District Expansion & Membership Development
As I write this message in November, 23,671 people have become Rotarians, as reported by the RI Membership Coordinators, and 200 new clubs have been chartered since 1 July 2001, which is very heartening news for all of us who view Rotary’s growth as essential to our organization and to our world. Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story, however; they don’t reveal the full impact that any one of these new Rotarians may have on the welfare of mankind.
I think about Rotarians like George Buckley of the Rotary Club of Parkstone, England, who has made more than 40 trips to Romania bringing desperately needed fold and medical supplies. After seeing the terrible plight of helpless children in Romanian orphanages, George organized a club in Tirgu Mires, Romania, and launched a project to transform these orphanages into clean, warm places where children are cared for and educated. The lives of those orphans were literally transformed because of one Rotarian’s compassion and commitment.
How many George Buckleys are there who are not yet Rotarians? My conservative estimate is tens, even hundreds, of thousands. Think of that – hundreds of thousands of men and women with the hearts and minds of Rotarians who have never had the opportunity to enjoy the structure and network for service that Rotary provides.
What I find so disturbing is that we know these people are out there, and yet we hesitate to invite them to become Rotarians. With the need for Rotary’s humanitarian service growing daily, we can afford to delay no longer. Let us heed the words of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral of Chile, who said: ”The child cannot wait. Right now is the time that his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him, we cannot answer ‘tomorrow’ for his name is ‘today’.”
If you have not yet inducted a new member this year, I ask you to do so now, today. Mankind Is Our Business, and mankind cannot wait.
理查•金恩Richard D. King