PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - Laine Kohama, President 2015-2016
September 9th, 2015
Aloha Rotary E-Club members and fellow Rotarians!
Aloha Rotary Ohana (Family)
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Last week it was great to run into Glenn Sears and Mary at the VTT for Romania. Win and Rich from Honolulu Sunset had a great presentation and I learned a lot about what a VTT (Vocatonal Training Team) is and how it can help other communities around the world. I’ll be sure to get everyone up to speed on that presentation.
Here is the second day of the Rotary Young Professionals Summit in Berkeley.
We started our day early and joined the DL and YP in one big auditorium with about 15 big round tables. Everyone just choose their seats and was ready to find out what was in store for us next. Brad Howard opened the morning explaining how the RYPS came to be, and why it was formed and created. He explained the vision for having it, and what he hoped would culminate from the collaboration of working together with DLs and YPs.
There was a wall that was full of topics that the YPs and DLs created yesterday that were the top ones selected by their respective groups. One person from each group went and talked about 3 of the topics. There were 6 groups yesterday from the DLs and YPs, and in each group they ended the day brainstorming out 3 top ideas for Rotary that would shake things up, and take back to district or get ideas from everyone and take that back to district. You’ll see how this shook out later. The one idea that I was interested in was called Rotary Speaks. The concept was that it would be like a TED talk, and would be presented in the form of podcasts and online via a YouTube or Vimeo channel.
One person would grab an idea they would like to work on from the wall, and then everyone at their tables would go to the group that had the idea you would like to work on. That particular group had one of the most people, and we had some folks that had to leave the group. Luckily I was able to remain with the group, and work on this innovative and amazing idea. That was the easy part. Here is where the work came in where we had to create a poster and sell this idea to all the DLs and YPs in the room. Here is what we had to do:
Here is what the group came up with
We had 2 folks from our group speak to everyone and share our idea. Then one by one all the groups went up and spoke about their idea. There were a lot of great visions for Rotary that came from all the groups.
The last thing we did during the day was to get with the folks from our districts and come up with an idea to take back to D5000. They recommended looking at three posters from the other groups earlier in the day and come up with an idea to take back to D5000. Our D5000 group came up with the idea to do a panel of professionals that would like to share their time, talents, and gifts to talk about a subject like finances, computers, healthcare, etc. From there we would help the clubs roll out a template they could use to share out their panel to Rotary clubs and non Rotarians using possibly the D5000 website or the clubs own website and members that had Facebook to spread the word.
After listening to other Districts and what they are going to bring back to their clubs, I’m excited and inspired by the direction Rotary is going and growing.
Next week we have our board meeting and I hope to see you all there. Hope all is well with everyone and take care.
I would like to leave you with this quote, “Remember happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.” - Dale Carnegie
Speaker: How Volunteering Can Help the World (And You)
There are some days when you read the news and, no matter how sincerely you send out your prayers, think positive thoughts, and focus on all that you are grateful for, you still feel pain for those who are suffering. You are desperate to do more, but in the big scope of things you feel helpless. And then from the shadows comes self-doubt, saying: "You can't do anything about it."
If you are operating under less than optimal conditions (exhaustion from trying to make ends meet, tending to your children, or taking care of your aging parents), you will likely lean into this feeling of helplessness and trigger a chain of fears that you are not doing enough, you are not being enough, or that you don't deserve the life you have. If you let that fear take over, you become unable to function at all -- let alone help the world.
Or if you don't get fearful, perhaps you get angry at those who are to blame for all the pain, and the anger takes you down a rabbit hole of darker and darker thoughts.
Sure, you can numb your pain, anger and fear, but that will keep you stuck in a vicious cycle and further prevent you from really showing up and "doing something about it."
That's one cycle.
Then there is this one: You send out your prayers, think positive thoughts, focus on all that you are grateful for, AND you still feel pain for those who are suffering. You embrace it, because you know that we are all part of one human family and that it's normal to feel each other's pain. You know that you feel the pain of every suffering soul because you care and love. And when doubt, fear and anger surface, you don't get stuck -- you lean into the love a little bit more.
You choose to become even more aware of how each of us plays a very significant part. So you go about your day as usual, but you smile more intentionally, hold someone's hand a bit longer, and make choices that are a part of the solution, not the problem. You look for things to do that will truly make a difference.
Where these two cycles meet is volunteering.
There is nothing more healing for someone struggling with fear or lack of self-worth than helping others. And if it's true that the mile-long journey starts with a single step, then helping the world can start with doing something good right now, even if it seems inconsequential.
DOING GOOD IS NOT HARD
I met Megan McInnis, founder of Doing Good, a brand new 501c3 non-profit organization based in Nashville, TN at the 2015 Nashville Film-Com event. I was drawn to her booth by the giant thumbs-up logo supporting the message of Doing Good.
Telling stories of people who are doing good in the world is my cup of tea, and I firmly believe that there can never be too much uplifting and inspirational content in the media. I love stories of real people doing awesome things; especially awesome things that everyone can do, but that we all forget to talk about because they always get overshadowed by big heroic stories which we love, but usually can't duplicate.
Megan's idea behind the television show also named Doing Good is to provide a platform featuring everyday volunteers and their stories, also serving as a resource and encouragement for anyone who doesn't know where to start or who finds themselves feeling that they aren't doing 'enough.'
The idea came out of her own need to be picked up when she had been laid off, recently divorced and was looking for something uplifting to watch on TV. She found nothing. Instead of despairing, Megan stepped into action and researched available domain names, and that's where she found DoingGood.TV.
She moved to Nashville and in the next two years sat down one-on-one with several hundred people, asking them questions about what worked and what didn't work, what they liked and didn't like about volunteering. She listened, she built a team of volunteers, and today her organization offers an extensive database of volunteering resources - for anyone who wants to volunteer, wants to find out more about volunteering or simply doesn't know where to start. She's also developing a TV show.
Megan comes from the world of marketing and PR. She worked for Disney as well as three of the largest non-profit organizations in the country, and along the way she realized that she wanted to focus on the people rather than the organizations themselves.
"We do believe that it's important to know who you are volunteering with and what organizations do what in your local communities, but in all honesty, every community has to deal with hunger and homelessness, and literacy, and more. And so I think that when we come together as a community and we talk about the cause, then frankly we can encourage people to do more."
During our conversation Megan mentions the value of practicing mindfulness in our volunteering. It's easy to feel we are not doing enough because we might not be doing the 'usual' volunteering jobs, like feeding the hungry, building houses or going on mission trips. I, for example, don't think of singing at my church or setting up stage lights for school events as volunteering.
It's important to recognize those people who might not realize that they are volunteering... it's so easy to forget and not think about or not give yourself credit for [it]. We want to highlight people... who are out there making a difference in their own way.
The beauty of it all is an awareness of how our actions serve our world. Because we are all connected as one family, there is no such thing as one volunteering position being 'more important' than another. We all work together, using our unique gifts. And when we show up to help intentionally because we care and love, we do make a difference.
MEGAN McINNIS is an executive director and president of Doing Good, a 501c3 non-profit organization that produces a TV show featuring volunteers who make a difference in other people's lives throughout the world, and who flourish in the enjoyment that comes from giving. Follow or Friend Doing Good on social media @DoingGoodTV.
Rotary’s ‘biggest cheerleader’
By: Michelle Iracheta - The Garden Island
To read the original article, click here.
LIHUE — Adelbert “Del” Green was nine years old when he would visit his “opa” in Maui and watch him and his friends sit outside drinking Primo beer after a long day of fishing.
His grandpa Komatsu and his friends would gather around the grill eating fresh fish and share the latest news. His uncle would bring a ukulele and sometimes the merry group would even break into song.
His grandpa, who rarely wore a shirt, had a “big opu” and didn’t wear shoes.
“He drank a lot of beer,” Green said with a laugh.
He said the lively group was like family and friends.
That’s what it’s like being part of a rotary club, Green said.
“It’s kind of like ‘Cheers,’” he said. “The sitcom ‘Cheers’ where everybody knows your name, and are always glad you came.”
As the new District Governor for the Rotary International District 5000 Hawaii for the 2015-16 year, Green’s job, which started on July 1, is to encourage folks to join, reach out to the community, and enforce club charity efforts.
“My job is to be the biggest cheerleader,” he said. “And to inspire and motivate.”
The Rotary Club of Honolulu, where Green is a member, is celebrating its centennial year, when the Honolulu Club became the 170th rotary club in the world in 1915. There are now 51 rotary clubs in Hawaii.
Governors are elected by the district clubs three years in advance of taking office, even though the term is just one year long. District governors come in with a new motto.
“The one for this year is, ‘Be a gift to the world,’” he said.
Green just wrapped up a tour Friday of the five rotary clubs on the island of Kauai.
Each rotary club has a signature characteristic that makes them unique and different than other clubs around the island, said Assistant Governor Richard “Dick” Olsen of Rotary Club of Kauai.
Take, for instance, the “Mother Club,” or the Rotary Club of Kauai, which was admitted into the Rotary International in 1937 and was the fourth Rotary Club to be formed in the state of Hawaii, Olsen said.
“Ours is the oldest club on the island,” said Tom Lodico, president of the Rotary Club of Kauai. “With local business people and young professionals.”
Lodico said he appreciated the district governor’s visit Friday because it allows him to connects to communities across the Hawaiian islands.
“The district governor kind of ties us together,” Lodico said. “He tells us about clubs around the state. He fills us in about what he thinks the clubs on the island should focus on.”
Each year, the Rotary Club of Kauai puts on the Lights on Rice Parade and the Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run in the Winter, both staples on the island of Kauai, Lodico said.
Then, there’s the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay with 70 full-time members, one of the larger groups on the island, run by President Mike Dexter-Smith, who is originally from Leicester in the Midlands of England.
He said his club responds to the community.
“We see a need and we put in effort,” Dexter-Smith said.
His club’s motto?
“If not us, then who,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to shine a light on the issues and get things started on the island. Get things moving.”
Green met with Dexter-Smith on Thursday to reinvigorate the club’s community outreach projects, such as some of its biggest campaigns, Adopt a Classroom, and Growing Our Own Teachers, where the club gives scholarships to encourage teachers to stay on the island.
Dexter-Smith agreed with many of Green’s points on community and friendships within the club.
“We’ve come together under a common theme, wanting to assist,” he said. “We’re from different backgrounds. So many people from different walks of life. Wanting to raise money for this community. The spirit of doing it together.”
Other clubs on the island are the Rotary Club of Kapaa, which sponsors the Taste of Hawaii; the Rotary Club of Poipu Beach, who are known for One Fine Evening; and the Rotary Club of West Kauai.
Green, who was born in Oahu, spent some time in a small plantation town on the island of Maui with his grandparents during the summers, he said.
If he could talk to his grandparents, he would tell them that he’s proud of them. They did well with what they had, he said.
“They were very helpful in giving me the values that I have today.”
He said as a kid, he didn’t know many people who had gone to college. But now, it’s his job to encourage, inspire and motivate people to come together to provide those types opportunities to others, he said.
“It’s an opportunity to give back,” he said.” It’s about helping the next generation and being a positive role model. Letting them know they can achieve things, too.”
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