by Sam Sentelle
Posted on September 19, 2017
Charity at home, and around the world
The Rotary Foundation with Terry Mathias
September 19, 2017
Visiting in the service club where he first took the pledge as a Rotarian, District Governor Terry Mathias talked with Putnam Rotarians today on ways to join in community service at home and around the world.
In his third month as DG for RI District 7550, Mathias has visited nearly all of the local clubs in southern West Virginia, and he now plans to take part in “National Immunization Day” for children in northeastern India.
A Rotary project to eradicate polio began in 1979 with vaccinations of six million children in the Philippines. And now the disease has been eliminated in all but three countries in the world. But immunizations are still given in order to destroy any remaining pockets of the virus.
Rotary counts 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs around the globe. In addition to feet-on-the-ground, the organization operates through the Rotary Foundation, a nonprofit fund which started a century ago with a donation of $26.50 by an International president.
Since 1917, the Foundation has invested over $3 billion in thousands of projects.”Next to my church,” Mathias told his audience, “the Rotary Foundation is my favorite charity.”
Funds are returned to local communities through “district simplified grants“ which are administered through Rotary districts. The Putnam club has been awarded matching grants for several years for student scholarships, for support of a musical instruction program for the Teays Valley Strings, and for dictionaries for local schools.
The Foundation also supports “global grants” which encourage partnership projects among Rotary districts and clubs around the world.
A global grant starts at $30,000. “We have to have an international partner,” Mathias explained. “Right now we are getting two or three districts in India to help with a global project.
“Our district sent $15,000 of ‘global funds’ last year to help with some pediatric cardiac surgeries. This year they are giving it back to us.
“Our project will be in the $60,000 to $70,000 range,” he added.
“We have formed a partnership,” Mathias said, “with Marshall Oral Health, Cabell-Huntington Hospital, to be piloted in two elementary schools.
“Rotary is going to buy the mobile dental equipment, Marshall Health will provide the dentists and hygienists, and Cabell will help with the coordination.
“We’re going to do cleanings, x-rays, and exams on site. For extractions and fillings, they’ll figure out a way to get them to the clinics.
“If you have a major need it your community,” Mathias said, “then talk to me. There are ways we can make it happen.”