Rotary Club of Santa Ana is one of 31,000 Rotary clubs in 164 countries around the world comprising Rotary International, with more than a million members. Working together globally, Rotary has nearly eradicated polio from the world’s population. Additionally, Rotarians are involved in thousands of local projects in their communities and around the world.
Rotary was founded by a lonely lawyer, Paul Harris, who 100 years ago moved to Chicago, and was looking for some lunch partners. He gathered several colleagues together, rotating the meeting sites each week. In their first effort at providing a service to others, they built a public outhouse. Who would have thought that this inauspicous beginning would blossom into the first service club organized in the U.S, which has grown into so many clubs here and around the world?
What you see when you visit us is not all you get.
At first glance it appears that there are just a group of friendly folks eating lunch together and teasing one another, listening to a guest speaker. The club president pounds a bell with the gavel, levies fines on the members for ridiculous reasons, and makes announcements. However, if you sit beside these professionals, business owners and corporate executives, you discover treasures and talents of people who, although they may not appear to have much in common, are united in the ideal of service, working together to make our community, this nation and the world a better place.
Locally, we work on behalf of children’s needs, health needs, provide educational support and support to our military members and their families and for those whose loved ones have sacrificed their lives for our country. Each December, the Rotary Club of Santa Ana brings Santa Claus to disadvantaged youngsters at schools that are only a few miles from local malls, but who would never get there and personally meet Santa. We help provide funds for food and clothing for needy families, and provide financial support to help victims of natural disasters. We take local kids who have never seen the ocean for a field trip to learn about marine ecology and get out on the water. We support several local after-school programs, and sponsor several high school juniors each year to attend a leadership camp. We provide scholarships for high school seniors to use at college, and for community college students continuing on. We sponsor an Interact Program for Santa Ana high school students, who learn to in turn reach out to support their community. We also work with local organizations that support children, and seniors. We help organize and staff a dental clinic in Santa Ana, and we lend a hand (and a barbecue) to an annual literacy fair held in Santa Ana, hosted by Jump Start (an early childhood literacy project, based at UCI).
Internationally, we have funded wheelchairs to lift people off the ground in underserved countries; donated medical supplies to Flying Doctors; helped fund (with other clubs) emergency medical equipment for firefighters in Chile. We have led numerous projects in support of Caborca, Mexico, from providing emergency and medical equipment to making annual trips to assist in polio immunizations there. Most recently we’ve partnered with other Rotary clubs to fund a computer lab and internet connectivity for a school in Tecate, Mexico.
And we have a great time doing it all. If you would like to make a difference here and around the world, come join us. We meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at lunch with a meeting conducted in English, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wednesday mornings of each month at breakfast with a meeting conducted in Spanish. See the calendar (“Events” page) for more details.
For more Information contact our Membership Chair, Rachel Cueva.