Someone asked me that question once,

And I stood there feeling like a dunce!

What do our Rotarians do?

I hemmed and hawed a time or two.

Then said, “We gather for a meal

And ask each other how we feel,

Get our food and have some fun,

Chattering till the meal is done.

We get club business out of the way

And have the program for the day.

Some are good...and some are great!

And...some run on ‘til fairly late.”

But then my friend, he turned to go,

“That wasn’t,” he said, “What I wanted to know.”


I’ve thought a lot about this since…

What could I have said to convince

My friend that Rotary does more than meet

Greet...take a seat...then eat?

Well, this is how I would make amends

By explaining Rotary to my friends:


A million children are healthy today

In lands both near and far away

Who otherwise might be lame or dead

From polio...that childhood dread!

And hungry children are being fed

Through better ways to grow their bread.


In many lands Rotarians are teaching

And doctors of all kinds are reaching

Helping both the sick and the lame

With little thought of wealth or fame.

Our men and women are meeting the need

By teaching children how to read.


Youth come here from every land

In answer to our outstretched hand

To learn about us and know our ways

Bringing joy and friendship to all our days.

And clubs are formed in every nation

For fellowship and conversation,

For education and information

And to practice the cultivation

Of peace on earth and good will to all

And a speedy end to every wall

Which separate the fold of the earth

And keeps us from seeing each other’s worth.


A hundred things there are to say

About what Rotarians do every day.

In every land and every town

To lift someone up when they are down

And help each other along the way,

“Service above Self” — what more can I say?

Well, if my friend should ask again,

I’ll have an answer for him then!

Author Unknown