Every time the topic of Rotary membership is brought up, it instantly brings me back to the day I was invited to the Rotary Club of Zamboanga City when the late PP Joe Go asked me, “Edwin, where do you have your lunch every Thursday?” That conversation happened more than 15 years ago yet I can still vividly remember it today.
I am sure that like me, all of you have your own memorable Rotary membership story to share as well, of how a friend, a colleague, a relative or a client invited us to join Rotary – to see for ourselves what Rotarians do during club meetings, how Rotarians plan high impact community projects, and join in the fun during Rotary fellowships.
As we celebrate Membership month, let us take this time to ponder why we got invited by our sponsors to join Rotary. Why did your sponsor speak highly of Rotary as he or she was convincing you to join the club?
I can think of many reasons and among these are;
1. Your sponsor saw the core values of Rotary in you:
2. Your sponsor saw Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” in your actions.
3. Your sponsor would like you to experience Rotary leadership and fellowship. It made a difference in their lives and they knew it will have a positive impact in yours too.
Whatever the reason, one thing is sure – our Rotary sponsor cared about us and wanted us to experience the joy of being a Rotarian.
And indeed Rotary has impacted my life in so many ways. From being a new club member, we are now like family members, business partners, valued client/suppliers, shopping buddies, travel mates, team mates, etc.
I am sure not a day goes by that we don’t talk or text a fellow Rotarian as we have become part of each other’s lives. It brought out the best in us and it is now our turn to pay it forward by reaching out to our families, friends, colleagues, and clients and show them the amazing things we do and make them experience the joy of being in Rotary.
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta believes in this as well as he enjoins us to make history this Rotary year by increasing membership to 1.3 million at the start of the Rotary year.
“The call to action is simple: Each One, Bring One. This year, I want every Rotarian and Rotaractor to introduce a new person into their club,” President Shekhar said.
Our district membership as of July 2021 stands at 1,333 members. Our district goal is to add 222 new members and have a 90-100 percent membership retention. Special district awards will be given to clubs who can attain 100 percent membership retention this Rotary year.
Let us bear in mind that Rotary is both a membership and service organization. Rotarians are our greatest asset to help achieve lasting change in communities.
More members mean, more helping hands to Serve to Change and this was stressed by President Shekhar when he said, “As you grow more, you will be able to do more.”
We can definitely achieve this by bringing diversity, equity and inclusion in our everyday conversation and action. Let us reach out to the younger people and women to join our clubs. We need to adapt and be inclusive as everyone can contribute and help the communities we serve.
As we bring in new members, let us not forget to give importance as well to our existing and long-term Rotarians. Let us be more flexible in this trying times especially in attendance, assessment and fellowships, without compromising the essence of our membership and club goals.
Each Rotarian is unique and special. Let us make them feel that way by giving them quick calls or sending them heart-warming text messages. Our members will stay on in our clubs if they see that personal touch, if they see they are valued, if they feel they are connected.
Together, we will increase our district membership…
Together, we will retain all Rotarians in District 3850…
Together, we can!!!