Within my first year of Rotary, I have learned so much. I have met a man writing about Death and Dying, met children from Belize that courageously come to Omaha to have procedures on their heart, and learned invaluable lessons just through lunch conversation. But possibly the greatest thing I gained from the first year was while I was at Nebraska Furniture Mart, bell ringing. It was there that I met Leslie Volk, our previous President, and finally got to talk with her in a much more relaxed setting.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone in Rotary is extremely nice, but when you are new, and especially when you are young and don’t know anyone, talking to people, especially people at the reserved table, is incredibly intimidating. But as we start talking, I quickly come to realize that Leslie is extremely down to earth. She asks me how I’m enjoying Rotary, and lets me know that she would love for form a committee that helps engage new Rotarians more. As a young and new Rotarian, I was very excited, and enthusiastically volunteered to help her accomplish her goal.
Through many conversations, we finally came up with the idea for MACS. Now the word “mac” has many different meanings. When I told my young roommate I was going to be giving a presentation on MACS, he responded with, “You’re going to give a presentation on how a guy can spit game at a girl?” I can assure you that is not what this committee is about.
MACS stands for Mentoring, Accountability, Community Service, and Socials. It is an extended version of what we learn in Yearling Training. When we speak about mentoring, we are talking about the opportunity to link new rotarians to other individuals within Rotary that they could largely benefit from getting to know. One of the things that I have learned from my mentors is that their road map to life is filled with a lot more wisdom, and a lot less hills, then a road map that I would create for myself.
Many of us come into Rotary with a mentor, but that doesn’t mean that mentor remembers what exactly we need to do to get that Red Badge off of our chest. However, if you ask someone that has recently gotten it off their chest, they can tell you exactly what you need to do. This is how we will not only hold one another accountable, but also how we will help one another succeed. This committee will create an annual calendar of Community Service Project and Socials. One of the things that bonds all of us together is giving back to the community, and it would be great to have different service projects throughout the year. Volunteering is what bonds us together, and it’s also what allows us to have those more meaningful conversations. And lastly, who doesn’t love a good social? But as most of us know, the Wine Nights sell out within minutes. Having more planned socials throughout the year allows us to deepen our friendships and our connections.
As the honorary Big Mac, I invite all of my Baby MACS to attend our first Community Service Project for our 9/11 tribute, where we will be tagging flags together. It’s a great way to kick off this new committee! Thank you everyone for your support, and please let us know of other community service projects that you are interested in.