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Faucets and Filters – The Impact of Water: Blog Action Day

As I kid, I can remember the Sesame Street song telling me to shut off the water while I brush my teeth.   It seemed silly to me at the time.  After all, how much am I really saving in just my one little house? Little did I know. If my little house and the house next door and the house down the street, and so on and so on and so on, all saved a little water every day, that turns into a lot of water being preserved. Being a part of a Rotary club is the same theory.  It's not just one club, but thousands of clubs across the globe that band together under one umbrella to accomplish amazing things. Rotary International has proclaimed water purification to be the key challenge of the coming decade. To meet minimum world health goals, 125,000 people a day for the next 13 years will need to have access to safe water. Each year, 1.8 million people (90% of them children under 5 years old) die from preventable diarrheal diseases. Rotary has asked every club to identify a project associated with providing safe water in some part of the world. In my district of 43 clubs, there are water projects in Honduras, Haiti, China, El Savadore, and Pakistan.    Rotary water projects involve bringing in a slow sand filtration system that can be managed by the local population.    One club in our district , the Glens Falls Rotary, partnered with 74 other clubs, 4 districts, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, and Pure Water for the World, to combine funds and efforts to provide 2,500 bio-sand filters to serve 15,000 people with clean drinking water in Choluteca, Honduras. And that's just one project. Several factors [...]

Social Networking Rotary Style, Will it Build Goodwill and Better Friendships?

As a Rotarian, I try live my life by the cornerstone of Rotary: The 4 Way Test Rotarians Connecting Of the things we think, say or do Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? That is why I belive in Social Networking, Rotary Style. As an active social networker the third principle speaks the loudest to me.  It is my goal to share my expertise, knowledge and information (mine or not) with the hundreds, if not thousands of people I touch on a daily basis.  I do this to build goodwill and strengthen the connections I've made along the way.  I often talk about adding value to the conversation., which is, pulling people into your circle of influence to benefit them - not you.  I also work very hard not to be seen as the  "snake-oil salesman" persona that seems to befall many other online marketers.  I am not that... nor do I ever want to be. Participation in the conversation is not only about sharing information, but it is about listening as well.  Listening enables you to offer what your connections and friends want.  Listening also enables you to take action - for example, to protect your reputation.  As regular readers know, several months ago I was accused of plagiarism.  It is only through listening to the conversation that I was made aware of it and was able to take action in regard to it.  The entire situation was cleared up in a matter of hours and it all took place in front of some 3000 participants in the conversation.  While I certainly could have lashed out [...]

Blog Action Day – Just one more hand can….

In honor of blog action day, I thought I'd share a story with you.  If nothing else, it will help to debunk the mind set that one person can not have an impact on our world. Several years ago I had the privilege of participating in a mission to rebuild a school in Zimbabwe through my Rotary Club.  I spent two weeks in a small village outside of Victoria Falls called Chikandakubi.  It was by far the most profound and eye opening experience of my life. After some 24 hours of traveling, our team arrived at the lodge, which was owned by members of the Victoria Falls Rotary club.  I was over tired an in sensory overload.  Everything was different from what I was “used to”.  The sites, smells, and sounds all felt more vibrant then in the states.  The beauty of the famed Victoria Falls goes beyond my ability to describe in words.  To those who do not live there, Africa has a mystical quality about it – there is temptation to romanticize the landscape. Unfortunately, there is little else to romanticize about Chikandakubi.  The village, like many in Zimbabwe, has been ravished by aids and the vast majority of the population is starving.  Most children are either orphans or being raised by their grandparents as the 25 – 35 year old generation has been eliminated by Aids.  Some of the children are forced to stay in their compounds to help care for livestock or go out into the streets to generate money as their elders are frail and can not provide for the family.  Combine that with the reality that there is a fee to attend school, and you have a large population of [...]