A Message from DG Els Van Engelenburg:
Wow! I cannot believe how quickly the first six months of this Rotary year has passed. Every year at this time I see it as an end to one year and an opportunity for a new one.
“Of all the hundred and one ways in which men can make themselves useful to society, undoubtedly the most available and often the most effective are within the sphere of their own occupation.” – Paul P. Harris
January is vocational service month in Rotary. Every January, Rotarians are encouraged to focus on Rotary’s Vocational Service theme. Discussions within the club on vocational service can lead to projects that not only develop the ethical consciousness and vocational skills of Rotarians but also the talents within their communities.
Vocational Service Month is an opportunity to begin year-long vocational service activities, ranging from Rotary discussions to awards to community projects. Vocational Service calls on us to empower others by using our unique skills and expertise to address community needs and help others discover new professional opportunities and interests.
In club meetings, this is a great opportunity to leverage vocational service in club projects and activities. Clubs can devote a meeting in January to examine the second Avenue of Service, including The Four-Way Test and The Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions. Then, after expanding members’ awareness, solicit their input in planning projects for the remainder of the year.
Clubs incorporate vocational service in their club activities by:
- Asking a member to host a club meeting and share about their profession; take time to learn about fellow members’ occupations.
- Introducing a “mini-classifications talk” series in which each member gives a two-minute talk on his or her vocation. Spotlight one member during meetings until everyone has made a presentation. The purpose of these talks is to promote vocational awareness among Rotarians and help them recognize the worthiness of all useful occupations.
- Presenting a vocational award to someone in the community who has exemplified outstanding professional achievement while maintaining very high ethical standards. Promote the presentation within the community, and consider making it an annual January event.
- Inviting experts to give a presentation on the vocational needs of the community and develop a project in response to those needs. Possible projects could focus on developing character, providing career information to youth, mentoring small businesses, or organizing workshops that provide employees with new skills.
- Encouraging club members to put their vocational skills to work as a Rotary Volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available on ProjectLINK, a valuable resource that lists many vocational projects that clubs and districts can also choose to support financially or with donated goods. ProjectLINK also includes examples of successful vocational service projects that Rotary clubs can model as they plan their own activities.
I wish all of you health and happiness through the holiday season and a wonderful New Year full of opportunities for service.