Do you ever have those moments when you sit down with a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine, and think, “how did I get here?” I find I do this very often in January as it tends to be a good time for reflection. Each year I reflect back on the previous year and decide how I will make this year better (and no, it does not matter if the previous year was fabulous!). This year, partly because of these articles, a major reflection has been on how I got involved with Rotary.
Almost five years ago I was asked to attend a Rotary meeting. Truth be told, I was asked a few times to attend one of our club’s meetings before I joined them for lunch. I was unsure what Rotary was other than a time commitment; so, I was a bit hesitant to attend. At the meeting the members were welcoming, the speaker was informative, the group was involved in helping the local community, and I realized I knew many of the people in the room. I took a leap of faith and joined the Rotary Club of Newberry. I was still unsure of what I was jumping into but I knew this was a group I wanted to be involved with immediately.
Since that first meeting I’ve realized how special our club is and how Rotary is impacting the community and our world. Our club supports the Boys Scouts (Troop 1!). We are involved in many literacy projects including supplying the Boys Farm with books and reading to the elementary school children. Members deliver meals to local residence through the Meals on Wheels program. We throw a Children’s Christmas party each December to spread a little cheer. This year we did a project with the Newberry County of Disabilities and Special Needs Board to expand their picnic shelter. It is wonderful to be impacting our local community in all these ways.
I also love how we are impacting the world, right here from Newberry! Some of our members are working on projects in Haiti. Last year we had a true “student exchange” we hosted a student from Germany while a member’s daughter went to Germany for the year. Each year we sponsor at least one student to attend RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awakening). I am energized each time I hear about another project (local, regional, national, or international) because I realize how much my involvement impacts the world.
I was recently scrolling through our local Rotary Facebook page and saw another member tagged a presentation from Rotary International with the caption… “I am asking you to ‘Be the Inspiration’ to your countries and communities – by coming together and taking action to create lasting change.” – Rotary President-elect Barry Rassin.
I’m not sure how this year is going to be better than last year, but I’m sure Rotary will be part of it. If any of this sounds like something you would enjoy, I hope you join me too.
Christina Pomeroy is the chair of the public relations committee for the Newberry Rotary Club.