Rotary eClub 7210’s Past President Ana Johnsen and current President Richard Wilson discuss the need for eClubs, a nontraditional approach to encourage membership in service organizations such as Rotary that may be losing members due to rigid attendance requirements. Maintaining membership is vital for the survival of service organizations, but recruitment is often difficult because work and family obligations as well as health issues may prevent people from attending ordinary meetings. To address this problem, Rotary created eClubs. These require members to provide humanitarian service of their choice and to pay basic dues, but do not require attendance at meetings. Chartered in 2012, Rotary eClub 7210 includes members from several countries (including Sweden, Nigeria, India, and Turkey) and U.S. states. Members communicate mainly through email, considering that time zones make it difficult to meet any other way. The eClub’s website provides loads of Rotary information, which can be used by members in traditional clubs to make up an absence. This flexibility is expected to provide significant and much needed growth for Rotary in the 21st century, resulting in an increase in humanitarian service.
Past Rotary International President (2000-2001) Frank Devlyn, author and humanitarian, discusses how our world becomes a better place to live in through Rotary, giving specific examples. He also describes his personal humanitarian work through his family business, Devlyn Optical Group of Mexico. His extraordinary initiatives include pairing patients with free used-but-restored eyeglasses. He created the largest used eyeglass bank in Mexico, which today serves as a model in different countries. Devlyn says: “It’s an honor and opportunity to serve the world of Rotary in our quest to serve mankind…As the needs of communities change, Rotary will work to meet those needs” for the next century.
Vivian Hardison, Membership Chair of Rotary District 7250 and member of Glen Cove Rotary on Long Island, NY, discusses the benefits for people of all ages of joining a Rotary club. Among her personal reasons for joining Rotary, Ms. Hardison emphasizes how she found soulmates who share her passion for humanitarianism. Ms. Hardison also tells of the issues potential members should consider before deciding to join a Rotary club.