Why change is so scary -- and how to unlock its potentialUnexpected change like an accident, an illness or a relationship that suddenly ends is inevitable -- and disorienting. With a heartfelt and optimistic take on life's curveballs, cognitive scientist Maya Shankar shares how these challenging moments can inspire transformation, offering three questions to ask when facing uncertainty, so you can let go of rigidity and embrace change. Maya Shankar brings together the science of human behavior and storytelling to help us understand how we can better navigate big life changes.

Welcome to the New Year!  Well, at least, the new Rotary year. Unlike my predecessor, I have a face for radio, so at least for now, my update will be in writing. Maybe I’ll muster up enough courage next month to show my face on camera. But, for now this is what you get. I am excited, terrified, humbled, and honored to lead our eClub this coming year. A lot is still very new to me, but one thing I do know is that this club is filled with people who have a heart for service. And that makes all the difference in the world. I look forward to serving with you, learning from you and creating some more amazing memories together. Changing gears, let me ask you a question. If I asked you, “what is the purpose of our eClub?” what would your response be? In other words, why do we exist? I know on a grander scale we are to support and uphold the goals of Rotary International. But how do we do it given the uniqueness as an eClub. Is it different from community clubs? And, if so, how? What should our club look like in the future? And how do we get there?  These are questions I’ve been asking myself a lot these past few weeks. And, along with our Board of Directors, I hope to address in our next meeting. I fully believe because of our service footprint around the world, we are in a unique position to not only bring a great deal of value (that’s a word you’re going to hear me use often) to our club members, but also the projects they’re passionate about and the people they serve. We are not so unique. Did you know there are over 300 Rotary eClubs representing more than 6400 Rotarians around the world. I had no idea. But Brittany and I have discussed several ideas that could make our club unique in Rotary world and potentially the model for other eClubs.
Will you join us?

Welcome, New Member Chris Kenney!

Chris lives in Arlington, Texas and his classification is Specialty Retail Management.  He was previously an Active Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Grand Prairie until 2022.  He has spoken with Membership Chair Michael Hasty and says, "I am eager to continue my membersguo in Rotary and to have the flexibility to attend online meetings when his schedule allows".  He is married and enjoys cooking, going to concerts and watching documentaries.  He would like to assist with Project Management of Rotary projects.  We are pleased to add Chris to our membership roster and looking forward to getting to know you as part of the Rotary family!

The Rotary Foundation and all worldwide Rotary clubs have a motto, "Every Rotarian Every Year".  That's right, we are encouraged to support OUR Foundation every year in some dollar amount plus another donation to END POLIO.  PDG Nick Giannone has announced a special BONUS for your giving to the Rotary Foundation.  "I thought I might try to help make us an All Paul Harris Member Club for 2023-2024.  So, I am going to give everyone an incentive to donate to the Rotary Foundation in 2023-2024.  Staring 7/1/24, I will credit you one point for every dollar you give to the Foundation or Polio Plus, up to 500 points or until I run out of points (around 20,000).  So, one can become a Paul Harris Fellow for $500 or less instead of $1,000.  Plus remember Bill Gates will triple what you give to Polio Plus!  A win, win, win situation for Rotary!  LET'S DO IT!  Come on, let's be an ALL PAUL HARRIS CLUB in the new Rotary year."

This is a great opportunity to elevate our giving status which is monitored by Rotary International and our giving level directly impacts how much we receive in return for District Grants each year.  There is no shortage on worthwhile projects, yet we always need more money to support identified projects.  Please consider giving a minimum of $100 annually to our Rotary Foundation.  To accomplish this login to My Rotary on the Rotary International website.  There you will find a DONATE button at the top right corner.  There are options for giving:  Annual Fund, PolioPlus, World Fund, Disaster Response, Pakistan or Ukraine.  We ask that you first select Annual Fund as a portion of these funds are returned to our district to support our District Grants.  Additionally, support for the Polio Plus Fund is encouraged each year until we successfully END POLIO.  
If you need assistance with this process and setting up a MyRotary login, please reach out to any of our Board members. Together we are making progress to "Make this World a Better Place".  

Rotary makes high-quality health care available to vulnerable mothers and children so they can live longer and grow stronger.

We expand access to quality care, so mothers and children everywhere can have the same opportunities for a healthy future. An estimated 5.9 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation — all of which can be prevented.


Rotary provides education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast-feed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease.  Below you will read about various programs in the Rotary world and get just a glimpse of how Rotarians impact mothers and children in need.

In the mountains of Poland, 26 children traumatized by violence get a chance to be kids again at Rotary camp

By Iuliia MendelProduced by Monika Lozinska

Beneath the emotional scars of living in a Ukrainian war zone, Mykyta Berlet flashes the same mischievousness of any other 12-year-old boy headed to camp.

He wants to laugh, play pranks and on the last night of camp “we will cover everyone with toothpaste,” he says excitedly.

Mykyta and 25 other Ukrainian youths headed to the resort town of Zakopane in the foothills of southern Poland are naturally focused on fun. But their two-week respite organized by Rotary members has a higher purpose: To help the children heal and cope with the trauma they may encounter when they go home.  

Each camper has a parent or sibling killed or injured in the fighting in Ukraine. Psychologists at camp will guide them along the way during an itinerary that mixes escape and therapy.

Olga Zmiyivska, a member of the Rotary Club of Kharkiv Multinational in Ukraine, has brought children to the camp for two years and has witnessed its impact.

“After the trip, they are more willing to make contact and open their hearts,” she said.

War came into their homes

Thousands have died and millions have been displaced by the fighting between pro-Russia rebels and the Ukrainian military in eastern Ukraine. 

Growing up in the shadow of that nearly four-year conflict, most of the campers don’t remember a life without war. They tell unrealistic stories about battles and keep silent about real horrors. Some are guarded and hypervigilant. Others endure sleepless nights or nightmares. A few withdraw and emotionally shut down.

In Zakopane, nestled in the scenic Tatra Mountains, Rotary members give the children a chance to heal in a peaceful setting. The children sleep in comfortable cabins along a pristine lake flanked by green, rolling hills.

The program, called Vacation 2017 Zakopane: Well-Being for Ukrainian Kids, includes traditional camp activities and field trips along with support from mental health professionals. More than 100 children have attended over the past four years.

Lynette Wilke, RYE District Committee Chair, Akin Olufowoshe, and PDG Ed Charlesworth contributed to a program geared towards the returning Rotary Youth students and their parents last Saturday.  Each student had completed a school year in another country which most likely led to personal growth, better international understanding,  and changes in self-esteem.  While each participant would have grown and matured had they remained in their own family and their own school, these changes are enhanced by the RYE experience of living with different families in another country and building so many new international friendships.  Time-out to process these changes and help their families recognize their growth and changed perspectives is very beneficial to all concerned.  The workshop held discussions related to "How have I changed", both positive and negative experiences about being home, exploring their relationships currently with family and friends, understanding realistic expectations for re-adapting to home, and specific suggestions for parents of the youth exchange students.  Some past youth exchange students helped facilitate the discussions, too.  It is understandable that "You cannot go abroad without coming home a changed person".   The Rotary Youth Exchange program is well-organized, comprehensive, and offers great support for students here and abroad, including their families.  
Note:  Our club is sponsoring a student from Germany this year who will arrive in August.  Also involved with RYE are the following members of our club:  Anais Watsky, PDG Nick Giannone, Ruben Santos, Shirin Parke Durant, Evelyn Traylor, and Elizabeth Nordin.  It takes many dedicated Rotarians to commit to recruiting students, training inbound and outbound students, finding host families, providing safety and security of the students, arranging transportation to district events (such as Houston Livestock & Rodeo or RYLA), and more.  Our club is well represented on the D5890 Rotary Youth Exchange District Committee.
Please pay your dues in the amount of our annual amount of $200 prior to the end of June, 2023.  It can be accomplished on the club website via PayPal or a check may be mailed to Treasurer, PDG Ed Charlesworth (11407 Hylander Dr.  Houston, TX.  77070).  If you choose to use PayPal you will also find an option to pay an additional $6.46 to cover the PayPal fees.  Remember, all donations for the club's Foundation are separate accounts as are donations to the Rotary Foundation which are made through the MyRotary site.  We are all volunteers and we appreciate you taking action to remain an Active  Member of the Rotary e-Club of Houston.  
If you make the decision to terminate your membership, this must be done in writing to the Board of Directors and your dues must be current prior to successfully leaving our club.  We must receive this information before the end of this month or additional dues will be required.  The reason for additional dues to be paid even in the month of July is that our club is committed to paying Rotary International and District 5890 dues based on membership numbers at the end of June.  
Our  community service theme for June & July is “Beat the Heat” – Concentrating service efforts to make the lives of those less fortunate more comfortable as the summertime & heat kicks into high gear. Two areas of specific needs are shown below with connection opportunities to volunteer and help in the Houston area. For those outside Houston look for similar needs and support opportunities in your community …. These needs are everywhere this time of year. Be proactive and represent Rotary wherever you are and please do so often!
On Tuesday, August 22, at 6:30 pm Chase Nielsen will share his story of developing Tharseo Place, a residential treatment center which is now open now for teenage girls who are trafficking survivors.  Rotary is a partner with Tharseo Place to provide a safe place for these girls to live, eat and sleep.  They are provided with mental health support, educational opportunities and exposure to community service and various opportunities for fun.  Chase is a member of the Rotary e-Club of Houston and his wife Jenny is the Chief Executive Officer.
If you would like to donate to this project, please indicate your money is designated for support of Tharseo Place on the PayPal donation opportunity on our website.
1.  Attend the Speaker Series on July 25th at 6:30 pm.
2.  Read the July newsletter and listen to the TedTalk (counts as a meeting credit).
3.  Update your own Biography on ClubRunner.  If you have already written yours, please read about another club member to get to know them better.
4.  Pay your dues (about 50% have already paid).   Dues are $200.
Calendar subscription is easy with ClubRunner.  Simply click and open the club calendar on our website and beneath the monthly calendar is a blue box "Subscribe to Calendar".  Using the URL below with your calendar software, you can stay up to date with events from this website.https://rotaryeclubhouston.org/calendar-feed. You may add your Rotary calendar to a Google calendar, Apple calendar or your calendar in Outlook.
We encourage all members to add our club's calendar to your own so your will be able to effectively plan to attend club meetings and events.
Upcoming Events & Speakers
Past Speakers
Chase Nielsen
Aug 22, 2023
Rehabilitation for Sex-Trafficked Teenage Girls - Tharseo Place
Panel of Mental Health Experts
Jul 25, 2023 6:30 PM
"Create Hope in the World" with President Stan Edwards, Moderator
Rotary International News
The value of vigilance

Tenacious surveillance ensures that progress in the eradication of polio is not merely sustained but advanced

Service Above Self
September 2023
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