November is the month we give thanks for all our many blessings. In Rotary it is also Rotary Foundation Month, a great time of the Rotary Year.
I am thankful for The Rotary Foundation all year long. We as Rotarians are so fortunate to be associated with The Rotary Foundation, one of the top charitable organizations in the World. Every year The Rotary Foundation continues to receive Charity Navigator’s highest “Four Star” rating, and many other accolades. Why is our Foundation so highly though of?
Accountability and sustainability are the hallmarks of our Foundation. Rotarians are involved at every level of the process, from fundraising, to oversight, to project proposals, to project execution. We always know that one of our fellow Rotarians, committed to the 4-Way Test, is close to the action.
And those underpinnings of The Rotary Foundation allow us to be out there “Doing Good in the World” in so many ways. Sometimes we operate on a massive scale such as Polio Eradication – the largest public health effort in human history, saving the world’s children from the scourge of Polio paralysis.
But in all of our efforts, be they large or small, we are also “doing good” one person at a time: Saving the life of an infant by providing medical equipment to a women’s hospital in Mali. Teaching a little girl in Afghanistan the basics of science by supporting a grant for a girl’s school there. Providing help, in the form of a trained service dog, for a Nebraska veteran suffering from PTSD. Or providing a safe, comfortable bed for a Shenandoah child without one. These are just a handful of examples, from grants and projects originating in our District, of the Millions of people who benefit every year from the work of The Rotary Foundation.
Mostly I am thankful for all of you who have contributed to The Rotary Foundation with your time and your resources. Whether you are a Major Donor, a member of the Arch Klumph Society, a Paul Harris Fellow, Paul Harris Society member, Benefactor, Bequest Society member, Paul Harris Sustainer, EREY member, or you just give occasionally as you are able, your gifts matter, and they are changing lives in your community, in our District and throughout the World.
Now is the time to press forward with our efforts! Our World continues to face challenges: the final eradication of Polio; COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene needs; education; maternal health; peace and conflict resolution; economic development; and the environment. Your new or continuing gifts to The Rotary Foundation have always been important, and they matter now more than ever.
I urge you to keep the Foundation front and center at your Club meetings. Talk about the work The Rotary Foundation is doing all over the world. Encourage donations and recognize donors. Take personal action – go to and learn more about The Rotary Foundation, make a donation, and sign up for regular, automatic donations through Rotary Direct. Make the Rotary Foundation an important part of your life and your charitable giving. I know you will be thankful that you did.
Bill Harvey
District 5650 Rotary Foundation Committee Chair