By Joseph P. Batory
“The Little Engine That Could” is an American fairy tale.
For almost one hundred years, children have been thrilled by this story of this heroic little engine that is faced with the formidable task of pulling a large load of train cars over a mountain. “The Little Engine That Could” challenges himself with the phrase “I think I can…I think I can.” And then, “The Little Engine That Could” does the impossible…he successfully pulls the huge load of train cars over the mountain.
Well, there is indeed a parallel here with the Rotary Club of Philadelphia because we are truly “The Little Engine That Can and Does!” And specifically, it is our own club foundation that has created a signature, a signature that defines our extensive caring and outreach into our community and beyond.
We have indeed become “The Little Engine That Can and Does.”
And here are just a few highlights of what “Our Little Philadelphia Rotary Engine” has done just in this year alone:
Think of a Village in Kenya where there was no clean water anywhere. That village now has a newly drilled well providing clean water to its residents…and our Rotary club paid for it.
Think of the Gituri School for girls in Kenya with little to no sanitation in the bathroom facilities. This has been remedied…and the Rotary Club of Philadelphia paid for it.
Think of what it must be like to be poor at Thanksgiving. St. Christopher’s Hospital here in Philadelphia runs an annual project to provide free Thanksgiving dinners for hundreds of families…And this year, the Rotary Club of Philadelphia paid for it.
Think of the amazing Broad Street Ministry which feeds the homeless every day. A dinner for 500 needy people in our city has been paid for the Rotary Club of Philadelphia.
Think of the Ronald McDonald House and how it provides food housing for families while their loved ones are undergoing medical procedures in city hospitals. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia has financially supported that effort.
Think of Philadelphia’s Beat The Streets program which motivates and encourages inner city youth through wrestling and academic support. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia has financially supported that organization.
Think of the Summer Search Philadelphia program which encourages and motivates inner city youth to pursue college and vocational education……the Rotary Club of Philadelphia has financially supported that organization.
Think of Musicopia, the amazing organization that restores and rebuilds music in our city schools…the Rotary Club of Philadelphia is a funder for that organization.
Think of Philadelphia Reads, an organization determined to improve literacy in our city…the Rotary Club of Philadelphia has collected books and given financial support for the early childhood iniatives of this organization.
Think of a Philadelphia child with cerebral palsy whose family could not afford the necessary adaptive stroller. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia purchased the adaptive stroller for that child.
Think of persons with cleft palate or suffering from serious burns. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia has financed three Rotaplast surgical operations for the upcoming project in India.
Think of persons with intellectual, physical and medical needs. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia is a financial supported of Community Integrated Services which helps such people to gain employment and become productive citizens.
And finally, think of our Veterans Centers which serve the many needs of those who have returned home after serving out country. The Rotary Club of Philadelphia has a financial supporter of two of these Veterans Centers this year.
There are even more foundation grant awards during 2018-2019 which I could describe……but I think by now, you get the idea. 20 different organizations received grants totaling $32,000.00+ just in 2018-2019.
The Rotary Club of Philadelphia is truly “The Little Engine that Cares and Does.” Our outreach to our community and beyond defines what Rotary is all about…and the Rotary Club of Philadelphia continues to stand out as a leader in humanitarian endeavors and initiatives.
We are indeed: “The Little Engine That Cares and Does!”