As you are reading this synopsis, you may be considering becoming a Rotarian, wondering what service really means in Rotary. Perhaps you are a new Rotarian, trying to find your niche within your club, and wondering how you can best contribute. Alternatively, you may be a seasoned Rotarian, well aware of what the organization has to offer and trying to help new members find their place, or aiming to recruit new members. Still as another possibility, you may be an external observer, or even a grant applicant, wondering what Rotarians actually do beyond meeting a few times per month often around a meal!
Rotary was founded in Chicago more than a hundred years ago. The object of Rotary is to “encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.” The organization’s motto is “Service above self.” But what does service actually mean in Rotary in practice?
Clearly, one size does not fit all in such a large and diverse organization as Rotary has become. What Rotarians actually do in their service work differs between countries, districts, and clubs. It also differs within clubs, with different members engaged in different types of service projects in a single club.
The objective of this short book is to answer the question of what service means in Rotary by providing examples of the inspiring work that Rotarians actually do. Two dozen short stories of Rotarians at work are provided. The stories give a feel for the diversity of service projects that Rotarians engage in, and how this affects them deeply for the better.
In addition, for those not familiar with Rotary, the book also explains briefly how Rotary considers different “avenues of service”, including service to one’s club, service to one’s vocation or profession, local community service, international service, and service related to the programs of Rotary for youth.
Hopefully, through simple stories of Rotarians at work, this short book will help you understand what service in Rotary is all about. More importantly, the hope is that the stories in the book will inspire you for your own volunteer work.