It’s More Than You’d Expect

I joined for fellowship … I stay to lend a hand and have fun

When Tom Swearingen, an advertising professional, walked through the doors to his first East Portland Rotary Club meeting, he had no idea what to expect.  The business associate that invited him said it was something he might be interested in, and he was right.

Swearingen recalls his first meeting, “I found the people in the club to be friendly and welcoming and they were having a lot of fun.  But more importantly, they were having fun and enjoying friendships around the purpose of service.  When I saw what the members were doing to lend a hand in our own community and in other parts of the world and that I could be involved with that and make a difference I was hooked.”

Through his 20+ years of membership Swearingen cherishes, “the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made.”  He’s also gained a greater understanding of the needs in his own community as well as others worldwide.

“Through Rotary I’ve discovered that my lending a hand and my giving, when coupled with that of fellow members, can accomplish much more than what any of us could have individually,” Swearingen said.  “I have the satisfaction of knowing my efforts have helped many, many people.”

When asked what Rotary means to him Swearingen responds, “Rotary clubs are made up of men and women who enjoy working with other people to provide volunteer community service.  People of various ages, backgrounds and careers; all interested in the common goal of meeting people with the similar interest of lending a hand; and having fun while doing it.”