By: Sarah MacGillivray, Secretary, and Public Image Coordinator, District Foundation Committee, RC of Bath Sunrise
New this Rotary year, we include a “Rotary Moment” that we encourage you to share at a club meeting.  If you are a Club President, seek out a newer member to read the Rotary Moment at a club meeting.  You will be surprised how impactful just a moment of information shared can make!  It is the starting dot, so please help us as we Connect the Dots and share just how much good work is done in our communities and around the world!
This month’s Rotary Moment starts at the very beginning:
The Rotary Foundation (TRF) is the charitable arm of Rotary International.
It’s a nonprofit supported by contributions from Rotary members and other donors who share our vision of a better world. The Foundation’s mission is to help Rotary members advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through local, national, and international humanitarian and educational programs.
If you aren’t familiar with one of the ways that YOUR money comes back to benefit our District and those we serve, I cannot think of a better example than our District Grants program.  We have just gotten word that TRF has given us approval for funding for all of our projects! We could not be more excited and are so thankful for all of the Rotarians in our District who donated to TRF to help make this possible.
This year we had 15 Clubs submit grant applications, and I hope to share more in depth info on them with you, but here is a quick overview:
  1. BATH - BioSand Filters in Cambodia
  2. BATH SUNRISE - Raised Beds in Bath
  3. BIDDEFORD-SACO - Earl Goodwin Kindness Day held locally
  4. BRUNSWICK - New Mainers project
  5. DOVER - Seacoast Communities' Stress Mgmt Team project
  6. EXETER - Community Needs Assessment in Zambia
  7. FREEPORT - Aging at Home project in Freeport
  8. FRYEBURG - K-6 Reading Development with schools in Fryeburg
  9. PORTLAND - Clean water & Safe Lighting in the Dominican Republic
  10. ROCHESTER - Playspace project in Rochester
  11. SACO BAY - District projects sustainability of local projects
  12. SACO BAY SUNSET - Sweetser Playground in Saco Bay
  13. SOUTH BERWICK-ELIOT - School for the Deaf in Zambia
  14. WESTBROOK-GORHAM - Gorham sun solar charging station
  15. YARMOUTH - Eye screening program in Columbia
  16. And finally, our District’s Outreach Program in Poland
The Club project grants range from $650 to almost $4,000, and as you can see are a variety of local community projects and international ones.  There will be full descriptions posted on our District website, I highly recommend checking them, as well as past projects for some wonderful ideas that might inspire your Club.
In my article last month, I included our committee roster so you might reach out to any of our members who might be able to answer any questions you have on TRF.  One of our newer members is Ron Smith, and we are so excited that he is joining us officially as our Polio Plus and Major Gifts Chair.  If you saw the article in last month’s issue about Ron and his wife, Patti, then you will know just how lucky we are to have him (them both!) in our District and working with us on the District Foundation Committee.
Each month Marianne Pinkham, Foundation Chair of the Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle and District Foundation Committee Paul Harris Society Coordinator shares a wonderful newsletter with her club (and anyone who would like to be added to her distribution list!) on TRF.  This month she pointed out that July is also 'Bring a Friend to Rotary' Month
Membership in Rotary cannot be promoted by simply explaining to prospective members all of the rules, policies, procedures, and folklore about Rotary or The Rotary Foundation.  The hook is telling prospective new members WHY you are a ROTARIAN, why you have remained engaged in Rotary over the years, and why Rotary is important enough to you that you commit time, energy, and dollars.  Your story is a powerful tool that should be used. 
To close this article I wanted to take a moment to share the following information from TRF on the support that is still needed in Ukraine.  There is mention of 40 grant applications in the pipeline awaiting more funding to become available, and one of those applications is from our own District!
Thank you for giving to The Rotary Foundation to help the people of Ukraine. Because of generous donors like you, we’ve raised more than US$16 million in the past 14 months to fund hundreds of grants that have provided assistance to those affected by the war. Your contributions have made member-led projects that are helping Ukrainian refugees and supporting relief efforts both in Ukraine and around the world possible.
The needs remain substantial. We continue to approve disaster response grants to get people food, clean water, and clothes. We are authorizing grants that keep electricity flowing to hospitals, allow wounded civilians to seek care, and organize shelter for displaced families. But we need your help.
Right now, 40 grant requests to provide critical aid are on hold because the Ukraine Response Fund has allocated all of its current funding. If you are able to continue supporting the people of Ukraine, please consider making an additional donation.
Thank you for your past support of our Foundation’s ongoing response to this crisis. Your generosity is making a real difference for people who urgently need our help.