My Gift of Giving Story To Honor The Rotary Foundation

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AKS/CP Bing Carrion

In the year 2018, April 12, to be exact, there were five Past District Governors and I who were invited to the Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston , Chicago as Arch Klumph Society honorees with the declaration of Philippine and Indonesia Day.

On this milestone occasion  present were then TRF Chair Paul Netzel and RI President Barry Rassin together with their spouses and past RI Presidents, TRF Trustees and Officers who all  gathered at the Auditorium together with RID Raffy Garcia and Spouse Minda. Here  we were asked to individually speak and share our TRF story.

I was asked to speak last and when I asked why, the response was ,” Your Gift of Giving speech captures the true essence of the gift of giving.” I felt humbled and altogether joyful,  hearing this feedback.


I am therefore sharing with everyone in District 3810 my TRF speech on that unforgettable day. My wish is hopefully, by sharing my TRF journey, you will also feel encouraged to give and share your blessings with the least of our brethren through The Rotary Foundation.

I come from this heart-shaped island in Southern Philippines where my grandfather Juan Morente Nieva was Governor, while his  brother Gregorio became one of two Filipino first charter members of the oldest Rotary Club in Asia, the Rotary Club of Manila who celebrated their centenary in 2019.

Effectively, my distinguished family is considered Marinduque’s  first family . I consider myself very blessed to be witness in my growing- up years to the philanthropic generosity of heart and spirit of the strong women in my family led by my beautiful and courageous grandmother Elvira Sarmiento Nieva who was the Governor’s First Lady and my equally lovely mother, Rosario Sarmiento Nieva as my best mentors of the gift of giving.

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It was their living , palpable example that encouraged me to donate to the Arch Klumph Society in 2016, thus becoming the first Charter and sitting President in the Rotary organization to become a member of the Arch Klumph Society.

Living the gift of giving has therefore become a way of life for me from an early age. It is part of my DNA. It has made me realize that to effect change in our broken society , we must make life equitable for those who have less in life.

In my mind and heart, there is no better institution than The Rotary Foundation to channel our gift of giving which they manage honorably, professionally, efficiently and honestly. I would therefore like to honor The Rotary Foundation by extending my deepest appreciation for the most remarkable work that you do.

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In the same manner that I thank all of you for honoring us Arch Klumph Society Donors from the Philippines with this testimonial dinner and program.

In essence, what we do for the least of our brethren is the best way we can honor ourselves with dignity and pride. It is also the best legacy we can pass on to the next generations of our families and beyond.
We must remember that as we uplift the marginalized members of society, we also emerge as winners in this war against poverty, malnutrition and ignorance.

At the end of the day, our legacy will be defined by the lives we have empowered  and touched to become effective members of society with their honor and dignity intact one day at a time.

As committed Rotarian leaders, we do not measure our success by the number of people we lead but by the number of people we serve everyday of our lives.

This is my Rotary gift of giving story.