One of my favorite things about the holiday season is watching one of my family’s favorite movies; It’s a Wonderful Life. The film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born.
The message in this film is one of courage and sacrifice for the greater good as George Bailey, a man with big ideas about seeing the world, continually forsakes his own desires to do what is right for the town. The second message is that each life is important. No matter how insignificant we feel we are, we are all inextricably linked to each other and play an important part in the fabric of one another’s lives.
Our membership in Rotary provides us with the opportunity to make lasting friendships within our Club, our District, and with Rotarians throughout the World. It is because of these friendships we are able to work together to help others less fortunate than ourselves and in the words of past Rotary International president Arch Klumph “Do good in the World”.
The movies powerful message, that we all can make a difference in the lives of others, is clearly felt within our Rotary community. Through the generosity of our members, we have provided solar lights to school children in Rwanda, clean water for families in Chaloma Honduras, and books to Family Resource Center here in St. Louis. These projects were all supported by matching funds from The Rotary Foundation and with a spirit of “Service Above Self” allowed Club 11 to make a difference in the lives of those we may never know.