Posted by Chad Copley
This month is World Understanding Month.  February also happens to be the anniversary month of the very first Rotary club meeting, which took place on February 23, 1905 when attorney Paul P. Harris asked three business acquaintances to meet for some fellowship, discuss current events, and how, collectively, they could use their skills to help others in need.  
 
Rotary was just 16 - years old when our club was chartered on March 1, 1921.  As Rotary International has expanded globally, so has our perspective of the world.
 
International projects certainly promote world understanding.  We have several global grant projects that foster a better understanding of the needs of others and how we can collectively come together to meet those needs.  I can honestly say, prior to joining the Rotary Club of Ames, I generally knew of some challenges across the globe.  Through Rotary, I feel much more informed now.  I can attribute my increased understanding to our very own Global Grants team.  We have first - hand accounts of significant challenges created with the lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene practices; and the solutions that have ultimately led to widespread cultural changes in Tanzania.  It is amazing how the delivery of clean water is transforming a society.
 
We certainly have experienced a few challenges as a society due to weather events, such as this summer’s derecho, or the Texas electricity outages occurring right now.  However, these challenges are or were, temporary.  I do not want to minimize these types of struggles because they are real, but again, they are temporary.  Many people of the world face drinking water or food scarcity, and battle disease as a part of their everyday life.   This should give us perspective regarding world understanding when people face challenges such as these or greater that are systemic. 
 
Unfortunately, we are not able to meet in person March 1st to celebrate our collective achievements over the past century.   This will have to wait until later in the year.  Please tune in to our virtual club meeting on March 1st and wear your Rotary Club of Ames Centennial face mask at the start as we celebrate our next century of service in fellowship.
 
Chad Copley
Club President 2020 - 2021