The Rotary motif – a blue and gold wheel – welcomes people to communities all over the world. An observant visitor will soon find Rotary projects provided by volunteers who are members of the local club which is, in turn, part of Rotary International. If you could visit every one of Rotary’s 34,000 clubs, you’d see men and women from varied backgrounds, speaking just about every world language, volunteering time and effort to complete service projects from local to global, and giving assistance to areas impacted by natural disasters.
Clearwater Rotary consists of 20-plus volunteers of all ages: community leaders, business owners and retirees work together to provide something that will benefit the area for years to come. This small but effective group fundraises and uses generous donations and contributions from Rotarians for projects within our community. Fundraisers are often events for locals to participate in just for the fun of it. Part of each person’s annual membership fee goes to Rotary International (RI). More volunteers carefully direct these funds to benefit those in need elsewhere. In recent years, RI has made eradication of polio a priority and “We are ‘this close’ to ending polio world-wide”.
Possible projects are endless, ranging from: collecting medical equipment, shoes and other recyclables for distribution elsewhere; from making trails that are wheel-chair accessible; to constructing pavilions, boat ramps, picnic tables, benches, and playgrounds; to providing parks and retirement centres, and even assisting in setting up business enterprises in developing countries. Scholarships help students follow their dreams, and, speaking of dreams, the Rotary Student Exchange Program takes deserving young people around the globe. Volunteers in the home Rotary Club start the process, and their counterparts at the destination assist financially and ensure the teenager is well-cared for and has a wonderful variety of experiences in this new country.
It is hard to imagine what our world, our North Thompson communities of Clearwater, Blackpool, Upper Clearwater, Vavenby, Avola, Blue River, Little Fort, Barriere – and every other place I could mention – would be like without the conscious and conscientious efforts of dedicated volunteers. Rotary contributes much; however, during this National Volunteers’ Week, take a moment to look for, and salute, the outstanding results of continued efforts by all our local volunteers and good neighbours. They improve life for everyone. Vocal, and financial, support is appreciated if you are too busy to become involved.
Time and effort to benefit others are the most generous donations given by volunteers of Rotary and all non-profit groups and people who go make a point of helping others.