Time can be an ally or an enemy,” author Zig Ziglar once wrote. “What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.”
Every June, as we wind down another year in Rotary, I ask myself if we have used the past 365 days well. To answer, let’s look at what we have accomplished.
Cases in the remaining wild-polio endemic countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, are at their lowest level in history. Of course, challenges to global eradication remain and our work is not yet finished, but we are making encouraging progress, which wouldn’t be possible without your support.
Rotary needs to raise $50 million each year for polio eradication, and doing so during a pandemic is no easy task. But Rotary clubs are smart and adapt fast. When in-person events weren’t possible, many clubs successfully transferred their fundraising efforts online.
We hit another memorable mark during Giving Tuesday in November, when The Rotary Foundation got a boost by raising $1.2 million. We reached out to more current and prospective donors than ever before — almost 500,000 members across 40 countries. Some of our most engaged clubs were located in the Bahamas, India, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. We thank all of those who made Giving Tuesday a success.
We have used our time well this year, but our work is never complete.”
Due to travel restrictions this year, Rotary representatives couldn’t visit potential host universities as part of our ongoing effort to establish our next Rotary Peace Center in the Middle East or North Africa. But nothing stands in the way of our pursuit of peace; plans are still on for the Rotary Presidential Conference in Houston, 3-4 June, which will focus on peace, and I look forward to being there.
This year, Rotary made another contribution in our commitment to peace, in the form of more than 1,000 global, district, and disaster response grants approved to fulfil the needs of thousands around the world. For until hungry people are fed, families have access to clean water, and children everywhere are educated, we won’t truly have peace in the world.
We have used our time well this year, but our work is never complete. We always need and welcome more Rotary and Rotaract members who bring their hands, minds, and gifts, so that Rotary-led Foundation projects will create lasting change for those who need it most.
As we approach 1 July, let us heed Ziglar’s words, remembering that how we spend the next 365 days largely depends on us and our determination to reach our goals. So let us do the best we can with the time we have been given, today. And let us begin again, every day.