An Exploration Into The Rotary Club
The Rotary Club was formed in Chicago, IL on February 23, 1905 by Paul P Harris. Mr. Harris an attorney wanted to create a professional club that would encompass the small town feel of his childhood. The first Rotary Club members were Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey and Paul Harris. By 1921 there were Rotary Club charters on six different continents. By 1925 there were over two thousand clubs formed with the main purpose of “Service Before Self”. The popularity of the club surpassed what Mr. Harris could have imagined attracting prime ministers, and presidents. The Rotary Club first opened to women in 1989 and now they are an integral part of the club. The club now consist of over 2 million members and is open to young students as well.
The main focus of the Rotary Club is service projects that promote peace and conflict resolution, maternal and child health, disease prevention and treatment, education and literacy, and economic and community development. The Rotary Club offers networking with successful people working for a common cause. The service projects within the Rotary Club bring together people of all walks of life wanting to make the world better for everyone.
In cooperation with the International Reading Association and the Hollywood Foundation's Imagination Library, the Rotary Club focusing on education and literacy. The Rotary Club partners with Aga Khan University for the health of women and children. The partnerships that are established ensure that the Rotary Club can truly affect the issues for each area of service. With the focus on water and sanitation worldwide, the partnership if enhanced by RI/USAID International H20 Collaboration. The Rotary Club has changed the lives of many people throughout the world including Latin America where sustainable water solutions were engineered, and lessons were taught from the International H20 collaboration. The Rotary Club takes great pride on the community efforts that are truly making a difference for others.
Other support projects recently for the Rotary Club include Oklahoma districts establishing a tornado disaster fund, the ShelterBox USA project is committed to disaster relief, and Native American districts create a relief fund for flood victims.
Beginning in 1947 the Rotary Club has provided scholarships for over 41,000 women and men to study abroad. This program is unfortunately ending in 2013 but a new program will replace the current one. The Rotary Club Peace Center offers a master's degree program in international relations, professional development, and sustainable development. In 2010 through 2011 the Ambassadorial Scholarship foundation raised over 9.5 million dollars for individual grants.
The Rotary Club offers several different programs that brings the world together including Friendship Exchanges with other countries. This program allows member to visit a new country and live in the home of another member to be exposed to the entire culture of the visiting country. This program can include the entire family of the Rotary Club member up to a total of six people. This allows the member to explore the other members career as well.