//On ShelterBox, an International Disaster Relief Charity

On ShelterBox, an International Disaster Relief Charity


This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: ShelterBox
Speaker: Alan Monroe, Interim Executive Director of ShelterBox USA
Meeting for the week of November 23rd to November 29, 2015

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our meeting!

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 45 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

You can also easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Happy Turkey Week!


mitty-hello-smallMessage from the President-elect

Good day Rotarians and guests!

It is my pleasure to be filling in for President Rushton this week. Happy Thanksgiving week!

2015 is quickly coming to a close, and the past few weeks have been a whirlwind. During the busy pace of our world, it’s important that we take a few minutes to step back and reflect during this time of thanks.

Pause anything else you are doing right now, and take a deep breath. Breathe in, breathe out.

Now, take a minute to think about where you were in your life exactly one year ago from today. Imagine yourself a year ago. Can you see it?

Now, think about who you are today. What is different? What has changed in your life? Most importantly, what are you thankful for that is either different or the same? I ask that everyone considers sharing just one word or one phrase that describes how they feel about where they were a year ago versus where they are today. You can share this in the comments at the bottom of this meeting.

If you are willing, I would encourage you to also share with our group what you are thankful for this year.

I will say without a doubt though, I am thankful for Rotary and this eClub for providing me with new friends who I am happy to call family. Like with any family, I know I am closer to some family members than others — and some family members I haven’t really had a chance to talk to much with yet. I am hoping that this will change, and that I will have the opportunity to connect with you all. Thank you for everything you all do for the world, for the local communities, and for Rotary.

Enjoy the rest of the meeting!

Yours in service,

Mitty Chang, President-elect
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley


The Power of Images

We believe that there is power in imagery, and that a great photo can inspire in its own unique way. This week, we remember our friends around the world who are affected by violence, hate, and terror.

From our photo czar Keith Marsh, “When I took this photo of the Statue of Liberty a few weeks ago, I had no idea what I would do with the negative space on the right. It became more clear a few days ago. The gift from France in 1886 is perhaps the greatest symbol of our support for our European friends.”


Lyrical Inspirational

Every week we bring to you weekly doses of inspiration. Inspiration comes in all forms, and this week we have some lyrical inspiration to share with you — which is also a nod towards those reading who are looking forward to the upcoming Star Wars film coming out in less than a month.

Inspiring People to Want to Listen

Every week we work on bringing you a dose of innovation and education. This week, we are featuring TED speaker Julian Treasure who talks about how to talk in a way that makes people want to listen.

How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

The Power of Ideas

Sometimes one good idea is all the power you need to get the engine of creativity moving. We would like to share with you one good idea to help you power your week.

This week, “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

quote of the week


The World of Rotary

We are part of the Rotary International family with over 1.2 million members in over 180 countries in the world. Rotary’s reach is global. Here are some Rotary initiatives and events we think we should know about.


Members, have you been receiving your monthly copy of The Rotarian magazine in the mail? If not, please reach out to President Rushton to let him know. New members, it may take up to 60 days for you to receive your first delivery.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.13.33 AMIn this month’s issue of The Rotarian, we learn about how Rotarian Brenda Cressey fundraises.

Brenda Cressey is a superstar in the fundraising arena. As the endowment/major gifts adviser for The Rotary Foundation in Zone 26, Cressey helped lead an ambitious fundraising campaign in District 5340 (California) called Millions for HOPE (Health, Overcoming Poverty, Education), which had netted a staggering $15 million in pledges at press time. Launched in January, the first phase of the campaign culminated in October in a gala dinner in San Diego with Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran scheduled as the keynote speaker, and will continue into the celebration of the Foundation’s centennial next year. A Rotarian since 1989 and a member of the Rotary Club of Paso Robles, Calif., Cressey is a Bequest Society member and a Major Donor.

Read her full interview here:

Service Survey

One piece of being a Rotarian is finding ways – both big and small – to help others. Our members report the good deeds they do and the good efforts in which they participate, not in order to brag, but to remind us of the many possibilities there are for using what we have for those in need.

Have you given someone a helping hand in the last week or two? If so, let us know! This is what I was telling you about in the welcome, of course. Your stories inspire your brothers and sisters in Rotary to find new ways to help in their communities, so don’t hold back!

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Happy Dollars

Every week we offer the opportunity for guests and members to express their gratitude for something good that has happened to them this past week. Think of this like a digital karma jar.

Here are the good karma thoughts that people put into the jar last week:

Members Heather Shaw and Mitty Chang each donated $20 towards supporting the Interact Club we are now sponsoring over at Kipp San Jose High! Thanks Heather and Mitty! Your donations will make it possible to help send aspiring, young high school leaders to leadership camps and training events.

Member Linda Tangren donated $15 because she’s happy for our treasurer, Allen Thompson! “A shout out to Allen, congrats on the new grandchild!” Thanks Linda!

This week, donations made to the happy dollars karma jar will go towards providing leadership training for high school students at Kipp San Jose Collegiate Prep High School through the Interact Club our club is now sponsoring there.

Kipp operates high-achieving public schools in educationally underserved communities, developing in our students the knowledge, skills and character essential to thrive in college, shape their futures, and positively impact the world.

Your happy dollars this week will go even further, as it will make it possible for a young high school leader to participate in leadership training events such as Interact Presidents Training and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.

Go on, tell us about something you’re happy about!

Fill out my online form.

The Tidbit

Every week, we feature a new tech tid bit or life hack to make your life more convenient.

This week we are featuring a helpful tool called Sidekick. Sidekick helps tracks when your emails are opened and how many times they are opened. This can be incredibly useful if you are sending emails to your clients, coworkers, peers, club members, or friends, and you want to make sure they read it. It’ll pop up with a notification whenever someone reads your email.

Sidekick is particularly useful when you are sending out important emails, and want to make sure they are read. Best of all, there’s a free plan to start you off with — 200 tracked emails per month for free, forever! Let’s check out how it works:

Tech tidbit: Tracking email opens with Sidekick

You can get Sidekick for free by going to getsidekick.com or by clicking here.

Now the tricky part… how to respond to your friends who you will now know open your email and just simply don’t respond? 🙂

Selected Comments from Last Week

Imagine attending a meeting, and it being possible at a glance to know what everyone found interesting and/or meaningful. That’s how our meetings work – we ask every member and guest to leave a comment, both to enrich discussion and to allow us to get to know each other all the better!

Here are 5 selected comments from last week’s program of Cecelia Babkirk, who talked about The Rotary Foundation:

From member Linda Tangren,

“Thank you Cecelia for the great refresher on Rotary Foundation. I had the opportunity to see the good done by Rotary Foundation with a trip to Ghana for the Polio eradication project. We also included a donation of wheelchairs on this same trip. It was an experience that I will never forget and it confirmed for me that Rotary offers a different perspective of who we are as a country and perhaps will influence how we are viewed by the global world. Okay, off my soap box now. Everyone have a great week.”

From member Nathan Gildart

“Thank you Cecelia. As a new member this was helpful to better understand Rotary. Coincidentally, I just returned from Singapore with 16 high schoolers who attended a 4-day Model UN conference with the Millennium Development Goals as a central theme. I’m heartened to see the Six Areas of Focus be so closely linked to the UN MDGs and that reinforces my decision to join and appreciate being invited to do so. (Speaking of shared values…) My belief in addressing both local and global needs was clearly outlined in your presentation. Wonderful!”

From member Allen Thompson,

“‘At this stage of my life, I live from one year to the next. I hope I can do one more.’ -Louise Neistat. She did do one more. Alas, it was to be her last. Louise Cecile Neistat July 9, 1919 – November 22, 2011. She was an extraordinary person. She knew how to dance but she wasn’t a dancer. Rather, she was an educator and, like most educators, she inspired others to reach for the stars.”

From member Lisa Highfill,

“I loved the video of Louise Neistat- I know the work of her grandson Casey. I was so curious about his Nana that I went on to research her some more. Sorry to hear she passed less than a month after the video was posted. A great mentor video to use with those wanting to capture someone’s story. Casey does a daily vlog that is random, yet full of great film shots and edits. Recently at a Google Summit, a group of us were reviewing his work. Thanks for sharing this piece.”

From member Paul Mosso,

“Thank you Cecelia for sharing information about the Rotary Foundation. This was great to hear about; as a Rotaractor I knew money was donated and it came back, but I did not know there were the different areas to donate to. I have a passion for education and literacy so I will go check that out for my donation. Happy belated birthday to Linda & Allen! I hope you enjoyed your day 🙂 Keith, like always, great picture and I want to say Thank You to the Veterans for all they have given!!!!”

Events & Projects

This section of our meeting is where you learn about both recent and upcoming events and projects our club has going on. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Recent Event Recap:

e-Lunch over Google Hangouts!

Thanks to all of the members who joined us online for our first of what will be many e-Lunch hangouts! The e-Lunch hangouts (we’ll probably come up with a better name) were created in order to help members who can’t make it to the monthly in-person socials in the bay area to still have opportunities to connect with their fellow eClub members through organic conversations. All you do is bring your own meal and eat in front of Google Hangouts, while you interact with your fellow eClub members! We will be having our next one in a couple of weeks! Members, we are also look for folks interested in stepping up to host these e-Lunches! Contact President Rushton if you are interested in hosting one!

Rotaract Potluck / Friendsgiving 

Huge thank-you to everyone who turned out to the Friendsgiving potluck with Rotaractors and Rotaract alumni in Livermore this past Sunday! We had a blast! Here are some photos:

Group photo time! Missing a few folks who had disappeared for more wine!

Group photo time! Missing a few folks who had disappeared for more wine!


Upcoming Events:

Did you miss our past events? Come join us for any of our upcoming events! Guests, you are welcome too!

Rotary Membership Luncheon with Past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman on Thursday, December 3 at 12 PM in Fremont

On Thursday, December 3rd, all Rotarians and guests are welcome to join us for a special luncheon with past Rotary International President Cliff Dochterman. Cliff is hailed as one of the best public speakers in the world. His humor, wit, and presence can be felt throughout the room when he speaks. Rotarians and guests are also encouraged to attend as this will be an opportunity to meet the over hundred Rotary members in the Fremont area. The event will be held at Washington Hospital West in Fremont at 2500 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA. It will be on the ground floor in the large meeting rooms; just look for the Rotary signs! The cost of lunch is $20.

Drinks & White Elephant in Oakland on Sunday, December 13 starting at 2 PM

We will be having our December social in Oakland on Sunday, December 13 starting at 2 PM. Come join us for drinks, food, and WHITE ELEPHANT! To participate in white elephant gift exchange, everyone should bring a gift wrapped gift to put into a communal pot. The gift should be valued as close to $20 as possible, and should be something that you think most people would want. Participants will be opening random wrapped gifts to find out what their holiday gift is going to be! You might just get exactly what you were wishing for this holiday season…! (And if not, there will still be drinks!)

More Socials!

You can sure expect more socials to be coming up in 2016! Members, if you are interested in helping plan socials, please reach out to president-elect Mitty or leave a comment on this meeting. We would love to get you more involved with the social planning!

What are we missing?

We are constantly working to improve our EClub experience. Do you think something is missing or could be done better? Please feel free to email your concerns to [email protected] or leave a comment! We want to hear from you! Members, don’t forget to reply back to the feedback survey that was sent out to you last week when you get the chance.


The Program

Our program this week is about ShelterBox, an international disaster aid relief charity that provides temporary shelter and life saving supplies for families displaced by disaster.

Learn how one Rotarian started his journey at a Rotary youth leadership camp and then earned a college scholarship from a local club which changed his life forever. After becoming a ShelterBox Response Team member (or a trained volunteer who delivers emergency shelter to disaster survivors), Alan Monroe picked up learning points that has made him a better Rotarian on each of his 11 deployments. From the flooded jungles of the Amazon to the tornado-stricken plains in Oklahoma, Alan has learned how overcoming adversity and working together can make a significant impact in the field and back at home in his club. It took deploying across the globe to learn the true meaning of Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
Alan Monroe is the Interim Executive Director of ShelterBox USA, Inc., providing leadership to the U.S. affiliate of the rapidly growing international disaster relief organization. Alan first discovered ShelterBox at the International Rotary Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2007. Drawn to ShelterBox’s mission of providing shelter, warmth and dignity to people impacted by disasters, Alan immediately recognized that his Eagle Scout and other life experiences had groomed him to become a ShelterBox Response Team member. As a response team member, Alan delivers aid to families in need and has deployed following disasters in the U.S., Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Taiwan, Haiti, Guatemala and Indonesia.
Alan‘s prior experience includes serving as a marketing director for a large heating and air company, online sales manager for a daily newspaper, and partner in a company that built aerial maps of state forests.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Spanish Language from Flagler College and his Master of Arts in International Affairs from Florida State University. Alan lives in Sarasota, Florida, with his wife, Casey.
Everyone, meet Alan Monroe!


Alan Monroe – ShelterBox

You can learn more about ShelterBox at the organization’s website.


You’re Almost Done! The Attendance Survey..

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting! You just have two last things to do before you’re done with this meeting. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you though.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
2015-11-30T16:33:11+00:00November 23rd, 2015|21 Comments