OKC Sunrise Rotary
OKC Sunrise

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Armstrong Bank
11671 S. Western Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73170
United States of America
1st & 3rd Thursday @ 7am
October 2022
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Home Page Stories

The war in Ukraine is having devastating consequences on civilians as families flee their homes. According to the United Nations, more than 3.5 million people, most of them women and children, have sought refuge in neighboring countries and across Europe, while about 7 million more people have been displaced within Ukraine.

Rotary and Rotaract clubs in Europe and around the world have taken swift action and are working with members nearby to provide food, water, medical equipment, and shelter for refugees.

The Rotary Foundation created a funding channel for relief efforts in Ukraine.

Donate now

Below are some of the latest projects as of 1 April

  • Clubs in Rotary District 2231 (Poland) are using a $50,000 disaster response grant to provide transportation, accommodations, food, and medical assistance for refugees who crossed the border from Ukraine.
  • Rotary District 2240 in the Czech Republic is purchasing $50,000 worth of sleeping bags, medicine, food, and defibrillators, EKGs, and oxygen concentrators to victims. 
  • District governors in Germany created a national task force to coordinate member initiatives and relief efforts on an online platform. A liaison office for government agencies and nongovernmental organizations has been established in Berlin.
  • Rotary clubs throughout France have mobilized to collect and distribute necessities to refugees. District governors are coordinating donations from French clubs to help Rotary clubs in Ukraine as well as to assist refugees traveling through Poland and Romania or taking refuge in those countries. The needs are determined by the France-Ukraine, France-Poland, and France-Romania-Moldova intercountry committees.
  • District 1910 in Austria is using a $25,00 disaster response grant to provide accommodations, baby supplies, medicine, hygiene materials, psychological care, food, and appliances to Ukrainian refugees in Austria.

Over the last year, the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Rotary Action Group has been incredibly busy. From our World Water Summit and webinar series on WASH in Healthcare Facilities to grant review and education support, we continue to advance WASH among Rotary members.

Take a moment to consider these facts from UNICEF’s 2020 Global progress report on WASH in health care facilities:

  • A quarter of all health care facilities have no basic water services.
  • 10% of health care facilities globally have no sanitation services.
  • One in three healthcare facilities do not have adequate facilities to clean hands at the point of care.
  • One in three health care facilities do not segregate waste safely.

While these statistics are shocking, they should also move us toward action. No mother should have to give birth in such a facility. I encourage you to go to our YouTube channel and watch the recordings of our recent webinars on WASH in Healthcare Facilities.

As always, our Action Group’s Professional Services team is happy to review your global grant prior to submission. The team is comprised of individuals with diverse WASH backgrounds and can help advise on any WASH grant. In addition, if we review your grant, you can put the WASH Rotary Action Group Donor Advised Fund in your funding section for as much as $2,000! Learn more.

Make sure you join us for World Water Summit 14 on 3 June. Whether you will be in Houston for the Rotary International Convention or not, you can still take part. This year, we’ll have a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual participation options. The theme is WASH Away Polio and will address water’s role in stopping the transmission of infectious diseases like polio. Speakers include Dr. Tunji Funsho (one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020), Past RI President John Germ, Rotary Foundation Trustee Aziz Memon, and Chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee Mike McGovern. Learn more and register here.

If you are involved in WASH projects, we want to help you do more and better work. If you are interested in WASH projects and concerns, we want you on our team. Join the WASH Rotary Action Group and help us make a difference.

President-elect Jennifer Jones is poised to lead Rotary into a vibrant, diverse future

By Photography by 

President-elect Jennifer Jones’ office at Rotary International world headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, feels different from those of her predecessors, but that’s in no way a result of the fact that on 1 July she will become Rotary’s first female president. On the wall hangs a recent gift from a friend — a black scratch-off map on which Jones can record every Rotary destination she visits during the next two years. When we speak it’s September, two months since she took office as president-elect, and on the map, only Chicago has been revealed — many planned events were canceled or postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Today, Jones is the only person on the 18th floor of One Rotary Center. There are no phones ringing, no fingers tap-tap-tapping on keyboards in the cubicles outside her door. One could do cartwheels through the Rotary boardroom and nobody would notice.

Jones elbow-bumps her visitors, Rotary magazine senior staff writer Diana Schoberg and senior editor Geoffrey Johnson. Then, spaced apart at a table in her office, they discuss her vision for the year ahead. “If you start to think about how exponentially Rotary can touch the world, we’re more than a club,” Jones says. “We’re a movement.”

Jones is president and CEO of Media Street Productions Inc. in Windsor, Ontario, where she is a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland. (Her husband, Nick Krayacich, is past president of the Rotary Club of La Salle Centennial and was recently selected as governor-nominee-designate of District 6400.) Her company’s specialties include radio and television production, corporate and nonprofit videos, and live show productions. 

Using her media background to elevate Rotary’s global profile is one of the primary goals of her presidency, and Jones is planning what she calls the “Imagine Impact Tour” to showcase to the world several large-scale, sustainable projects in each of Rotary’s areas of focus. “I see this as a way of increasing our membership,” she says. “When we tell our stories, like-minded people will want to join with us.”

A Rotary member since 1996, Jones played a lead role in the organization’s rebranding effort by serving as chair of the Strengthening Rotary Advisory Group. She is co-chair of the End Polio Now Countdown to History Campaign Committee, which aims to raise $150 million for polio eradication efforts. She also led the successful #RotaryResponds virtual telethon in 2020, which raised critical funds for pandemic relief and attracted more than 65,000 views.

Between more serious topics such as elevating Rotary’s image and its efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, the conversation jumps around to the retro appeal of the 1980s television show The Golden Girls (its social commentary is relevant even today, Jones surmises) and dance parties (“Whenever a good song comes on, it’s hard to not get a little groove on,” she says.). Toward the end of the conversation, Jones’ dad chimes in with a ding on her phone and the one-word message, “passed” — he’s still working at almost 80 years old and wanted to let her know he’d succeeded at an annual exam for his job. 

“He is the sweetest thing,” she says with a smile. A few days earlier, his text to her had included a heart emoji and the query “How’s fixing the world coming along?” With the family of Rotary behind her, Jones is well on her way.

We have overcome so many challenges these past two years and changed numerous lives. It brings me great joy that we have worked so hard this year to grow Rotary through the Each One, Bring One initiative. The result has been excellent growth in membership. Let us keep up the momentum. I am happy that you have put a spotlight on all we do by organizing projects around the world in our Rotary Days of Service. The future looks brighter than ever for Rotary and our 1.4 million members.

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 constituted a pandemic, and two years later it is important that we continue to draw on our expertise in our disease prevention and treatment area of focus to help people worldwide cope with the continuing challenges. The pandemic continues to defy all expectations, but we cannot be frozen in fear. Our work is too important. It is also important that we make time for each other, and I urge you to register for the upcoming 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston. It is a great way for all of us to safely celebrate Rotary service.

We can continue to build hope and spread peace in the world by using our resources to help the most vulnerable and keeping our faith in the future. The pandemic has had an especially devastating impact on girls worldwide. On the first anniversary of the pandemic, Henrietta Fore, the executive director of UNICEF, said that “immediate action is needed to mitigate the toll on girls and their families.” This need, unfortunately, remains just as strong a year later. The ripples of the pandemic have affected girls in unique ways — stunting their educational attainment, weakening their job prospects, and contributing to other terrible results such as child marriages and increased human trafficking.

Data from UNICEF reveals why our action is so essential. In the 2010s, important progress was made toward eliminating the practice of child marriage, and UNICEF estimates that 25 million such marriages were averted worldwide.  Unfortunately, the pandemic reversed those positive trends, and as a result an additional 10 million girls are vulnerable to becoming child brides by the end of this decade.

This is why our focus on Empowering Girls is such vital work, and I am delighted that at this year’s virtual International Assembly, President-elect Jennifer Jones committed to continuing this initiative for another year. In my travels, I have witnessed many wonderful examples of club projects that back our Empowering Girls goals. But all Rotary members know that real change requires big efforts sustained over many years. This is the power of our global grants and actions taken within our areas of focus.

I encourage clubs to think of innovative ways to empower girls when designing their grant projects. Every step we take to improve education, health care, and economic opportunities for girls makes an important difference in helping them achieve their full potential. With opportunity we create hope, and with hope we address the root causes of conflict around the world, setting the stage for sustainable peace.

None of us know how long the COVID-19 virus will linger — and as an organization that has worked tirelessly for decades to eradicate polio, we understand better than most the difficult work that lies ahead for the world. That is why we need to remain focused on the future and on what is possible — not feeling nostalgic for the way our lives were, but looking hopefully to a future that uses this opportunity to Serve to Change Lives. I look forward to continuing this good work with you.

Rotary International President-elect Jennifer Jones wants members to imagine the possibilities in the change they can make to transform the world.

Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, revealed the 2022-23 presidential theme, Imagine Rotary, as she urged people to dream big and harness their connections and the power of Rotary to turn those dreams into reality.

“Imagine, a world that deserves our best,” Jones told incoming district governors on 20 January, “where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.”

Jones, who will make history on 1 July by becoming Rotary’s first female president, gave a live online address to precede Rotary’s annual training event for district governors from around the world, the International Assembly. The assembly was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now be held virtually 7-14 February.

Jones told the incoming governors about a chance she took when a member asked for assistance in getting a young peace activist out of Afghanistan during the U.S. troop withdrawal last year. At first unsure how she could help, she relied on “that certain Rotary magic” and contacted a former Rotary Peace Fellow she had met a few years earlier. Less than 24 hours later, the activist was on an evacuation list, and soon she was on her way to Europe.

Engaging members through meaningful responsibility

To better engage members, Rotary needs to “adapt and retool,” Jones said, using her hometown as an example. Windsor was once the automotive hub of Canada. But after plant closings left thousands without work, the city needed to retool, in the same way an auto plant would, preparing for new parts or a new model. Now, Jones said, Windsor is a leader in agribusiness and medical and aerospace technology.

For Rotary, “finding the right ‘part’ to engage each member should be our core function,” Jones said. “It comes down to the comfort and care of our members.”

For the 14th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. 

The Foundation earned the recognition for adhering to sector best practices and executing its mission in a financially efficient way, demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only one percent of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 14 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

“We are honored to have been recognized and to be among the top 1% of charities evaluated,” said Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair John Germ. “Our donors can feel proud knowing that their gifts will allow them to make an impact in their communities and the world for years to come.”

The rating reflects Charity Navigator's assessment of how the Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness.

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