Cressey spoke at length regarding the charitable arm of their organization, the work they continue to do internationally and domestically and other uplifting tales of successful projects past.
“The charitable arm of the Rotary Club has been chosen as No. 3 in the world amongst other organizations,” said Cressey, as they will receive an award as such this April in San Francisco. “Currently, we have assets of more than $3 billion. In regards to our fight in the eradication of polio, we’ve been able to contribute $1.6 billion to protect more than two billion children around the world. Since we have been fortunate enough to partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re absolutely nearing the ‘end game’ now.
“We’re able to tap into that global network,” said Cressey. “There are currently 45,000 donors on www.rotary.org and we make the very best of our contributions.”
One project, in particular, that Cressey seemed rather fond of was a mission trip with 100 volunteers to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama. Here, they were able to witness several, life-altering surgeries. Perhaps the greatest success of the mission, to Cressey, involved the distribution of wheelchairs (mobility) to a population with the general lack of resources to purchase a decent wheelchair.
One man came in on the back of his teenaged grandson,” Cressey elaborated. “Once we were able to get him seated in his new chair, he raised his hands up to the sky in prayer and thanks and there was not a dry eye in the house. I looked back to see his grandson crying tears of joy as well.
“You know, this is why we place such an emphasis on our six areas of focus. One never knows how many people’s lives can be affected with a $75 wheelchair.”