A Small Business Supporting a School – Experiences and Thoughts

This Meeting’s Highlights
Speaker: Heather Shaw
Program: A Small Business Supporting a School – Experiences and Thoughts
Meeting for the week of August 10th to 16th, 2015


from President Rushton Hurley

Bienvenidos to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

I’ve spent the last week in Texas and Florida, so a little Spanish is in order, I figure. The ready availability of great Mexican and Cuban food has been quite the blessing.

In both places, I’ve worked with school districts having optional technology conferences for their teachers. The teachers are still on vacation, and they aren’t paid for attending. However, the interest in finding ways that new technologies can be of value in their classrooms has been strong, and I’ve spoken to about a thousand teachers and school leaders over the five days.

This speaks to the joy of learning that people can experience, and I hope over the course of this meeting, you’ll find yourself learning something new about Rotary and service, and enjoying the ideas that spring up as a result.

Any day you learn something new is a day of possibility, and we’re glad you’re spending part of your day with us.

Rotarian guests, we ask that you contribute whatever for you is the regular cost of a Rotary meal to the efforts of our club. We provide several options below:

Send via our secure Happy Dollars form.
Send via Google Wallet to: [email protected]
Send via PayPal to: [email protected]

To pay via Google Wallet or PayPal, you’ll need to log in to your account with those companies.

Those of you who prefer a more traditional approach can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.

Non-Rotarian guests, you are certainly welcome to help us out, too!

Showing Up and Being Informed

We’ve come oh-so-close! to having 100% attendance several times in the last two months, but have yet to hit the mark. Argh! I’m sure, though, that we soon will. You are encouraged to catch the meeting early in the week if possible, and follow any discussions that get going in the Disqus section at the bottom of the page.

Members, if you do fail to attend the meeting in a given week, remember that you have eight days after the meeting closes (that’s two weeks from the day it was launched) to do a makeup and report it. The info for that is on our makeup page.

Lost Generation

Sometimes the messages we get about the young are terribly depressing, but a clever switch can remind us what’s possible.

The Power of Images

Member François Tessier recently spent some time in Europe, and shares the shot below.

“I’m in Italy and want to share a photo of Rome, taken from the window of the famous Capitoline Museum in the heart of this most inspiring city.”

Roman Ruins by Francois Tessier

May the beauty of the past inspire what you do in the present!



What We Do

1) Sharing the Rotary Love

President-elect Mitty challenged every one of us last week to invite someone to take in one of our meetings during the month of August. It’s not hard to do, of course. Send a note telling a friend you think might find all this interesting a link with the message that this is how you stay in touch with people around the world giving their time and talent to improving their communities. Anyone not interested in that needs special help, I figure!

2) Connecting in New York

Members Martin Fox (our Service Committee chair) and Chris Cochrane (our PR chair) met up at Cornell in New York recently in order to share ideas and laughs – a great way to spend time!

Cochrane and Fox at Cornell

Upcoming Events

1) Saturday, August 29: Wine & Paella Social in Oakland, CA
Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 29th, for our wine & paella social in Oakland! We are thinking late afternoon or early evening, but more details will hit in the coming days.

2) September Socials
Look forward to more potlucks, beer and wine socials, and much more coming up for our September and October calendar dates! If you have any suggestions for socials in the Silicon Valley / Bay Area, please leave us a comment in the Disqus section at the end of this meeting.

3) Rotary District 5170 Conference & Annual eClub Meetup
Club members, please mark your calendars for the weekend of Friday, April 29th, through Sunday, May 1st. That is the weekend of our Rotary District 5170 Conference happening in San Ramon, California. We’ll be talking more about this event as it gets closer to the date.

While it’s understandably hard for some of our members who live further away to make our regular monthly socials in the Silicon Valley, we do ask that all members strongly make an effort to attend our annual meet-up during the Rotary District Conference. It’s a great time to meet and break bread with your fellow club members, while representing our club at our district conference. More information coming soon!

The World of Rotary

Some Rotary clubs think really big, and in this case, a club in India decided to launch an essay contest. Who’s eligible? Their answer, “all the citizens of the world.” Cool!

Dear Rotarian,

I am President of Rotary Club of Pune Katraj, RI District 3131, India. I am proud to be a Rotarian and pleased to have had the opportunity to lead my club. I welcome you all to the new Rotary Year and wish you all the very best for the coming year. As Rotarians, together we will make this world a better place to live.

I am writing to you all to appraise you on a unique event that we are organizing again this year. After the huge success that we had in the year 2013-14, we are again back with ROGEC-2015, a global essay competition with a view to crusaders of Peace in a constructive dialogue and allow them a platform to express themselves on global issues concerning Peace.

This competition is open to all the citizens of the world. The winners will be invited to India for 5 days and will get involved in various informative and cultural activities.

The essays can be submitted online at http://www.rogec.org/registration.html. The last date for essay submission is 10-Nov-2015.

Detailed information is available on www.rogec.org and please Like our Facebook page on www.facebook.com/Rotary.Rogec.

I request you to circulate this mail among your members, friends and acquaintances, share this information through your Club bulletins and encourage participation in this event.

Looking forward to a great year ahead.

Rtn. Suvarna Kutwal
President, Rotary Club of Pune Katraj RID 3131, INDIA

Service Time

Our members have been making things happen near and far over the last month. Here is a sampling of what came in from our members via the Service Survey:

* Manju Ramachandran volunteered helping students getting ready to start the school year at Mountain View High School.
* John Lozano spent a month in Italy working with an international group of 11-year-olds on promoting peace.
* Martin Fox spent many hours doing pro-bono consulting for young entrepreneurs.
* Rushton Hurley and his far better half prepared and served food to families at the JW House, where families with loved ones in the hospital can stay.
* Francois Tessier was also in Italy, and helped a street organization and a rehab center for drug and alcohol addicts.
* Yvonne Kwan helped out with the Rotary Club of Fremont Warm Springs Sunrise by serving up some cold drinks at the Fremont Festival of the Arts.
* Richard Knaggs helped with a program that helps kids explore programming.
* Chris Cochrane helped the Rotary district governor in his area learn about Google Hangouts so he could more effectively help people across the very large district.

What have you been up to? Anything to help someone else out? Give a little assist to a worthy cause? If so, please tell us via the Service Survey!

Happy Dollars

As we do every week, we invite members and guests to tell us what little bits or large chunks of good have happened in their lives recently. Did you see a friend you haven’t seen in a while? Did you accomplish something you’ve been meaning to do for awhile? Did you win the lottery? Share the love by tossing in a dollar or two or more into the club’s Happy Dollars Pot via the survey below!

from member Linda Tangren ($15)
Congrats, Mitty! Get well, Chris!

from member Rushton Hurley ($15)
Great job by Mitty presiding over last week’s meeting!

from guest Michele Herblin-Mauger ($15)
Very impressive! I like your innovation in e-Rotary meetings.


The Tidbit
from President Rushton Hurley

This week, you learn how to learn anything. For free. Whenever you want. Intrigued? If so, click below!

A Little Humor

from Treasurer Allen Thompson

A six-year-old went to the hospital with her mother to visit her Grandpa. When they got to the hospital, she ran ahead of her mother and burst into her Grandpa’s room. “Grandpa, Grandpa,” she said excitedly, “as soon as my mother comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!”

“What?” asked her Grandpa.

“Make a noise like a frog because my mom said that as soon as you croak, we’re all going to Disneyland!”

Selected Comments from Last Week

Last week’s program, Sharing Your Rotary Passion by Kristi Govertsen, generated plenty of kudos, many of which were also well-deserved praise directed to President-Elect Mitty for presiding over a meeting for the first time. Here’s a sampling:

guest Nathan Gildart (Tokyo)
This is very timely for me, Kristi. Back in December a group of “Google-minded” Tokyo-based educators and I initiated Japan’s first Google Educator Group (GEG West Tokyo). Our mandate is localized, quarterly, free professional development. Your comment about ‘attraction’ rings clearly. Although we have a healthy number of members and better than the prescribed ‘target attendance’, the moderators and I feel that membership could grow much more. Attraction is going to the be the solution. A ‘bring a friend’ campaign is a good idea, and a variety of topics, and perhaps even online guest speakers for our events. (we do a great deal of online sharing and learning) We’ve contacted school heads in the international school community, and we also include Japanese schools, universities, etc. In our case, a challenge is other professional development organizations who feel any other group is ‘competition’, whereas we want to ‘piggyback’ on what’s already established and mutually support each other. Oh, the challenges! We’re not afraid of the pie charts of mass destruction! ;0 This is a great topic, and as a guest of Rotary this really resonates.

Mitty, congratulations and nicely done!

member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA)
Awesome first meeting, Mitty! Kristi, I love the fact that you’re a membership nerd — we need more of those in Rotary! The idea you pose is so simple yet so powerful; if every Rotarian in the world invited just one person into Rotary, it would make such a huge difference for membership. Great presentation!

member Mahmood Khan (California, USA)
Way to go, Mitty. Thank you Kristi for being a “membership nerd”. It is challenging and does so much for moving the concept of relationships to a different level. Yet it is simple to do. Just invite a guest. We all should practice your suggested simple tool and be in the 100% invitees and care metrics vs 100% caring and 15% invitees. Thank you for the insightful talk.

member Martin Fox (Utah, USA)
Great first meeting, Mitty, and loved the YouTube tech tip. Kristi – I loved your challenge about taking action. Talking about taking action is very different that actually acting. 🙂

member Manju Ramachandran (California, USA)
Good Meeting Mitty, As a major gifts person I have to say unless I donate and pledge my gift, I can’t get anyone to pledge after me. 🙂

member Andrew Taw (California, USA)
Congratulations Mitty on a great first meeting! And great talk Kristi! Love the “pie charts are not a weapon.”

member François Tessier (Quebec, Canada)
Well Mitty…you are a great host! You almost surpass President Rushton! Thanks to Kristi for the presentation. As a new member, I would like to know more about the Rotary Rewards program, but I don’t know how to learn more about my Rotary Account: can someone guide me about this?

member Keith Marsh (California, USA)
Kristi really nailed it as far as why Rotary Clubs have a problem with membership. If leadership won’t take action, how can they expect the membership to get on board? Loved the YouTube tidbit by Yvonne. I’ve learned a lot by watching YouTube tutorials on Photoshop and the “J” key will come in handy when the video gets technical.

member Rushton Hurley (California, USA)
Kristi, your presentation was wonderful. I particularly liked the quote, “Pie charts are not a weapon.” Great stuff! Keith, that may be my favorite picture of yours yet. Yvonne, that’s a really useful tidbit, and I’ll be using those shortcuts liberally. Finally, Mitty, my compliments on putting together a superb meeting. There is so much talent in this club, and we’re really starting to tap into it more extensively – I’m proud of you and our group!

This Week’s Program

It is always interesting to hear from one of our own, and this week, you will meet Heather Shaw, a chiropractor in Santa Clara.

Heather grew up in New Jersey with six siblings. “We definitely had to struggle financially but always felt safe and loved. The kindness of strangers has helped my family through some tough times. Now, I feel very blessed with a career I love and am surrounded by family and friends. I have not forgotten the tough times and I have dedicated myself to giving back to our community. Our clinic holds a minimum of two events a year. The Rotary club resonates with my desire to give back, and I appreciate the opportunity to be involved.”

Following a fire at a local middle school in Santa Clara, Heather’s clinic started a yearly school supply drive to help meet the needs of the teachers and students. They are now in their 11th year, and involve local businesses in donating services in exchange for school supplies.

This meeting is a little different, in that Heather’s team is looking for ideas to help the event have a broader and greater impact on the community. After watching the program, please leave thoughts and suggestions they can consider for this year’s drive!

Don’t forget to add your suggestions!


I Attended!

  • Great stuff, Heather! I hope the school supplies drive will be something we can get a number of our people involved in.

  • Keith Marsh

    Good to see others submitting photos of interesting places around the World. Well done Francois. Love the Tidbit on YouTube. Its a great way to learn specific technical issues with Photoshop and other programs. Thanks, Heather for taking the time for an interesting and worthwhile program. I referred last weeks program on Membership to my wife who is the Membership Chair for the Rotary Club of San Rafael. She liked the information and will share it with her club.

  • Another fab program. François, great picture!

    • Thanks! That was taken with my iPhone 5s! That was a great place!

  • Meg Taylor

    Great meeting

  • Dear Heather… Chiropractic saved mi life!! I was involved with an NGO called Chiropractic without Borders in Canada. I like the Festival idea from Nathan! I would suggest creating a fun music video with the students of the schools to attract attention on the students… I like the idea of making e-meetings where we can contribute with ideas in the comments area. It makes it more involving for the club members!

    • I luv the video idea and will see if I can get some students involved. Maybe hit up the drama and choir classes for their skills

  • Thank you for all the ideas at the meeting; we have started the letter campaign to local businesses! Thank you everyone for all your support and I appreciate all input

  • Catherine Liu

    It will be great to have some school projects soon around our areas. maybe teach kids tech, math or even prepare SAT…

  • Linda Tangren

    Thank you to Heather for your work with the schools! I think you have the foundation for converting this into a Health Fair for the school and the community at-large. Do you have a committee in place already? You could incorporate Interact and Rotaract members as part of this committee. Interact is full of worker bees. Rotaract could help with social media, so could many high school students. The Health Fair could help us build a healthy community. As for cash donations, public schools generally funnel monies through the parent association onsite. Just a few ideas.

  • Great presentation and excellent community work you are doing, Heather! Also, I love the intro video on refusing to believe in being art of a lost generation… we can learn tools to keep changing the world with YouTube tutorials 🙂

  • Andrew Taw

    This is wonderful Heather! When you told me about this a few months ago, I had no idea that you had done this for 11 years!

    So I have an idea that I’ve been nursing for the past couple years that I think is somewhat relevant. Piggybacking on Frank’s suggestion about leveraging Interact and Rotaract members, it might be great to find out when finals week for each semester is for your district and gather Interact and Rotaract members (who tend to be academically proficient) to lend a couple afternoons to hold tutorial hours that are free with a donation. These can be promoted to the parents at PTA’s and with fliers all around town that say “Free Tutoring!” and such. This way, you’re raising donations for education by providing the service of education!

  • Martin Fox

    Great photo Francois and I loved the Lost Generation video. Youtube tutorials are invaluable for me – thanks to Rushton for providing info on how to laser focus my searches. Great job Heather in making a meaningful difference with the kids.

  • Lisa Highfill

    What great work you are doing Heather! I am always grateful for supplies from parents so all kids have what they need. I spend countless dollars every year purchasing pencils and paper etc. for my classroom. I think the kids eat the pencils- we go through them so fast! One thing my school has done that I love is to create a giant tree bulletin board in our school office. Teachers post paper apples on the tree with specific requests and parents can take and apple anytime of the year and fill the need. I worked for years with Books for Barrios in Concord- we collected supplies and books and shipped them to students in the Phillipines – a wonderful project. I would love to see this scaled for needy schools in our neighboring towns! Reading Savage Inequalities in college was a game changer for me in terms of how kids right across a river could have a totally different school experience.

  • ShagsCA

    We rock!

  • Richard Knaggs

    Hey where is Mitty? ;-p Loved the Lost Generation video. Will definitely use it. Heather, I was wondering if there was some opportunity for each business that donates to advertise their services to other businesses in the community who are donating or even to the school teachers, parents and learners. If not maybe they can be given permission to put fliers, business cards or posters on the school bulletin board or on a board at the venue where the treatments are happening. They can read them while they wait. Maybe the local printer can print small fridge magnet booklets advertising the services of the businesses who donate i.e. a mini business directory stuck on the fridge that could generate more business for everyone and possibly result in bigger donations. Best of Luck!

  • mahmood khan

    Heather, I appreciate your giving forward conscious. School supplies – we have to raise money for these!? I realize this is due to lack of funding from the state and federal government. I cannot believe we as a nation don’t provide enough for our kids education! I wondered whether the problem is lack of money or lack of efficiencies and waste. I did a quick search and found – we rank 29th out of 76 countries research by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for quality of education (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/global-school-rankings-interactive-map-shows-standards-of-education-across-the-world-10247405.html) – pretty low for money spent educating our kids (more than $15,174 per student – the highest in the world ( OECD report :http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/25/oecd-education-report_n_3496875.html). We spend more than any western world country and have a really poor record. Perhaps that is a problem we should try to solve while providing for immediate needs of supplies for our kids. Any thoughts?

  • Yvonne Kwan

    Heather, this is fantastic work that you’re doing for local schools! And you’re in your 11th year now?? Just incredible.

    As for suggestions, one of the schools I work at has something similar to what Lisa mentioned — a “wishing tree” on a bulletin board where teachers fill out apple-shaped post-its and write down what they need/want for their classrooms. I think this is an awesome idea that allows teachers to fulfill their wishlists and necessities so they can spend more time on making learning fun.

    I also love the after-school tutoring program that some have already mentioned. My former Rotaract club actually did something very similar a few years ago, so I would love to chat some more about the idea if that’s something of interest! 🙂

  • john lozano

    Heather, thanks for the work you do here in the Santa Clara community,

  • Manju Ramachandran

    Great work!! I have gone to Target, Office Max, Staples, etc. and asked for donations as well as letting their employees know what schools are in the most need. It’s been helpful tog et toner and paper especially. Thanks for helping out the schools – much appreciated!


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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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