Membership, Rotary Club

Should Rotary Be A Family Affair?

rethink rotary past president Ravi Ravindran and family smiling to camera

Here is an idea: what if your Rotary family was really your family? Imagine Rotary as a place where different generations of families could spend time together. By Rotary family, I’m talking an adult Rotary family. The children have grown up, moved out and have lives of their own. It can be tough sometimes to get quality time. So what if Rotary was a space in which grown up families could do things together as a true Rotary family?

Welcome To The Rotary Family

Rotary club of downtown victoria members fundraising with popcorn at the oak bay car collectors festival

My husband, Adam Coard, on the right fundraising with his fellow Rotary Club of Downtown Victoria members.

When I was first looking to charter the Rotary Club of Downtown Victoria, I told my husband that he absolutely had to join. Credit where credit’s due, he begrudgingly joined. The best part was that he actually started to enjoy it and now he is a Rotary convert. I did the same thing with my mother in law. I asked her to join the club to support me. She did and guess what? She started to enjoy it too. We are a true Rotary family within my Rotary club’s greater family. Rotary is a great environment for us to share in each other’s lives and create unique shared experiences.

My Rotary club has another Rotary family group. I had a women join who then invited her brother to join. After that, their father joined as well. This woman is also a mother and sometimes brings your daughter to meetings. My club tries to make meetings as welcoming as possible for young children. This includes having a kid’s box available with toys, colouring etc as well as incorporating these ‘young’ Rotarians into the meeting itself. At some meetings with a father, daughter, son and grandchild, we have three generations taking part in Rotary together. How amazing is that! Our club meetings have become a way for them to spend time together as a family.

What about a grandparent and their children or grandchildren? If my grandparents had been Rotary members and they invited me to join their Rotary club, I would jumped at the chance! It seems to me that Rotary is a fantastic way to continue to do activities together as a Rotary family. This is especially true once all the children and grandchildren are grown up.

New Rotary Membership Drive?

I’m not advocating this for everyone. Not everyone gets along with their families nor would everyone want to mix family and personal time. Also, there are cases where family connections have to be avoided, but these are few and far between. For example, you wouldn’t want a treasury committee to be run entirely by one family! As long as you use common sense, having families in your club should enrich it and you’ll avoid pitfalls.

Why shouldn’t Rotary be a family affair? As many Rotary clubs struggle to bring in and keep new members. Who better to ask to be Rotarians than family members! If you have a child, parent or grandparent who you would love to see a bit more of, why not invite them to Rotary? You could become a Rotary family yourselves!

Are you part of a Rotary club with your family members? Do you think this is a good way to bring in new members? Share your stories and ideas with me in the comments or send me an email.