Over the next few weeks Regular Rots all around the world will be gearing up to undertake charitable collections; run their annual sleigh rides; deliver presents to children in less privileged parts of the community; dress up in costumes; rattle buckets at pantomimes; host and transport pensioners to various christmas lunches and some will even slip into their alter-ego that is Santa Claus.
As a result of each and every one of these amazing Rotary community projects there will be Rotary branding and Club names all around towns and cities across the world as the organisation has it’s busiest volunteering time of the year. And if there’s not, then there should be.
This really is a great opportunity to let people see that we are not just affluent, men in suits who go to lunch in the town’s best hotels – but that we are a diverse group of individuals keen to help out in the local community in what ever way brings benefit to the residents therein.
Sometimes this blog can be critical of the organisation that is Rotary International – but generally this is more about the processes, procedures and systems that are in place, along with the ‘wading through treacle’ feeling Regular Rots get in trying to take things forward. That principle is never going to change.
However, although with a falling membership, Rotary is still an amazing organisation that every single one of the 1.2 million members around the world can be proud of in terms of what it is achieving day-after-day.
The achievements being made in terms of humanitarian aid around the world; educational and literacy projects; water and sanitation as well as a desire of peace to name but a few throughout each and every community can undeniably only be commended.
These are backed up by the more local type of projects mentioned at the top of the blog with the local Regular Rots donning santa hats and christmas jumpers; singing, dancing and being general merry (are Rotarians allowed to have fun?) in order to promote the organisation they are proud to be part of.
Over the course of the next few weeks, there will be many, many thousands of pounds raised by members for great causes. Many children will receive gifts where they otherwise wouldn’t and many pensioners won’t be lonely this festive period – and all thanks to their local Rotary Clubs.
So, on this weekend that is the over-commercialised ‘Black Friday Weekend’ let’s think forward to all the great projects that will involve many Regular Rots over the next few weeks – and reflect that those bargains many were hunting for over the last 48 hours (and will continue to do so) are merely a pipe-dream for many others in your own community.
Therefore, if you’re involved with the Club in the forthcoming weeks – go out, be proud and pleased that your Rotary Club is once again making a massive difference to you local community. This may be one of the busiest times of the year for Rotarians around the world at this wonderful time of the year.
But let’s not forget the irony that for many in our communities that as we set out to open the first door on our advent calendars – this will be saddest, loneliest and most challenging next few weeks they will experience since their calendar sat on the same dates last year.
Thankfully Rotary is still trying to make a difference to these members of community – we should all be proud of this.