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"The Power of Shame"

Frank J. Devlyn

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("Devlyn /Forward Request for his book")

Leaving a Legacy

By Tom Branum

As a lifelong salesman, I have learned not to ask for a check until the product is explained and sold. Perhaps we tend to skip over the "selling" part when we ask our fellow members to support TRF. It is a "product" that has great value and can certainly sell itself with our help.

  • How do you calculate the value of a lifetime of goodwill emanating from the visit of a GSE team after they return to their own country?

  • How do you measure the impact of an Ambassadorial Scholar who has experienced Rotary generosity first hand?

  • What is the value of a life saved from the crippling effects of Polio because a child was taken to a National Immunization Day site and given the two drops of vaccine on his tongue by a man or woman wearing a yellow vest with the Rotary emblem on it?

  • Or a matching grant to provide food for starving people in Zimbabwe?

  • Or of free cataract surgery to restore sight to thousands of blind poor people in India?

  • Or providing a sewing machine to a poor woman allowing her to have her own business in Turkey?

  • Or a clean water well in a Nicaragua Community?

  • What is the impact in your district when a member returns from being a Rotary Volunteer in another country and relates what he/she has seen?

Linda and I took our 15-year-old grandson, Jonathan, with us to India where we have a decade-long relationship with a cataract surgery program in Kanpur. Dr. Awadh Dubey has done thousands of free cataract surgeries for poor blind people. As we all took a nighttime train journey to the holy city of Varinasi, Dr. Dubey and Jonathan talked for a long time. Later, the doctor said to me, "This trip will change your grandson's life."

The next year, Dr. Dubey and his wife were our guests in Indiana (District 6560) where he was the main speaker at our district conference. Our grandson was in the audience as the doctor described his philanthropic work with the aide of a visual presentation. After the speech, Jonathon asked his mother if he could take money out of his savings account to contribute to our Vision for the Future fund, which supports that work. Jonathan had seen the "product" and was sold on it enough to write a check.

I once asked Rotary Foundation Trustee Kalyan Banerjee (who is from India) whether he thinks National Immunization Day volunteers are more trouble than they are worth to their members who must host us. Trustee Banerjee said all volunteers are welcome, are needed, and provide visual evidence that the rest of the world cares about their problems. Those same volunteers return home and become more "salesmen" for the good work of The Rotary Foundation. If you have not been a Rotary Volunteer, think about it. If you cannot do so, you can be a part of this good work by contributing at least $100.00 every year to The Annual Programs Fund. With that contribution, you can support the volunteers and thus be present at every project in the world.

With your enthusiastic personal and financial support, The Rotary Foundation will continue to promote world peace and understanding. Rotary service, whether as a volunteer or as a donor, is just a matter of priorities.

My goal for Rotary is for it to be strong, to survive, and thrive long after I am gone. To survive by my help in building its membership.

To thrive by means of my help with Rotary's good work locally and around the world. To give support with my physical involvement and with my checkbook. Whether it is a work detail to pick up trash along a local highway, going on a National Immunization Day trip across the ocean, or writing a check every year, I can affirm my commitment to "Service Above Self." Supporting Rotary growth and Rotary causes is selfish, really, having something to do with wanting the work I consider important to continue. This will be a part of my legacy, when I am no longer here. I hope you support similar "selfish" priorities by contributing to our great Foundation. 

A Reminder

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