Charlie Hunt posted an articleDenver LoDo Increases Its Membership By Over 50% in January! see more
Can you imagine increasing your club membership by 50% in one month? The Denver LoDo, just that this past January. Charlie Hunt is a member of the club and a Return Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). As a member of District 5450 Rotary - Peace Corps Alliance committee, he has had a dream for some time to recruit RPCVs into the club. It is a natural fit. The focuses of both Peace Corps (PC) and Rotary are almost identical. Recruiting RPCVs is certainly logical.
Charlie is also very active in RPCVs of Colorado. As a matter of fact, he is the current president of the organization. Because of this connection, he has been able to have conversations with RPCVs about how Rotary can fit in with their professional development and community service. To his pleasant surprise, he found a number of RPCVs who already had connections with Rotary. One of the club's new member was a Rotaractor. One had received a district scholarship while in college. One had received help from a Rotarian with his professional career. One attended RYLA and then became a RYLA counselor.
In the past Charlie had heard from many RPCVs that the difficulty in joining Rotary was typically a financial one. With that in mind, Charlie talked to the leadership in the club about the idea of developing a satellite group under the club. The idea would be that the club would set a different dues structure to allow for more RPCVs to join the club. Club leadership liked the idea. The new satellite group has a minimal dues structure which makes it very affordable. At the same time, the club is including all of the satellite group members in club committees, service projects, and monthly club socials. Three new members have already been in contact with our district grants chair Carolyn Schrader to volunteer in reviewing international service grant applications. This group is also willing to connect district clubs applying for grants with local RPCVs to assist with refining their projects to have an understanding of local cultural issues where the project will happen.
The club officially inducted ten new satellite group members to the club on March 6th. DGE Curt Harris and District Membership Chair Lynn Perez-Hewitt were in attendance to celebrate this significant addition to the club's membership.
If you were interested in learning more about the connection between Peace Corps and Rotary, please check the website www.partneringforpeace.org. Also, if you were interested in learning how to leverage the Peace Corps rotary partnership in your district, take a look at the toolbox we put together to help with PowerPoint, handouts and videos to make the job easier. You'll find a link for it at https://www.partneringforpeace.org/cpages/get-involved.
Partnering for Peace - Friends of Peace Corps and Rotary posted an articleStrengthening The Connection Between Peace Corps Volunteers And Rotary Members see more
I felt right at home when my wife Ligia and I arrived at the impressive University of Denver campus to participate in the Partnering for Peace workshop, hosted by District 5450 as a precursor to Peace Corps’ annual alumni conference. The forces that shaped my life would be at this conclave, whose theme was Partnering for Peace: Taking Collaborations to New Heights. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), alumni of the Peace Corps international service program, and Rotarians are my kind of people.
Over 85 Rotarian Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered at our workshop to discuss how to better support the communities we serve through local and international service projects. Several project leaders presented on their joint initiatives made possible through collaborations between clubs and nearby Peace Corps Volunteers: establishing a computer lab in Honduras and Senegal, transporting medical equipment to Kenya, equipping a community with access to clean water in Burkina Faso, and a joint effort to identify school needs and help fill gaps with literacy resources in Costa Rica.
Attendees broke up into small groups for the final session to discuss strategies for:
- Rotary clubs and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to find one another and work together to enhance community and international service projects.
- Identifying and promoting projects to help others learn from successful partnerships.
- Sharing inspirational stories of joint projects to encourage members of both organizations to explore local collaboration opportunities.
- Identifying the many different ways clubs and current and returned Peace Corps volunteers work together.
To conclude the workshop, District 5450’s Governor Abbas Rajabi shared his story of being taught by a Peace Corps volunteer in his home country of Iran, which inspired him to continue servicing others.
The District 5450 Peace Corps Alliance Committee, focused on connecting local Rotarian RPCVs, formed Partnering for Peace to engage Rotarian RPCVs all around the globe. Partnering for Peace is a group of Rotarians and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers working to build partnerships to create sustainable projects locally and around the world in order to promote peace.
The workshop was our first big step in connecting Rotarian RPCVs and inspiring action. We’ll continue facilitating introductions and promoting resources to help clubs and Peace Corps volunteers and alumni work together more closely in the communities most in need of our support. We are also eager to guide clubs and RPCVs on how to plan and implement joint service activities either locally or internationally.
It’s exciting to see the Rotary-Peace Corps partnership continue to grow with the involvement of more RPCVs and we concluded the workshop energized and excited to continue working together with members of both organizations. I describe my own journey with Rotary and the Peace Corps in my new book, Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond, but the formation of Partnering for Peace will take that trek for me and many other Rotarians and RPCVs to an entirely new level.
~Mark D. Walker, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Guatemala (1971-1973)