Rotary is an international organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, to encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. Rotary is open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are more than 1.2 million Rotarians in over 34,000 Rotary clubs worldwide. The Rotary motto is "service above self.”
Within Tacoma, the Rotary Club of Tacoma (known as Rotary #8) donates grants to non-profit organizations, recommended by the Community Grants Committee, that serve low-income children and seniors. Rotary 8 also has several “hands-on” projects where Rotarians offer their service. Some of these "hands on" projects are:
. Read2Me - Rotarians tutor 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students at four low-income schools;
. Food Drives - for the Emergency Food Network. Every quarter the club donates items and cash to support local food banks;
. Treehouse - Rotarians provide dinner to families whose members are in Tacoma General and Mary Bridge hospitals; and
. Little Free Libraries - Rotarians install these libraries, filled with good children's books, near low-income elementary schools.
Rotary #8 has international projects such as clean water projects in Ethiopia and India, has brought firefighting equipment to Mexico, and has delivered school materials to Malawi. Tacoma Rotarians have given Polio immunizations to children in India and Africa.
Throughout the world, Rotary Clubs, including Rotary #8, have contributed more than $900 million to eradicate polio in the world. More than one half billion children in developing countries have been immunized against polio, through Rotary’s PolioPlus campaign.
Rotary’s Youth Exchange sends 7,000 high-school age students abroad each year, to study in another country and to learn about its society and culture. The goal is to promote world peace. Rotary 8 has incoming students from Switzerland, Columbia and Indonesia this year.