Rotary Club of Weatherford, Texas
Serving Since 1921
Weatherford Rotary
We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Allene Strain Community Room in Weatherford College's Doss Student Center
225 College Park Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086
United States of America
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 12:00pm
Upcoming Programs
David Owens
Feb 07, 2023 12:00 PM
Mineral Wells State Park
Upcoming Events
Weatherford Rotary
 
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. We invite you to visit our local branch of Rotary International here in Weatherford, Texas on Tuesdays at Noon.
 
 
Rotary News

 

ShelterBox: A desire to help, a global relief partner, opportunities to respond after disasters

ShelterBox, an internationally known disaster relief organization and one of Rotary's key partners, originated as a Rotary club project that aimed to help eight to 10 families a year.

But support from Rotary members and clubs during the past two decades has helped ShelterBox achieve the flexibility and scale to serve more than 2 million people who have survived environmental disasters and conflicts around the world.

It's "a shining example of what Rotarians and Rotaractors are able to accomplish" as Rotary and ShelterBox work together and leverage each other's expertise, says Alex Youlten, the Rotary partnership manager at ShelterBox.

Rotary members have an enormous role in ShelterBox's response strategy. The first call ShelterBox makes after a disaster is often to a local Rotary or Rotaract club in order to activate their extensive networks. And many of ShelterBox deployments involve Rotary members.

Aid from ShelterBox can arrive in many different ways, sometimes in signature green crates or as kits that may be hand-delivered by volunteer teams that travel by boat, helicopter, tuk-tuk, or foot to get to wherever the resources are needed. The boxes, which include both ShelterBox and Rotary logos, contain family-sized, weather-appropriate tents designed to withstand the elements and equipment like solar lights and cooking sets.

Beyond those who volunteer for direct response work (which requires a rigorous training program) Rotary acts as a "response multiplier." This means Rotary members provide situational updates, help ShelterBox responders understand local events, and connect the responders with drivers, other transportation, accommodations, and interpreters. Rotary members help resolve customs and import challenges, organize storage or warehouse space, introduce ShelterBox teams to key local or central government figures, and more.

Rotary clubs and volunteers also play a critical role in the long-term response. These community-based leaders work with people on the lengthy effort to build a sustainable recovery — especially after emergency response agencies have completed their core work of stabilizing the community.

"Shelter is a process, not a product," Youlten notes. "We focus on emergency shelter and supporting communities in staying together so people have both the physical and emotional space to think about what comes next. But we're also providing combinations of aid, packaged in a variety of ways, to better meet the needs of the people we support. Our partnership with Rotary is fundamental to the work of helping a community get back on track."

The exchange of knowledge between the organizations goes both ways. Rotary and Rotaract clubs learn from ShelterBox experts how to convert good intentions and the desire to act quickly into a durable and effective response that is based on logistics preparation, community needs, and coordinated communication with our partners.

ShelterBox, with an emphasis on monitoring, evaluation, and using community feedback to continuously improve, also helps Rotary and its members stay current on the best practices in disaster response while providing clubs with an example of how to be an organization that learns and adapts.

What's ahead for ShelterBox and Rotary? The need for our partnership shows no sign of abating, as the disasters brought about by climate change will likely overshadow those that stem from global conflict. Flooding is expected to be the leading cause of weather-related disasters in many parts of the world. Warming oceans will bring heavier rain to places unaccustomed to it. Other places will face more deadly droughts, like the one in East Africa that has left up to 50 million people facing food insecurity and driven more than 1 million Somalis from their homes. ShelterBox's research predicts that 167 million homes could be lost to climate change in the next 20 years.

Better responses to these needs will come from better preparation. That's why ShelterBox is eager to work with Rotary and Rotaract clubs to be proactive, ensure that solid networks are in place, and help members be ready to put the most up-to-date practices into action at the international, district, and club levels — and with Rotaract and Interact members — to create lasting solutions.

"Rotary members have incredibly powerful voices," Youlten says. "And when we have as many conversations as possible about the ShelterBox partnership, so much could be better in the world."

To invite a ShelterBox speaker to a meeting, exploring collaborating with ShelterBox to respond to a local disaster, or to prepare for future disaster, contact rotaryrequest@shelterbox.org

 

RI president-elect announces 2023-24 presidential theme

By 

 

Rotary International President-elect R. Gordon R. McInally called for members to capture the world's attention and lead the way toward possibilities far beyond our current expectations.

McInally, a member of the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, West Lothian, Scotland, revealed the 2023-24 presidential theme, Create Hope in the World, during the Rotary International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 9 January. He urged members to promote peace in troubled nations, help those affected by conflict, and maintain the momentum of initiatives begun by past leaders.

"The goal is to restore hope — to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and, in turn, to help us achieve lasting change for ourselves," McInally said at Rotary's annual training event for incoming district governors.

McInally spoke about a woman he met in Ban Taling Chan, Thailand, where Rotary members helped build houses, a meeting hall, and childcare and health care facilities following the tsunami that devastated South Asia in late 2004. The woman had lost her husband, her daughter, and her son in the tsunami, as well as her livelihood. But she still had a gift to offer McInally: a beautiful seashell.

"She went on to tell me that Rotary... had restored her optimism. We gave her hope," McInally said.

"This is how Rotary brings lasting change to the world," he added, "one restored or newly created hope at a time."

Promoting peace

A significant way to bring hope to the world is to put a greater emphasis on peace, McInally said. He cited the action Rotary members have taken in the past year to support the people of Ukraine after the invasion by Russia. Rotary has made humanitarian relief a priority, attracting more Ukrainian members in the process. But McInally noted that true relief won't come without peace — not just in Ukraine, but in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and dozens of other places around the globe.

"Peace is the soil where hope takes root," McInally said.

McInally also emphasized the power of continuity, calling for Rotary members to continue the work of some past leaders. He pledged to maintain the Empowering Girls initiative launched by 2021-22 President Shekhar Mehta and uphold the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout Rotary. He also noted recent events that underscore the importance of Rotary's continuing focus on polio. In the past year, polio cases have emerged in many areas around the world, making it more crucial than ever for Rotary members to lead the fight against the disease.

To do that, McInally said, Rotary must continue to raise at least US$50 million each year to receive the full 2-to-1 funding match from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Only about 1 in 12 members currently gives to the polio eradication campaign, with fewer than 1 in 5 clubs donating each year.

McInally asked the district governors-elect for support creating a new sense of urgency in their clubs to help realize Rotary's vision of a polio-free world. "This is the time for us to go beyond what's necessary year to year and make sure we provide every resource necessary to succeed as quickly as possible," he added.

Focusing on mental health

In addition, McInally said, Rotary members should offer hope to those affected by mental health challenges — a crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have lost family members, many more have found their social networks uprooted, and young people especially have had their educational and developmental paths interrupted. As a result, more people around the world are facing mental health issues. And yet, seeking assistance is often perceived as a sign of weakness.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," McInally said. "Reaching out for help is courageous — and continuing on a path toward wellness is even more so."

He added that Rotary will work to improve mental health services in the next year and beyond. Rotary should be known as an organization that takes care of its members as well as the people it serves, McInally said. "Any mental health professional will tell you that by helping others, we essentially help ourselves."

McInally ended his speech by describing his ideal balance of continuity and innovation. "Rotary helps create the conditions for peace, opportunity, and a future worth living," he said. "By continuing what we do best, by remaining open and willing to change, and by keeping our focus on building peace in the world and within ourselves, Rotary helps create a more peaceful world — a more hopeful world."

 
 
 
President -Elect Beau Rees sent out the following email information to the club on January 18: 
 
 
 
Pancake Supper Ticket Packets were handed out to members in attendance at Tuesday's Meeting.  If you were unable to pick up your Ticket Packet on Tuesday, please stop by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce Office and pick up your Ticket Packet as soon as possible.  The Weatherford Chamber of Commerce is located at 401 Fort Worth Highway, Weatherford, TX 76806.  All Rotary Club Members are expected to purchase a minimum of 20 Pancake Supper Tickets ($5 each), 10 Raffle Tickets for a Gas Grill valued at $1,200 ($1 each), and either provide a gift basket for the silent auction or make a monetary donation for the purchase of materials to make a gift basket for the silent auction. 
 
 
Together, we will make the 67th Annual Rotary Pancake Supper another HUGE success!
 
Service Above Self,
Beau Rees
2023 Rotary Pancake Supper Chair
936-522-8134
 
This past Friday morning, our Rotary Club sponsored the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast, Breakfast Before Business or BB4B. Our club was able to inform local business leaders about Rotary and its core values, as well as advertise for the Pancake Supper on Feb. 28. Great work! 
 
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