What do we wake up for? The obvious comes to mind right away. Maybe class or work. Maybe an early morning run. Maybe you wake up for a delicious breakfast, or a quick episode of your favorite TV show. There are a lot of reasons why people wake up. But why do they show up? Why do they step up? What carbonates their blood and adds a spring to their step?
I believe that all of us have the capacity and desire to do good and are capable of making great things happen. I believe that we all wake up with the intention of being great, but day-to-day gets in the way, and suddenly we’re stuck in a monotonous routine. But just inside, our capacity for greatness waits for a chance at action.
So Why Rotaract?
To me, Rotaract is that opportunity. As a conduit for action, Rotaract is a club focused on helping the local community and bringing about the next generation of leaders. It’s a group made up of students and young professionals, ages 18-30.
With more than 8,500 clubs and 186,000 members worldwide, Rotaract is a service-based club that brings together local and international communities. Strong ethics guide the group, following the motto, “Service Above Self.”
There are a lot of great volunteer groups out there. In fact, I could name dozens in the Central Minnesota area alone. So what makes Rotaract different and worthwhile? There are three main reasons why Rotaract fills a need:
1. It’s More Than Just Volunteering
Rotaract offers so much more than assigned volunteer opportunities for members. It offers each person the chance to bring ideas to the table. This means that no matter how new you are to the club, you can bring an idea to life and work on a project you truly care about.
For example, we recently brainstormed projects we could take on in 2016, and voted to aim our efforts on helping solve homelessness in our area. Having a voice in the projects that are chosen is not something that happens in all organizations, and is truly a unique attribute of Rotaract.
Beyond the community-based projects, Rotaract focuses on the development of young professionals. Most of our meetings involve a visiting speaker to help each of us grow personally and professionally.
Each member also has to chance to rub shoulders with influential leaders in the community. Through Rotaract, each member has the ability to network with professionals and peers alike.
2. The Rotary Connection
Rotaract is based on Rotary, an international service club with over 1.2 million members worldwide. It’s basically the 18-30-year-old version of the century-old establishment.
Worldwide, Rotary is credited with the near eradication of polio. On a local level, our Rotary club is responsible for Summertime By George. Anyone who has been in Saint Cloud for longer than a week during the summer has no doubt heard about this epic outdoor event. It consists of 12 concerts throughout the summer on Wednesday evenings and frequently has attendance over 12,000.
Beyond the incredible local and international accomplishments, there are amazing things to be said about the members of Rotary — called Rotarians. Our sponsor club, the Rotary Club of Saint Cloud, is made up of business owners, CEOs and other influential people in the community. Despite living incredibly busy lives, these people are humble and have a strong desire to make this community great.
One of the huge perks of belonging to Rotaract is that you are also joining the network of Rotarians, and making strong connections with leaders in the community.
3. Friends. Anywhere.
After I graduated from St. Cloud State University, I stayed in St. Cloud. The majority of my college friends did not. I am lucky enough to have found a multitude of amazing friends in my coworkers, but for a long time I’ve wanted to meet other people my age in this area. Rotaract has helped me to do that.
When we started Rotaract last year, I assumed that I would know a lot of the people who joined. I thought that I would have to cajole friends and family to join to keep the club afloat. I’m very happy to say that I was completely wrong. In fact, I had never met many of the members before they started coming to our meetings. Because of Rotaract, I’ve had the honor of meeting some truly amazing people my age who are doing crazy and unbelievable things for this community.
On an international level, one huge benefit of Rotaract is the connection potential. With more than 8,500 Rotaract clubs and 35,000 Rotary clubs, no matter where you go in the world, you will find a group of like-minded people. You could go to any corner of the world and show up to the nearest club meeting, and instantly you would be able to connect over a shared love of service.
So Yeah, We’re New.
But that’s what makes us great. In a matter of months, we have gathered a group of strong individuals who are determined to make things happen.
We chartered as an official Rotaract club in March and we’ve already taken on several projects, including an impressive food drive.
We’re here and we’re ready to get stuff done.
Sound like your jam?
Get in touch: email@example.com
Check out our Facebook page for the latest on the club: Facebook.com/SaintCloudRotaract