Rotary Happenings: Island Rotarians learn about Rotaract Club, DoGoodery
What is a Rotaract Club? Straight from the Rotary Website, “Rotaract clubs bring together people ages 18 and older to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun through service.” Never heard of it? Neither have many other people, including Rotarians, and including Chris Wells.
Last week we were fortunate enough to have a guest speaker from “across the pond.” Our Sanibel-Captiva Rotary President and first Prime Minister Richard Green met Wells when he was a speaker at the President Elect Training Seminar (PETS) this past year in Orlando. Wells is the founder and past president of the Rotaract Club of Market Harborough in England. He has been instrumental in the promotion of Rotaract and Rotary throughout the United Kingdom and now throughout the world. Obviously, Green and Wells hit it off having the same funny accent. Wells spoke to us with incredible energy about what Rotaract Clubs are and what in the world DoGoodery is?
It all started for Wells when he was in his mid-twenties. He had finished college, gotten the obligatory job relating to his major and then wasn’t sure what was next. Wells assumed he was to live happily ever after as it was always portrayed to him. However, he felt a great hole in his inner being, a lack of sense of purpose and meaning. Wells spoke to a friend, who happened to be a Rotarian, and his friend recommended he search out a Rotaract Club. So now he knows it’s a club related to Rotary. And then?
What he eventually found was a group of younger people that share the same values, the values of DoGoodery! People doing good just for the sake of helping others, making the world a better place. They find purpose and meaning in serving others. Wells found that Rotaract and Rotary go hand in hand, supporting each other in various ways. The life experiences of Rotarians, with the energy of Rotaract members, could accomplish bigger and greater things!
Wells feels so passionate about this for three reasons. One, while the world is falling apart, finding people who want DoGoodery and surrounding yourself with them, is good for the soul. Two, there is a very large increase in mental health and loneliness amongst millennials even while they are the most “connected” generation ever. This gives them a place to meet others with similar values, while doing good! Three, in 2030 many clubs will have the median age of 70-plus years old, and clubs need younger people to continue with our DoGoodery in the world. Three very strong reasons why Rotaract Clubs are becoming so popular again!
Keep your eyes open, encourage new and younger members to our local Rotaract Clubs, help revive our local Rotaract Clubs, adapt to the “new” normal of today. DoGoodery — it’s what we do in Rotary, it’s what we need in the world.
In light of COVID-19, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club meets on Fridays at 7:30 a.m. via Zoom. To take part, call 239-472-7257. For more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.