THE ROTARY DIFFERENCE

Service Above Self

There are many “service” clubs around the world.  Their members donate time and talent to help their neighbors, their community, and the world we live in.   They also raise and then donate millions of dollars to meet a variety of humanitarian needs.

 What makes Rotary unique in this area is that every dollar raised is used directly to meet an identified need.  All of the administrative activities in our Clubs are handled by member-volunteers, or paid for by member dues.

In the past 10 years, the Club has donated over $400,000 to benefit individuals and families locally, nationally, and internationally.  We work hard to make sure our donations go directly to help those in need.  We do not support organizations with large administrative staffs. Our charitable priorities are to only work with organizations where we can directly see the impact of our contribution and whose work is consistent with our priorities  which are:

  • Education
  • Medical & Health Care
  • Family Support
  • A clean & healthy environment

Supporting Our Local Sanibel & Captiva Community

On Sanibel and Captiva, we support many organizations like the Sanibel School, CROW (The Committee for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife), the Sanibel Fire & Rescue Department, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), and the Sanibel Library.

For the Sanibel School, the Club donated money to build the School’s “Cafetorium” which benefits every student by providing the combination of a cafeteria and auditorium.  Every year, we also hand out dictionaries to 3rd Grade students at the Sanibel and Ft Myers Beach Schools.   For the Sanibel Library, a recent donation translated directly into software that helps children improve their reading skills.

Our annual scholarships provided to local students frequently determines if they can attend college or not.  We are also a major supporter of a program called “Blessings in a Backpack” that provides food for needy children and their families.  And, yes, there are needy families on Sanibel.  Sanibel is not immune to the economic problems facing this country.

Supporting the Fort Myers Community

In Fort Myers, our Club has consistently contributed to the Lee Memorial Hospital’s “Kids with Cancer” program helping children who have cancer and their families.  We have also made a major contribution to help the Harlem Heights Foundation to complete their eagerly awaited Community Center.

Global Contibutions

The Sanibel-Captiva Club supports several small organizations in Latin America that provide medical care, and help children. Of particular note is our Club’s support for the El Hogar school in Teguchigalpa Honduras that provides care and education to abandoned , orphaned and extremely poor children; and Clinica Verdi in Nicaraqua, a health clinic for mothers and children. We have also funded major “Clean Water” Projects for the St. Marcs School in Haiti and for the village of Centro Union Aucayo in Peru. Money given to support Clean Water projects provides families with access to clean drinking and cooking water.

On a broader scale, we donate to the “Gift of Life” program where all of the money goes directly to provide medical treatment for children with major heart problems.   Money given to The Wheelchair Foundation” provides a physically handicapped person in a developing country precious mobility and independence. In all of these cases Rotarians can clearly see how they are helping individuals.

Rotary’s First Responders

In times of disasters, Rotarians are part of the team that is “first on the ground” through our partnership with Shelterbox International.

Shelterbox delivers the essentials a family needs to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a particular disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

When a massive earthquake  destroyed Haiti the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club made a significant contribution to purchase and deliver Shelterboxes.  Within a month more than 10,000 of the Shelter boxes were distributed in Haiti.

“Missions Impossible”

Rotarians are energized by “impossible missions”.  Over the past decade we have been hard at work to globally eradicate polio.  We and our partners… The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation… have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of hours to inoculate over two billion children.  Yes, TWO BILLION.   Right now, 99+% of the world is Polio Free.  Unfortunately, despite our continuing efforts in very difficult circumstances, several countries continue to report new cases of polio.

Its Not Just Money

In addition to making financial contributions, Rotarians also contribute their professional time individually, and as a Club to various organizations on Sanibel and Captiva.

As a Club, we participate in setting up for the Annual Luminary Night event, park cars at Sanibel’s Shell Fair, deliver food to a Fort Myers food kitchen/bank, and clean up a local road when thoughtless people leave garbage on the road and animals are killed by cars.

The Four-Way Test

Another unique quality of Rotary is our strong ethical culture and our belief in the “Four-way test” which governs the way Rotarians live.

This “Test” was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor who later served as President of Rotary International.  When he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy, he wrote this 24-word code of ethics for employees to follow in their business and professional lives.  It became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers.  The survival and growth of the company is credited to this simple philosophy.

Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The 4-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways.   The Test which we always ask ourselves is:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

When followed, this deceptively simple Test encourges us to become better citizens and better people.

If you believe that Rotary is serving our communities well today, you can help by donating.  You can also buy something for yourself and help create some profits that we can then donate.  Check out our Store..

If you share our passion to help people, but can’t join our Club, please consider making a donation.


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