The Object of Rotary is to “encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.” Rotary is a service organization. Since 1910, the Rotary Motto has been “Service Above Self.” Rotary strives to achieve its objective of “Service Above Self” through activities in four primary areas. These are called the Four Avenues of Service.
Club Service Vocational Service Community Service International Service
Club Service Purpose:
The Club Service Avenue promotes the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. It involves the logistical and operational support activities necessary to make the Club function successfully and achieve its goals. Club Service is perhaps the least understood Avenue of Service, but in many ways, it is the fundamental building block of a successful Rotary Club. Without the organization and fellowship of the Club, none of the other Avenues of Service could be consistently or successfully accomplished.
Vocational Service Purpose:
The Vocational Service Avenue promotes high ethical standards in business and professions, recognizing the worthiness of all useful occupations and fosters the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations. Vocational service involves developing projects that help Rotary members contribute their talents to society’s needs. This avenue represents the opportunity that each Rotarian has to represent the dignity and utility of one’s vocation as an opportunity to serve society. The role of Rotarians includes conducting themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary principles and responding to projects of the club. Vocational Service is at the very heart of Rotary; indeed, Rotary was founded by a group of business people as a forum for them to share their experiences and to interact with colleagues in different industries. To this day, an integral part of any Rotary club is the maintenance of a balance among classifications of businesses and professions. Vocational Service is unlike the other three Avenues of Service in one very important aspect. The other three Avenues are all related to the Rotary Club, but the Vocational Service Avenue is the one arena in which the Rotarian is personally involved.
Community Service Purpose:
The Community Service Avenue relates to the various efforts that Rotarians undertake to improve the quality of life in their club territory. Rotarians strive to promote the ideal of service in their personal, business, and community lives. Community Service is the most visible of the four Avenues of Service because Rotary clubs are organized at the local level with members from the business and professional community who live and work in a community. Particular emphasis is given to helping children, needy families, the aged, the handicapped, and those most in need of assistance.
International Service Purpose:
In the Vocational Service Avenue, Rotarians strive for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. The International Service Avenue comprises all the things that a Rotarian can do to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace by getting acquainted with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, problems – through personal contacts, attendance at conventions, through reading and correspondence, and through cooperation in all club activities and projects – including those of the Rotary International Foundation – that will help people in other lands. International Service takes on a number of different forms, but at the heart is the awareness that Rotary is truly an international organization, and that the community of Rotarians is worldwide in scope. International Service Projects are designed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in many lands, with particular emphasis on the most underprivileged children and families in developing countries.