We all make hundreds if not thousands of decisions daily. Whenever I need to make an important decision, I remember the words of Roy Disney, who co-founded what became the Walt Disney Co.: “It’s easy to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Each of us brings a set of personal values into our clubs. Rotary also unites by a set of core values — service, fellowship, diversity, integrity and leadership — that guide our decisions and galvanise us to take action and, by doing so, change the world.
Another value is inextricable to Rotary: our giving spirit. From the club members who volunteer their time for service projects to the Rotary leaders in the Arch Klumph Society who sustain our Foundation, Rotary members are among the most generous people I have ever met. Combining our personal generosity with the countless ways Rotary affords us to give back makes us a global force for good. In Rotary, we take it a step further. We also value good stewardship, planning and sustainability. Not only do we give, but in Rotary we also give smart. We know that building sustainability into our projects means their impact will be felt over the long term.
In short, through the Foundation, your gifts keep on giving. This is why donating to The Rotary Foundation is one of the most intelligent decisions you can make. You know that your gift will align with those values you hold dear and that it will be administered by your fellow Rotarians, who share those values. It is quite an understatement to say that in giving to Rotary, we also receive. As someone who has been privileged to visit hundreds of Foundation projects around the world, I can tell you that the gift we get in return is priceless.
I hope you, too, will be as lucky as I have been, to see the look of amazement on the face of a person at an eye clinic in Chennai, India, who now sees clearly. The proud smiles of Guatemalan children who learned to read thanks to Rotary. Or the grateful tears of a parent in Pakistan whose child has received two drops of polio vaccine. Then you will understand what I’m talking about. We are so fortunate to be able to serve humanity by supporting our Foundation.
During this season of giving, I thank you for your generosity to The Rotary Foundation and for all the ways you give to our great organisation. Juliet and I extend our warmest holiday greetings to you all.
Ian H S Riseley
Foundation Trustee Chair