The Object of Rotary is to “encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.” Rotary is a service organization. Since 1910, the Rotary Motto has been “Service Above Self.”
Rotary strives to achieve it’s objective of “Service Above Self” through activities in four primary areas. These are often referred to as the Four Avenues of Service.
This “Avenue” promotes the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. It involves the activities necessary to make the Club function successfully and achieve its goals.
This area represents the opportunity that each Rotarian has to represent the dignity and utility of one’s vocation as an opportunity to serve society. Rotarians promote and foster high ethical standards in business and professions and promote the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations.
This “Avenue” relates to the activities that Rotarians undertake to improve the quality of life in their community. Particular emphasis is given to helping children, needy families, the aged, the handicapped, and those most in need of assistance. Rotarians strive to promote the ideal of service in their personal, business, and community lives.
In this area, Rotarians strive for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. International Service Projects are designed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in many lands, with particular emphasis on the most underprivileged children and families in developing countries.
The Avenue of New Generations recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults involved in leadership development activities, community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
Information on this page came from the following sources:
The Object of Rotary page on the Rotary International web site
The ABCs of Rotary by Clifford L. Dochterman, published by Rotary International.
My Rotary Story
Rotary District 5890 Assistant Governor Callie Perez
Callie Perez is the Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5890 and she spoke to the Rotary Club of Baytown Wednesday, August 2 about the current Rotary International theme chosen by Rotary International President Ian Riseley, Rotary: Making a Difference.
Callie has been a Rotarian for six years in the Harrisburg club, having served as club president 2015-2016. Her mother is her Rotary sponsor and her boss in the woman-owned steel fabrication company for which they both manage in East Houston.
She married Mike Perez four years ago and they were blessed with twins two years ago, Brooks and Bennet.
Callie told the Baytown Rotarians, “When I joined Rotary I had heard the story of ‘The Children of the Dump’ and our club had supported the project by participating in the Beads of Hope Fundraiser. Jim Kite had mentioned that he leads a team of Rotarians each year to Nicaragua to check on the projects and disperse Christmas boxes to the children at the schools. I told him that I was interested and he immediately emailed me the itinerary which included the information, travel tips, and the cost of the week’s travels. I had just purchased my first home and was attempting to pay off my college debt so I just knew that I wouldn’t be able to afford to take the trip.
“Fast forward a couple months and our club was at one of our school’s opening ceremonies and Rebecca Maddux walked up to me and asked, ‘Do you have your bags packed?’”
Rebecca had not realized that Callie’s mother had not yet told her that the Rotary Club and Lisa Faith Massey (District Governor at the time) had sponsored her trip and were sending her to Nicaragua.
Callie continued, “They only asked one thing, that I come back to the club to report about my travels. I graciously agreed and flew to Managua, Nicaragua on November 28, 2011. I left Houston as a member of the Harrisburg Rotary Club and came back a proud Rotarian.
“My club knew of my interest in this project and fulfilled my desire to see Rotary at work. Rotary: Making a Difference
Callie explained, “In 1995 an Italian missionary, Father Marco Dessy found over 800 children living off of this city dump in Chinadega, Nicaragua. These children were economic victims from the natural disaster caused by Hurricane Mitch. As a solution, these families resorted to a life in the dump. As one pulls into the dump, you immediately notice clouds of smoke and children swarmed with flies and disease, all the while competing with dogs, cattle and adults.
“They were seeking items for resale, anything such as plastic bottles, metals and scraps to eat.
“Father Marco saw such despair and misery and I insisted in a change for these children.
“With the help of local businesses and other generous donations, he built a small school at the entrance of the dump and initiated the enrollment process. In exchange for one hot meal per day, the students had to attend school.
“The wheel of Rotary began turning when the Humble Rotary Club adapted Father Dessy’s ‘Children of the Dump’ as their first international project.
“With their help the school was enlarged and enrollment grew. Now there are over 1700 children that attend, wearing blue and white uniforms, using computer labs donated by Rotarians and receiving the free hot meal that they were promised.
“Breaking the cycle of extreme poverty in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere was certainly a task, but with the proper plan in place the Marco-Rotary model was made a success.”
On her trip to Nicaragua, Callie met Maria Jose-Perez, a product of Father Marco’s educational experience. Maria started working at the dump at the age of six.
“With the help of Father Marco and Rotarians, she attended the School of the Dump, graduated, went on to college on Rotary-provided scholarships (sponsored by Jim and Sandy Kite) and is now an accountant for one of the largest sugar plants in Nicaragua.”
Callie met Maria on one of Maria’s visits to the United States and she was so grateful for the opportunity Rotary has allowed her. She invited Callie and all the Rotarians to attend her wedding that would take place during the week of their trip to Nicaragua.
Callie said, “Maria’s wedding was held at a beautiful Catholic Church downtown and the reception was hosted at the Rotary sponsored Betania trade school.”
Callie said they were treated like royalty and everyone in attendance knew the works and values of Rotary.
“To know where Maria had started and to witness this beautiful bride celebrate one of the happiest days of her life was life-changing for me” said Callie. “That day I witnessed life in full circle and the magic that happens when Rotary is at work.
Rotary: Making a Difference
Callie concluded, “There is a Chinese proverb, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and your feed him for a lifetime.’ This philosophy was employed by the Marco-Rotary Model. Showing people to become self-sufficient through literacy, education and vocational training will allow for a more peaceful place where people provide for themselves and in turn are able to provide for others.
“Through Rotarians, Rotary is touching the lives of people we don’t know and may never meet. In every part of the world, every single day, whether they know it or not, people are living better, safer and healthier lives because of the works of Rotary. The people might not have ever met a single Rotarian. The people might not even know that Rotary exists, but they are drinking clean water from a bore well dug by Rotarians. They are learning to read with books donated by Rotary. They are living lives that are better, happier and healthier because of Rotary: Making a Difference.
Sheila Crawford shares a book for the club's literacy program to be donated in AG Callie Perez' name. Pictured from left are Sheila Crawford, District 5890 Assistant Governor Callie Perez and Baytown Rotary Club President Nick Woolery.?