader and storyteller. She was always telling stories, even when she was a toddler,” he says. Three years later, while Claire was away at summer camp, she died unexpectedly as a result of a...
Health: Survival of the Fitbittest
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian In the seven days from 7 through 13 March, I took precisely 84,250 steps. This amounted to 39.85 miles. I also climbed 288 floors and burned 22,055 calories. I’m fairly certain that you, gentle readers, could not care less about those statistics. Unless, of course, you’re one of the millions of gentle readers who have joined America’s fitness self-surveillance movement by strapping a tracking device to your wrist. In which case, you are probably pretty darned impressed by my stats. I should therefore add a few crucial caveats. Caveat No. 1: That week...
John Germ: Champion of Chattanooga
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian Just before John Germ dropped by, Rick Youngblood took a deep breath. “You want to match his energy,” he says, “but he makes it hard to keep up.” Youngblood is the president and CEO of Blood Assurance, a regional blood bank in Chattanooga, Tenn., that Germ helped found in 1972. After his visit with Youngblood, Germ strode between mountains of empty bottles and cans at Chattanooga’s John F. Germ Recycling Center at Orange Grove, which he designed, before he drove to a construction site and popped a cork to dedicate a Miracle League field where special...
Cynthia Salim: Former Rotary Scholar makes clothing with a conscience
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian The way Cynthia Salim sees it, the fashion industry doesn't have much to offer a young, socially conscious woman like her when it comes to work clothes. "The fashion industry often does 'sexy' or 'fun' or 'hip,' and things that encourage frequent purchases," the 29-year-old says. "It's very rare that the design community will design something that will make a young woman look credible and influential as well as timeless." Add "and is ethically made" to that list, and it becomes a tall order that Salim became increasingly frustrated trying to fill when...
Member Interview: Susan Davis uses social entrepreneurship to fight poverty
From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian Susan Davis has devoted the past three decades to using social entrepreneurship and microfinance to address extreme poverty, particularly in Bangladesh. A Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship in the early 1980s allowed her to study international relations at the University of Oxford. A decade ago, she co-founded BRAC USA (previously the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee) to help the world’s poor through self-empowerment. She is co-author, with journalist David Bornstein, of the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to...
 
 
 
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