Rotary International sets a monthly theme.  The theme for this month is Rotary Foundation.  Many of our newer members are not fully aware of the breadth and depth of the Rotary Foundation.  Our Rotary Foundation chair, Alan Okinaka, provided an informative overview of RF's mission and focus.
Rotary Foundation has six areas of focus:
  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development.
Projects addressing these areas of focus are carried out through the World Fund and the District Designated Fund.  Projects funded by the World Fund are directed by trustees.  Projects funded by the District Designated Fund are directed by the districts and are of two types:  Local (District) Grants and Global Grants.  Local grants are block grants available annually that enable clubs and districts to address immediate needs in their communities and abroad. District- and club-sponsored activities include vocational training teams, scholarships, humanitarian service projects, and cultural exchanges that align with the Foundation’s mission.  Global grants offer clubs and districts opportunities to participate in high-impact, larger-scale activities, such as international humanitarian projects.  Grants are carefully managed to ensure that the funds are used properly and benefit the population in need.  
When you contribute to the Rotary Foundation, you have a choice to direct your donation to the Polio Plus Fund, Annual Fund, or Endowment Fund.  The Annual Fund is the primary funding source for Foundation grants and activities.  For every dollar contributed to the Polio Plus Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches two dollars.  There are only three more countries to totally eradicate this dreaded disease:  Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.  The Endowment Fund provides a long-term source of funds.  Only the earnings are spent; the principal is professionally invested.  The Every Rotarian, Every Year effort encourages Rotarians to participate in their Foundation by volunteering for service activities and contributing to the Annual Fund each year.  A person who contributes $1,000 or in whose name $1,000 is contributed is recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.  Alan recognized one of our generous members, Sharon Scheele, as a Paul Harris Fellow +7 for contributing $8,000!
Why do we give?
  • I Want to Help; there are Others in Need
  • I Can and am able to Help, I Can Give Now
  • Sense of Purpose, Feels Good
  • I Want to Give Back for the Help Given to Me
  • Gives Me a Sense of Hope
  • I Feel Guilty, I Have and Others Don’t
  • Who knows, I May Benefit in the Future

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Mahatma Gandhi