Posted by Jennifer Deroin

When I first joined Rotary, I couldn’t understand why I would contribute funds outside of my community (Nampa). The schools have a significant reduced and free lunch population – an indication of poverty. For a few years, that was my perspective, but then my perspective changed.

I attended for the first time, a Rotary International Convention. I hadn’t traveled much internationally and thus my world view was very limited. At the convention I met Rotarians from around the world.  We shared stories and talked about what they were doing in Rotary, and why they were a Rotarian. I realized that week, that we are more alike than we are different and my definition of community changed.  I realized that I wanted to support my community and I was no longer bound by a zip code.

People want the same basic things for their loved ones. Food and water, the opportunity for healthcare, the opportunity to have healthy babies, a chance to educate them, and a chance to provide for their family. Does that sound familiar?  Take a look at Rotary’s six areas of focus. A group of smart people understood the fundamental components that must exist if we are going to create peace.  Peace starts with hope, and we are hope heroes.

These experiences also changed how I decided to support The Rotary Foundation. First, I started with Rotary Direct. This prompted me to give a little bit more than I had been, using Rotary’s online giving platform. Then one day I decided to make a bigger commitment and become a Paul Harris Society Member because I love my community, and want to make possible, more hope.

There’s always a reason to wait, but there are millions of reasons to not wait.  Those reasons are the faces of the friends in our community – across the globe and in our hometownWe are One Rotary.

Jennifer Deroin, '18-'19 D5400 Governor
One of our community members, Kenton Lee, makes possible an expanding shoe so kids don't contract soil transmitted disease running around barefoot, and can go to school, because they have shoes.  The Shoe That Grows