Posted by Shellie Peterson
Art Benzel did a great deal of research to familiarize himself with the depth of the Rotary Foundation.  One of the things he said that really hit home with me is that we get so focused on our local community and our efforts here that it is easy to forget that Rotary is an international organization doing great things in the world.
Art gave us some history of the beginnings of the foundation when Rotary President, Arch Klumph, proposed an endowment for doing good in 1928 with a $26.50 donation.  Today we have many opportunities to participate in this work through the Annual Shares Fund and the Polio Plus efforts and our own Donor Advised Fund.  All three avenues are recognized with Paul Harris Fellowship award points.
David Smith then took the microphone to show us around the My Rotary website and how to make a donation directly to the Annual Share or Polio Plus programs.   The Annual Share Fund is important because after being invested for three years, one-half of those funds come back into our District and becomes available for District Grants.   Contributions to global efforts are best accomplished through the Pagosa Rotary Donor Advised Fund for efforts like this most recent one David is spearheading in Niger for science education in high schools there.  As David has told us before, the World Health Organization defines extreme poverty as the 1.2 billion people that live on less than one dollar per day.  Niger is a very poor country and by enhancing science education we can provide a means for young people to have a much better future.
Lastly, for those who have a particular thing they are passionate about, you can contribute to an Area of Focus through the Rotary Foundation.  There is no return to our District 5470 for dollars directed that way though.