Rotary guest promotes Interact clubs A guest speaker at the Maysville Rotary dwells on the importance of starting Interact clubs as children ages 12-18 are the future of the voluntary organisation.

Barbara Rahn addressing members at the Maysville Rotary Club. Photo: Christy Howell-Hoots
Barbara Rahn addressing members at the Maysville Rotary Club. Photo: Christy Howell-Hoots

Barbara Rahn of the Boone County Rotary Club spoke to Maysville Rotary Club (Kentucky, US — D 6740) members about the positive side of having an Interact Club in the community.

An Interact Club is meant for children ages 12 to 18, who want to be involved in Rotary, but are too young to join.

The clubs follow the same guidelines as a Rotary Club, according to Rahn.

“Our mission is to interact with others whose backgrounds are different than our own, develop relationships,” she said.

“We want kids to feel empowered. This club helps those kids to develop leadership skills to live by service above self.”

According to Rahn, the Interact Club also participates in two service projects a year; one that helps their own community and one that promotes international understanding.

Her own Interact kids go to the Dominican Republican each summer, where they visit children living in orphanages, paint houses and do other service projects.

“We have a group who sponsors us each year,” she said.
“They house us, feed us and we stay for about eight days. Any child who wishes to go, I will find a way for them. No child is turned away because of financial hardship.”

Rahn said there are two ways to start an Interact Club — through the local school district or by creating a community-based club.

“Ours is community based,” she said. “With community-based clubs, you don’t have to stay within the guidelines of the school district. You have more leniency. However, with school-based clubs, you have a pool of kids. It’s sometimes a little harder to get interest in the community-based clubs. I also feel that we don’t promote ourselves enough sometimes. We don’t sing loud enough about the good things we do.”

Rahn said she would encourage all Rotary clubs to put together an Interact Club for kids because they are the future of Rotary.

“Kids can start at age 12 and be Rotarians for life,” she said.

“It would be establishing a way of life if they start volunteering now.”

According to Rahn, in 2017, there were 20,372 Interact Clubs in 159 countries with 468,556 participants.

“With the Interact Club, these kids are connecting with world leaders, making a difference, discovering new cultures, becoming leaders and making friends around the world,” she said.

Source: The Ledger Independent

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