When I was growing up, community service was what my family did.
We lived in a small town in rural Texas where you get out of life what you put in. For my family, we wanted to make life better — not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors.
My father, who was then and still is a Rotarian (among a long list of other volunteer titles), instilled in my brother and I that in everything we do, we should leave things better than we found them. Looking back, I think it’s the accountant in him — I can still hear his one-liners: “If you’re not adding value to something, you’re taking it away.” As an adult, I interpret that to mean that we must be contributors in our society, whether that’s contributing time and energy to a cause, money to an organization, or even offering a friendly nod to a passerby. Our actions and the decisions we make often extend beyond ourselves.
When my husband and I moved to Edmonds about five years ago, I knew I wanted to get involved in the community. Today, I’m proud to say I’m making good on that commitment by joining the Edmonds Rotary Club.
Rotary’s motto, service above self, is something I think we can all use a little more of in 2021.
Rotary gives me the opportunity to be part of my community’s conversation in a meaningful way. At the end of January, we heard from the ACLU deputy legal director on unpacking racism in America. In February, we heard about community-based alternatives to the juvenile legal system. We’re talking about local and international issues, such as climate equity, eradicating polio, higher education, and even living kindly.
While these big-issue topics can seem insurmountable, we can make incremental progress by organizing, working together, and seeing how our individual efforts contribute to something bigger than ourselves.
If you’re interested in a role that makes your community better, I encourage you to consider Edmonds Rotary as a worthwhile opportunity. Check out our website at edmondsrotary.com for more information. The Edmonds Rotary meets every Tuesday at noon via Zoom and the public is invited to attend. Go to www.edmondsrotary.com/contact for a Zoom invitation/ID.
— By Melissa Terry
About the author: Melissa is a 32-year-old, senior content marketer at Tyler Technologies, a government software company. Prior to joining Tyler, she was the research director at Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle and a city government reporter in Victoria, Texas. She volunteers with Edmonds Rotary, Tibetan Nuns Project, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and Ballard Jazz Fest.
(Sponsored by Edmonds Rotary)