During December, one focus of the Rotary Foundation is on disease prevention and treatment. Each year, they spend millions of dollars on polio eradication, providing clean water to people, helping to reduce the transmission of HIV, malaria and other diseases, and helping to educate others who can make a difference.
In a world where we are continually exposed to toxins in the air we breathe, the foods we eat and the items we are touching each day, it becomes challenging to avoid them. Many times, when we discuss disease prevention, we focus on healthy eating and exercise but do not focus on the chemicals we are allowing to be part of our food supply. Labels are difficult to read because marketers advertise using confusing language. With rampant propaganda currently plaguing our country, the only way we can stem the flow of untruthfulness is to stop it as a unified society. The irony of discussing disease prevention in December is not lost when we consider this as the time of year, we eat treats and delicacies that are not part of our normal diet. As with most things, it seems moderation is the best policy along with making informed decisions. However, at Christmas, keeping traditions are important so while no one expects us to eliminate all unhealthy foods from our diets, maybe we can be mindful of what we choose to make part of our traditions.
December is a good time to reflect on some of our accomplishments. In Rotary Club of Lawrenceville this year, we have volunteered for and given grants to deserving charities. Some of these include $1,100 to support Alzheimer’s, $1,540 to Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministries, $3,028 to support a student for a year at Georgia Gwinnett College, $3,000 to students winning the Laws of Life essay contest, $1,592 to Lawrenceville Elementary School for benches, $1878 to plant a tree for every Rotarian, $1,500 to the JM Tull YMCA, $1,000 to Shelter Box to provide tents for people in areas that have been devastated by disasters, $420 for polio eradication, $1,000 to Georgia Gwinnett College, $500 for Alliance for Smiles, $500 for World Community Projects and $1,000 for Hurricane relief. In addition to monetary rewards, we clean up portions of Old Norcross Road, volunteer for Gwinnett Great Days of Service, Ring the Bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas, sponsor a family in need at Christmas and read to a number of classrooms at Lawrenceville Elementary on a monthly basis. We do not have a large club, but the 30 or so people who make up the club have worked to “do good in the world this year.” I am proud of them and proud to be part of them. Working with people like this lift us up to be better. A positive attitude means we are making a difference rather than complaining about the issues. We need others willing to be part of the solution. You can find us on Facebook or go to Lawrencevillerotary.org to learn more about our Lawrenceville club. Come join us and be part of positive change.
Leigh is a proud Rotarian and CEO of Creative Enterprises, Inc., a not for profit, training, and employment, community rehabilitation program for adults with disabilities. A lifelong resident of Gwinnett County, Leigh divides her time between advocating for people with disabilities, enjoying her children, grandchildren, and friends, helping her doTerra essential oil customers, traveling, and focusing on her spiritual journey to appreciate how we are all connected.