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District 6900 News for September, 2020

From Our District Governor

Happy Labor Day!

By Kirk Driskell

Late in the 19th century the labor movement’s effort to create safe and standard work environments created what we celebrate today. Labor Day became a federal holiday on June 28, 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.

In the late 1800’s when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing many Americans were working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week in an effort to just make enough to get by. People of all ages were in mills, mines and factories in unsafe conditions with limited sanitary facilities, no breaks and poor air condition.

For many Americans, today symbolizes the end of the summer and is celebrated with family, friends, long weekend road trips, events, family reunions and celebrations. In years past, cities and towns across our District hosted parades, barbecues, firework shows and public gatherings in their communities. Labor Day weekend is supposed to be filled with relaxation as our responsibilities are suspended for three days. As this holiday weekend draws to an end, I am sure yours may have been different like many other’s.

The Rotary Foundation

District 6900 Scholarship Team Needs Your Help

By Kathy Brandt

Do you know outstanding college senior students, or recent graduates, in your community? Will you recommend them for Rotary’s $30,000 scholarship to attend graduate school abroad next year? If yes, please continue reading for four easy steps to take action! Final application deadline is 12:00 noon, October 12, 2020. [more]

Opportunity to Learn

Rotary Club of Emory-Clifton Invites You to Join the Third Annual Polio and Health Symposium

By Alan Janssen

The Rotary Club of Emory-Clifton, with presenting partner United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia and partners Shriners Hospitals for Children  and the Medical Association of Georgia, will virtually present “Overcoming the Challenges of COVID-19 to Achieve a Global Health Legacy” on Saturday, September 26. The program will begin at 8:30 AM with a welcome and the first speaker at 9:00 AM to facilitate live viewing in Africa and Europe. The symposium is open to the public and will be presented through a live webcast.

Online tickets are $60 for health professionals seeking continuing education credits. Rotarians and members of the public are invited to participate, and are welcome to make a donation to support the program. You may view the agenda and purchase tickets at: www.emorycliftonrotary.com

The Rotary Foundation

​Important Changes to Global Grant Funding from The Rotary Foundation Effective July 1, 2020

By Anne Glenn

Beginning this Rotary Year, your Rotary Foundation will no longer match Club Cash or cash donations from other sources when they are applied to finance Global Grant requests.

In prior years, TRF matched cash contributions for a Global Grant project from money in the World Fund at a 50% rate ($1.00 cash donation +$.50 World Fund Contribution = $1.50 for the project). And The Rotary Foundation matched DDF (District Designated Funds) from Rotary Districts around the world at a rate of 100% ($1.00 DDF + $1.00 World Fund Contribution = $2.00 for the project). This year, beginning with applications submitted after July 1, 2020, The Foundation will continue to match all DDF funds supporting a Global Grant at 100% but not match any cash used in the funding. What does that mean to you?


Engaging Members

By Jaclyn Donovan

As Membership Month (August) comes to a close, this is a great time to consider how people can engage with Rotary so they are gaining value from being members. Here are just a few ideas from Rotary on how to keep your members involved ...

GRSP Update

New GRSP District Officers and New Opportunities for GRSP

By Ian Bond

The Georgia Rotary Student Program is alive and well in District 6900! As most of you know by now for the first time since 1946-1947 Georgia Rotarians will not welcoming international students to our state, our colleges and universities and our Clubs. Like Rotary Youth Exchange and other international programs, GRSP has cancelled the class of 2020-2021 due to the global pandemic. However, there is much work to do in the Clubs, the District and State to ensure GRSP emerges into the post-pandemic environment stronger and more vital than ever.

The original mission of GRSP is needed in today's geopolitical scene more than ever before in its 74 year history: "World Peace Through Understanding" So 2020-2021 is a year to refocus, reimagine, reinvent and renew. There are some of the exciting opportunities for GRSP this year! [more]

Laws of Life

LAWS of Life Essay Contest Offers Valuable Tool to Schools

By Natalie Marshall

Schools face a daunting challenge for the 2020-21 school year -- how to ensure that every student can reach their potential in the current education environment. Each passing week presents new changes and the stress that goes with them. Most schools will focus on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) programs to help students get the year started from a positive place. The Georgia Laws of Life (GLL) Essay Contest provides high school teachers with a powerful tool to promote SEL along with writing skills.

GLL invites Rotary Clubs throughout Georgia to join the Laws of Life program. As a Contest Sponsor your Rotary Club support provides a life-changing program for educators and students which encourages students to reflect upon values like those in the Rotary Four-Way Test. Contest Sponsors may also serve as a School Partner, working directly with a school or schools in your local area. GLL invites clubs throughout Georgia to participate with or without being a school partner.

End Human Trafficking

Atlanta Rotary Reports on Its Anti-human Trafficking Task Force's Work

By Bob Hope

Ted Blum, chair of the Anti-human Trafficking Task Force of the Rotary Club of Atlanta, addressed the club on the results of its two-year program to work with Atlanta’s top corporations to end human trafficking in the city. “We saw our role as coordinating, encouraging and assisting the companies in learning from each other and either establishing or expanding their efforts to end human trafficking,” Blum said.

Ted is pictured here with Dan Cathy, CEO of Check-fil-A. The full story includes a link to the report. [more]

2020-21 District Awards

Celebrating the Work We Do

By Court Dowis, Jr.

Each spring at District Conference (or for 2019-20 at a  summer event in Columbus), we recognize clubs and Rotarians for their accomplishments during the year. Of course, that requires clubs to let us know what they're doing. The District presents most awards in categories - based on club size - and for the first time in 2021, we have divided … [more]

Club News

Striving to Do Better - Living the Four-Way Test

By Susan Backofen

As we enter our 100th year, the Rotary Club of Thomasville is placing renewed focus on Rotary’s code of honor--the Four-Way Test. To define those efforts and bring the Test to life, we gathered input from members of the executive board and from members of the club.

President John Brown and his board are making the Four-Way Test part of its Code of Conduct. They also hope to weave the Test into the very fabric of our club and our individual members’ lives. The intent is to strengthen our club and to encourage our members to apply the Four-Way Test to their work, family, social, and community lives. “The result will be a better club, serving our community in more meaningful ways,” said President John. “I firmly believe that as our members commit more fully to living the Four-Way Test, we’ll also become better people—in our businesses, our families, our friendships, our churches, and in every other way we connect to the community.”

From Facebook

Atlanta West End Partners for Change

By Jackie Cuthbert

Atlanta West End Rotarian Neil Shorthouse is spending his retirement founding a new organization, Partners in Change (PIC), that pairs trained volunteer coaches with adults who want to assert greater control over circumstances and challenges holding them back. Neil has recruited several Atlanta West End Rotarians to join him in this important work.

Serving During the Pandemic

A Community Partnership to Engage Employers with Job Seekers

By Trummie Patrick

Every community in our nation is dealing with massive unemployment and big changes in the employment world. Many careers/jobs are no longer what they were. Unemployed workers must remake themselves for this new marketplace and develop new skills in order to survive. How do they get the coaching, resources and networking skills needed to make this happen? With surprisingly little time, the answer could be, your Rotary Club!

Since 2010, the Roswell Rotary Club and Roswell United Methodist Church Job Networking have teamed up to help hundreds of job seekers with workshops, personal networking, LinkedIn headshots, spiritual support, Attire to Hire and Mini Job Fairs. Now the meetings have gone virtual, and they continue to attract hundreds.

Serving During the Pandemic

Paulding County Feeds Hungry Children

By Roy Strickland

Paulding County Rotarians recently completed an amazing local project. They applied for and received a competitive district grant to help feed hungry children in their county during the time schools were closed for Covid-19. In partnership with District 6900, The Rotary Foundation, Chick-Fil-A, Prime Engineering, and CAYA Ministries, more than 1,300 bags containing 6,500 lunches (and an equivalent number of breakfast items) were sourced and delivered.

Serving During the Pandemic

Vinings Cumberland and Smyrna Join Forces for Schools

By Narayan Sengupta

Vinings Cumberland Rotary and Smyrna Rotary have both spent years supporting area public schools. Vinings Cumberland Past President Neill Ferrill led a recent ad hoc service project to provide backpacks and supplies for Compton Elementary School in Cobb County - raising $500 per club for $1,000 total. “Historically,” says Ferrill, “this Title I elementary school relied heavily on the contributions of nearby churches to meet the needs of its 500 students. With church-giving disrupted in this COVID environment, the generous Rotarians of the Vinings Cumberland and Smyrna Clubs took on this need that would have otherwise left many of Compton Elementary students without critical school supplies as they work remotely.”

Serving During the Pandemic

Tablets for Nursing and Rehab Center Patients

By Samantha Rosado

It was Douglas County Rotary's pleasure to serve the Douglasville Nursing and Rehab Center on Thursday, August 13! The club was able to bless them with brand new tablets for the residents to use during isolation. These allow them to see their families and loved ones. Extreme Images (a small business in our community) helped us brand them with our logo and the facilities logo! Pictured left to right: Stromboli Carter, Samantha Rosado (Rotarian), Kristine Aibangee, Alicia Steel, Brenda Waters and John Baker (Rotarian).

Club News

Creating Rotary Reads ... A Story of the Lake Spivey/Clayton County Book Club

By Ron Swofford

In early 2018 while searching for quietly active ways to promote interaction among members, the Public Image Committee of the Rotary Club of Lake Spivey/Clayton County encouraged interested Rotarians to think about developing a book club. Several members responded and following a low key approach, they conducted their first session on February 19, 2018 (pictured here). The participants named the book club Rotary Reads, and in the belief that not many Rotary Clubs also include book clubs, chose to call themselves "pioneers."

The basic outline of Rotary Reads is that, as a general rule beginning in February, it meets between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm on the third Monday of every other month. During the first fifteen minutes or so of each meeting, the Pioneers discuss potential future selections with the understanding that the person who recommends a selection will be the moderator of the discussion that focuses on that book. All genres are welcome, including history, fiction, science, philosophy, biography, etc.

Club News

Starfish Ministries Project Serves India's Differently Disabled

By Lisa Thompson

In keeping with Rotary’s commitment to Polio, the Rotary Club of Meriwether County and Starfish Ministries are serving the people of India affected by Polio and other life altering disabilities. The club celebrates this young man's new knee joint for this prosthesis - donated by our project partner FODAC and transported to India by Past President Bob Prater. The doctor who fitted this young college student was so excited by the opportunities that Rotary has provided these differently disabled patients, he has offered to sponsor a "Fitment camp" in November, where he would give about 50 prosthetic legs to individuals in need. Parts to make these 50 prosthetic legs will cost about $100 per prosthesis.

From Facebook

Share Your Story of Making a Difference on Facebook and in the Newsletter

By Jackie Cuthbert

Many clubs are doing great work in their communities even during the pandemic. This Rotary year, I have been visiting each club's Facebook page as part of creating the newsletter, to give clubs a spotlight for work they are doing. The photo collages that follow this article all come from that journey through Facebook.

I plan to continue this but would love to have you send in the stories you are proudest to share - about service projects, fundraising ideas in a difficult time, ways your club or individual Rotarians are making a difference in the community. Our deadline is the 25th of each month for publication in the next month's newsletter. We love pictures - and a paragraph or two on your story (or more if there's more you'd like to tell) in a Word document or typed in the body of an email.

Upcoming Key Dates

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020Americus Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 9th, 2020Cordele Board & Official Visit
Thursday, September 10th, 2020Blakely Board & Official Visit
Tuesday, September 15th, 2020Meriwether County (Warm Springs) Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020Harris County Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 16th, 2020LaGrange Board & Official Visit
Thursday, September 17th, 2020West Point Board & Official Visit
Monday, September 21st, 2020Douglas County Board & Official Visit
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020Paulding County Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020Vinings Cumberland Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020Atlanta Brasil Board & Official Visit
Thursday, September 24th, 2020North Cobb Board & Official Visit
Thursday, September 24th, 2020South Cobb Board & Official Visit
Friday, September 25th, 2020Dunwoody Board Meeting & Official Visit with District Governor Kirk Driskell
Monday, September 28th, 2020Senoia Board & Official Visit
Tuesday, September 29th, 2020North Columbus Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, September 30th, 2020Columbus Board & Official Visit
Thursday, October 1st, 2020Muscogee-Columbus Board & Official Visit
Monday, October 5th, 2020Buckhead Board & Official Visit
Tuesday, October 6th, 2020Fayette Daybreak Board & Official Visit
Wednesday, October 7th, 2020Lake Spivey / Clayton County Board & Official Visit
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