That was the message shared by Ken Jones, a member of the Centerville-Farmington Rotary and one of the chairs on the Rotary Foundation’s District Committee. The Foundation is an international charitable organization involved in projects on both a local and international level, and Jones recently met with the Bountiful Rotary to share some of those projects and encourage people to become more involved.
“Working with the foundation’s district committee has been one of the most enlightening, spiritual experiences I’ve ever had,” said Jones. Two other Centerville-Farmington Rotary members, Bruce Powell and Bob West, are also chairs on the district committee.
Locally, the foundation helped kick-start the Bountiful Rotary’s Coats for Kids program when it began several years ago. Though the program is now running independently, the foundation also helped with a Bountiful Rotary project a few years ago that led to new wells being created on Native American lands.
On a more international level, the foundation is heavily involved in is Polio Plus, a program that is working to eradicate Polio on a worldwide scale. The major focus of the program is immunization programs in developing countries, where the threat of polio is still a pressing issue in the lives of some people.
“A few years ago we were down to only 37 cases in the world, but now we’re back up to hundreds,” said Jones. “The problem with polio is that if it’s not completely eradicated, it comes back.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently donated more than $300 million to Polio Plus, but only on the condition that the money be matched by other donations.
Though the bulk of the foundation’s funding comes from Rotary members, those who are not involved are also welcome to donate money to projects such as Polio Plus. For more information, please go online to www.rotary.org/ foundation/educational.
Though the Rotary Foundation is a separate entity from Rotary International, the head of the foundation has to be a past-president of the larger group. The local district that includes South Davis follows these same guidelines.
Rotary International members are encouraged to make yearly donations to the foundation.