I keep getting asked, “Why Rotary”? To be honest, I wasn't sure? I quite liked the idea of meeting up with like-minded people and organising events for various good causes, I didn't really have a “why.” That was until yesterday. As part of the national Rotary wide initiatives, I was asked if I could help out at Rotary’s Kids Out held at Wicksteed Park in Kettering. Of course, I agreed, even though I didn't realise what it was! “Be in the car park for just before 10 and we will give you a t-shirt”. That is pretty much all I knew! Right…
Sure enough, I arrive in the car park and there must have been 100 coaches with children pouring out of them like someone had left a tap running, more and more children, my initial thought was, what on earth have I signed up for here? So off I went and met up with Club President, Steve Howe who introduced me to Robin Green from the Northampton West Rotary Club. This is where I really found out what this event is all about.
In a nutshell, Kids Out has been running since 1990 and in that time has taken over 55,000 disadvantaged children on a fun day out. It sets out to give these children an experience that will bring both fun and happiness into their lives. Our role as Rotary volunteers, of which I was just 1 out of about 10,000 across the country yesterday, was to help the children’s careers and teachers in anyway I could. This meant helping getting them on and off the rides, it even meant I got soaked riding the log flume with one group! I did have to refrain from riding the pirate ship!
From all of this, the word experience really stands out. I am a father of 2 girls; 6 and almost 1 and I’d like to think my daughters have a good life. My eldest plays hockey and tennis, she swims well, gets holidays every year and is able to take part, within reason, in any activity she wants. My youngest, I am sure will quickly follow in her Sister’s footsteps. Before yesterday, I guess I took all this for granted, and why wouldn't I? That was life as I saw it. I didn't really have to make considerations on weather my children could do something, I mean just 2 weeks ago my eldest and I were shooting across a French Lake on a Zip wire. Getting to volunteer with Kids Out, really opened my eyes to what as a Rotarian I can do to make a difference.
From this experience, I now have my "why." Why did I decide to become a Rotarian? The answer is simple, so I can help others, less privileged and more in need, experience things they may never have the chance too.
Iain Borner – Newbie Rotarian with Rotary e-club 1070