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RI President’s Message - December 2013 and January 2014

27 December 2013 4,834 views No Comment

We often talk about Rotary as an extended family, with all of its branches and generations. We value our youth program participants and alumni as important members of the Rotary family, and we place a special emphasis on service to children and families. We do this because we know that for any family, the youngest generation is the future. That is absolutely true for us in Rotary.

We know that it is essential for us to bring in a new generation of younger Rotary members. We've spent a lot of time talking about how to attract young professionals to Rotary – but perhaps we haven't talked enough about why they don't stay.

There are plenty of young people, some of them youth program alumni, who do join Rotary. But when they begin families of their own, many of them leave. It isn't hard to see why: These are young professionals who are already spending more time than they want to away from their families. No matter how much they love and value Rotary, they are not going to prioritize their Rotary service over their spouses and children.

Nor should we ever expect them to. This is why it is so important for us to find ways to welcome families into Rotary, so that Rotary and the family are never in competition for a Rotarian's time. Whether it's by planning service projects that involve the whole family, or providing child care during meetings, or being flexible about meeting places and times, we need to make Rotary service a viable option for those with young children.

When you welcome families into Rotary, you're saying: Your family is not an obstacle to your Rotary service. They're not something that has to be scheduled around. Instead of mom or dad going out to Rotary and leaving everyone else at home, Rotary goes on the family calendar. The family of Rotary is real. Those children are going to grow up seeing their parents involved in community service, and being involved in service themselves. Not only is that a great thing for the family – it's a great thing for the Rotary club, which will be helping to nurture a new generation of active, service-minded young members.

At every stage of our lives and our careers, Rotary has something for all of us – a way to let us do more, give more, and be more. Rotary is big enough for us all.

Ron D. Burton

President 2013-14

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bschew
Mentor, Coach, Family Life Educator & Licensed Marriage Solemniser FCIB, MBA(Hull), GMC(Henley), MSID Tel: (65) 9186 9763 www.onlinejv.com, www.1on1breakthroughcoaching.com
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