At this week’s meeting we inducted a new member, Matt Johnson and he makes the third new member we have added this year with two more waiting over the next couple of weeks. This is great for the club and great for its future.
October is Foundation month and with it comes a focus on our efforts globally to ‘do good’ in the world. Hearing from our District Foundation Chair Tim Mannix, the numbers and impact that Rotary has in the world is astounding. The Foundation is the charity arm of Rotary and it is impressive that less than 10% of all funds go towards administrative cost and fundraisers.
The way the Rotary Foundation works is very simple. The annual fund represents the money donated in a given year it is held and invested for three years. The foundation operates on the income that money earns over that time period. Once the three years are up, half of the money is returned to each district that can be used for grants to their clubs. This allows the clubs more control over how their money is spent. The other half goes towards global grants that involve more than one club.
Each district has autonomy as to how the money is spent. Our district spends the money wisely and for causes and projects that are sponsored by individual clubs. For example, our club received a $2000 check from the district for the Park Beautification project that we are doing at the Cedar Hills Rotary park off Millbrook Road. Additionally, we received a matching grant for the Guatemala Literacy Project of $3000 and additional funds were given for a micro-lending project we are sponsoring.
For the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP), we have received donations from other clubs in our district to be added to the Global Grant, which could bring up to $200,000 to this wonderful cause that is focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education. As Rotarians, we can be proud of these efforts that the difference we are making in this world. If you are not a Rotarian, why not?
Another focus this month is the End Polio Now campaign. Polio has been eradicated from 99% of the world, but the remaining 1% may be the most difficult. Currently, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only remaining countries that have not been eradicated. Tim mentioned the fear that if we do not get the job finished in the next few years, there could be a new epidemic of cases due to the mobility of the population. For example, one person carried the virus across the border and it resulted in several cases in countries that were formerly polio-free.
We must continue this fight to eradicate polio from the world. It is estimated that it may take as much as $5 billion dollars to finish the job. Bill and Melinda Gates along with other major donors have gotten us most of the way towards this goal, but the rest must be raised by Rotarians. The disease is still out there and it is one that can be and should be eradicated from the world.
On October 24th, there will be a World Polio Day: Making History program that will be streamed live. I would encourage each of you to put it on your calendar and be there to learn more about it and where we stand. We Must FINISH this job!!!