Leigh McIntosh

If you have never heard of the Rotary Foundation, let me give you a little history. Created in 1917, their mission is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

When you think about this for about half a minute, you realize the Rotary Foundation’s mission statement is much needed in Gwinnett County. The world has come to us and many need these very things.

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To expound on my article last month, I believe that it is important for everyone to learn from the youngest of ages that we, as individuals, can make our communities better. It seems that when governments provide for a need, people feel entitled to have their needs met without contributing anything to the effort. Sometimes, when we come together to work on common goals without government intervention, we build strong relationships across all walks of life and develop love and respect for one another.

I remember listening to old radio shows as a child and many of them asked Americans to contribute to the war effort. In those days, they were talking about WWII and rationing. My parents also used to talk about rationing. The best of the supplies went to the soldiers to keep them healthy, but because supply could not keep up with demand, all Americans sacrificed in order to contribute. My mother told me they were only allowed to have one pair of shoes each year. My father-in-law told me that they would wear those shoes out and be barefoot until they could get another pair. Because everyone came together for a common goal, they really appreciated the blessings that came after their sacrifices. Since the Rotary Foundation started during those war years, I can only assume their goal was to help those with the most significant needs such as not knowing when they would be able to eat again. My father-in-law used to talk about eating biscuits with cane syrup for a meal when they were out of food. Most people in Gwinnett did not have live in luxury during those war years, but most had food to eat so that they would not starve. I hope that no one will have to experience rationing again, but I do wish we would take the time to see if there are ways we can contribute so that others are not suffering. To this day, individual Rotarians set aside small amounts of money to go to the Foundation, but that amount from so many Rotarians becomes millions and is used to assist people all over the world. If you know a cause and can contribute a few dollars a month, it would be much appreciated. If you want to contribute to the Rotary Foundation, please check out the website and see how your money will be used. This is the perfect time to teach your children about giving back so that they are contributing to the future success of their children and their communities. In addition, Rotary International is very focused on eradicating polio from the planet. The Gwinnett Rotary Clubs came together on March 24, 2018, World Polio Day, to emphasize the importance of working together for this cause.

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.

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