Giving of Self:  The Rotary Way

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Rtn. Marichu Castro, LCP Mercy Alvaran, and PP Jason Valera

The Rotary Club of the Philippines has made its way to every community in the different areas of the country, touching lives and giving service to the Filipinos, in its own humble ways. The Rotarians, have been actively engaged in various ways to promote civic consciousness and extend selfless commitment in doing the provisions basic needs and being at-work for constituents within their level of reach in the society.

The Rotary Club Foundation priorities have been emphasized through the following components: enhance the image and awareness of the Foundation’s achievement in “Doing Good to the World”; strengthen Rotarian’s knowledge, engagement and financial support to the TRF; increase the quality and impact of Rotary’s Humanitarian service efforts through the Grant Projects and the 7 Areas of Focus; and End Polio. In short, Rotary is dedicated to causes that build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.

In San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, the Rotary Club of San Jose Downtown has opened its hearts and arms since 2015 to bring the vision of the Rotary Club to serve the Mindorenos. Despite being a small and young club at that time, the club has already seen the importance of sharing The Rotary Foundation.

For the record, in order to respond to the growing commitment of actively contributing to fund raising activities, the San Jose Downtown club has produced its very first Paul Harris Fellow in the person of PP Jason Valera (2019-2021) followed by Rotarian Josefino Melgar (2019-2020) and PP Fr. Renato Tampol, SVD (2020-2021).  Indeed, the fund-raising activities for the Rotary Foundation have become a benchmark of service in one of its highest forms. In fact, it has become a classic example of Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”. Foundation recognition points are awarded to donors who contribute to The Rotary Foundation through the Annual Fund or PolioPlus, or who contribute to sponsorship of a Foundation grant. The Rotary Foundation transforms the gifts into projects that change lives both close to home and around the world. As the charitable arm of Rotary, a global network of Rotarians are encouraged to invest time, money, and expertise to achieve its global objectives.

This year, LCP Mercy Alvaran will also contribute to the TRF to become the next Paul Harris Fellow. LCP Alvaran has expressed in a monthly conference her desire to work on a proposal for a Global Grant that would finance a community project in one of the marginalized communities in the province.  This project would be a Hanging Bridge to connect a Mangyan community from a far-flung area in Sitio Danlog, Monteclaro to the main road that would make them accessible to conduct trade and commerce with other members of the communities outside their indigenous areas.

The Rotary Club in San Jose Downtown has already shown considerable efforts and hard work in the past five years of being under different leaderships.  These years have been challenged in a multiple of ways – starting from the recruitment of members, to the completion of projects while having to find funds and support from different entities in the locality, and the greatest hit is the on-going pandemic which did not only slow down the club’s mobilization efforts, but also restricted the availability of various resources.

But all of these do not stop the club from moving forward.  There is no better way to show its genuine concern but to continue to act in order to serve the less fortunate and needy members of the community. This is how the Rotarians are trained to serve: moving against all odds by putting less to self and more for others to complete its advocacies and vision for the society.