Human Trafficking is Modern-Day Slavery

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Jan 162019
 

Human trafficking is a growing multi-billion-dollar crime worldwide.  Victims include children, the homeless or people from difficult family situations, undocumented immigrants and the disabled.  Capital Rotarians heard details from Jan. 16 guest speakers Sherri Lydon (left in photo) and Elliott Daniels (right in photo).  Lydon is US Attorney for the District of South Carolina, while Daniels is an Assistant US Attorney.  Human trafficking is modern-day slavery – using force, fraud or coercion to exploit victims.  They can be manipulated physically or psychologically and pressed into domestic service, commercial sex trafficking or forced labor.  Victims may be exploited by employers, family members, caregivers or intimate partners, friends or acquaintances.  In 2018 South Carolina had 127 human trafficking hotline reports, mostly for commercial sex or forced labor.  Incidents were most numerous in Richland, Horry, Greenville and Charleston counties.  Daniels said more citizen awareness combats human trafficking.  He urged support for non-profit organizations that help and shelter victims, plus offering them job opportunities.  To keep children safe from being lured into trafficking via the internet, he said parents need to “know who your kids are talking to online” and set social media boundaries.  Lydon is a Clemson and University of South Carolina Law School graduate who was appointed the state’s US Attorney in May 2018.  Daniels has undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University and studied international law at Oxford University.

Jan 092019
 

Since its beginning in 1854 Columbia’s YMCA has aimed to be a community servant in the Midlands, helping families and individuals “grow in mind, body and spirit,” says Bill Price, the organization’s CEO since 2016.  Price (shown at right in photo with Rotarian Jack Williamson) was Capital Rotary’s Jan. 9 guest speaker.  He said the Y now operates in six locations – downtown, Ballentine, Irmo, Lake Carolina, Red Bank and Orangeburg – and expects to break ground later this year for a new full-service facility in Kershaw County’s Lugoff-Elgin area.  YMCA programs range from swimming lessons to afterschool learning activities, from youth and adult sports to support for cancer survivors.  The Y’s mission – to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all – remains unchanged, Price said, along with its core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith.  Price, a Wofford College graduate with a BA in government, was a longtime YMCA volunteer and board member before assuming the CEO’s post.

Jan 092019
 

Capital Rotary member Mike Montgomery (left in photo) is congratulated by club president Philip Flynn for continuing contributions to The Rotary Foundation in support of international programs that promote peace, human development and world understanding.  Montgomery has earned Paul Harris Fellow plus-seven honors (signifying an initial $1,000 donation with seven additional gifts in the same amount).  Montgomery was an 11-year Spring Valley Rotarian before joining the Capital club in 2015.  The University of South Carolina graduate has been a private practice lawyer since 1985 and formerly served on Richland District Two’s school board and on Richland County Council.

Dec 192018
 

End Polio Now – the global polio eradication initiative supported by Rotary International – continues to make steady progress against the dreaded disease.  That message was delivered by Dr. Jimmie Williamson (at right in photo with Rotarian Melissa Lindler), guest speaker for Capital Rotary’s Dec. 19 meeting.  Dr. Williamson, a longtime Rotarian and former District 7770 Governor for clubs in eastern South Carolina, was part of a polio immunization team operating out of northern India earlier in 2018.  He said last year there were wild polio cases in only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.  Since 1988 there’s been a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%.  But Williamson said immunization efforts are hampered now by cultural fears in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Rotary International helps provide funding, advocacy and mobilization for End Polio Now’s partnership that also includes the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dec 192018
 

Capital Rotary Club adopted a local family and provided gifts for the holiday season (shown in photo) as part of the 2018 Midlands Families Helping Families Christmas program, a Palmetto Project and WIS-TV initiative.  Club members had the option of purchasing gifts or making a monetary donation.  The adopted family included two adults and five children.  One hundred percent of the club membership participated, according to Rotarian Catherine Mabry, who oversaw the project.  The family also received a $100 Food Lion gift card.  For 25 years, the Families Helping Families program has provided gifts, clothing, food and other essentials to thousands of Midlands neighbors in need, ensuring that all may share in the joy of the Christmas season.

Social Factors Influence Your Health

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Dec 062018
 

The United States trails its peer developed countries in life expectancy and other health outcomes, despite spending more on healthcare.  Some of this difference is due to genetics and behavior, but social factors are contributors, too, according to Dr. Sarah Gehlert, Dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work and Capital Rotary’s Dec. 5 guest speaker.  Dr. Gehlert (at left in photo with Rotarian Katherine Anderson) said research shows genetics and behavior help determine about 70% of a person’s health risks and outcomes.  The “social factors of health” – things like lifestyle and social stressors – can have an effect up to 15%.  Dr. Gehlert said social factors helping men live longer include being married, participating in religious activities and being affiliated with clubs or similar organizations.  For women, longevity social factors include being married, frequent social contact and taking part in religious activities.  Dr. Gehlert in November received the Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker of the Year award for her leadership, advocacy and commitment in focusing on social environmental influences on health.  The award was presented in San Diego by the American Public Health Association.

Dec 052018
 

District 7770 Assistant Gov. Eric Davis (right in photo) has honored Columbia’s Capital Rotary for 2017-2018 donations to The Rotary Foundation, the international service club’s charitable arm for programs promoting peace and world understanding.  The honors include (from left in photo) current president Philip Flynn holding a certificate for contributions to End Polio Now, the global partnership that has contributed more than $1.6 billion toward polio eradication since  1988; immediate past president Blake DuBose holding a 100% Foundation Giving banner for clubs that average 100% participation with an average of $100 in per capita giving; and past president Tommy Gibbons holding an Every Rotarian, Every Year banner for clubs that achieve a minimum Annual Fund contribution of $100 per capita during the Rotary year.  Rotary District 7770 includes 80 clubs and about 5,000 Rotarians in 25 eastern counties of South Carolina.

 

CarolinaTIP Seeks Teacher Retention

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Nov 302018
 

The University of South Carolina collaborates with school districts to keep new teachers on the job – hoping to resolve a staffing crisis in public education.  So says Dr. Jon Pedersen, dean of USC’s College of Education and Capital Rotary’s Nov. 28 guest speaker.  Dr. Pedersen (at right in photo with Rotarian Trey Boone) touted the Carolina Teacher Induction Program, known as CarolinaTIP.  It’s a three-year “bridge of support” for recent graduates moving from college student to successful schoolteacher.  CarolinaTIP includes group workshops and experienced educators acting as the new teacher’s confidant, coach and mentor to promote “practical application of teaching theory in the classroom,” Dr. Pedersen said.  The goal is better student learning, increased teacher efficacy and teacher retention.  Dr. Pedersen said the rising tide of teachers quitting the profession causes not only staffing vacancies but also costs districts $23 million yearly for additional recruiting, hiring and training.  A 25% boost in retaining teachers would equal $11 million in savings.  CarolinaTIP’s outcomes are impressive: (1) 100% of participating teachers in 2017 came back to work for the 2018-19 school year; (2) they reported job stress went down and job satisfaction went up; and (3) 100% said the program had positive impact in their classrooms and on their decision to continue teaching.  Dr. Pederson said USC’s College of Education is the state’s largest teacher preparation school and CarolinaTIP, the only program of its kind, demonstrates the university’s commitment to graduates’ success.

Early bird registration is now open on the DACdb database for the 2019 All Club Conference

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Nov 302018
 

This year’s Conference will be held on March 22-24, 2019 at the Marriott Resort and Spa on Hilton Head Island. You can see a brief video regarding Conference via the following link: https://youtu.be/GaerZ73RwZE

The Conference features noted speakers on such subjects as Membership, using Social Media, Rotary Peace Scholarships, Women in Rotary and many others. There will also be a hands-on project – Rise Against Hunger – on Saturday afternoon.

Registration for the All Club Conference is on the DACdb database calendar or by following this link: Active Member Registration

This year’s registration offers several flexible options for participation so we hope to see you there. Sign up before January 1, 2019 and take advantage of the reduced early bird rates!!!

Dean Roberts, Conference Chair

rdroberts29926@hargray.com; 843-422-0978

Rotarians Hear ‘Bulls and Bears’ Forecast

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Nov 142018
 

Capital Rotary members got a “bulls and bears” look at the economy and stock/bond market when Nicole Dill (in photo with Rotarian Stephen West) was the club’s guest speaker Nov. 14.  Dill, a Chapin resident, works with JP Morgan Asset Management and has 20 years of experience in financial services.  In her briefing she said (1) the US economy has not had problem inflation for 30 years, a trend that will continue; (2) another recession is expected in the future, likely 2021or 2022; (3) 1,300 “baby boomers” will be retiring each day for the next decade, helping to fuel labor force needs that could keep the nation at or near full employment; (4) the Federal Reserve Board is predicted to raise interest rates in December 2018 and March 2019, and perhaps in June 2019, but probably not in September 2019; (5) the US has a consumer-driver economy, with 70% of our growth due to consumption: people buying things; (6) recent mid-term elections helped restore a more balanced government divide between Democrats and Republicans, which has been the nation’s norm 61% of the time; and (7) investors need to rebalance their accounts yearly because of national and international economic change.

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