Aspire to Inspire: The Power of Community

Three hundred or so people squeezed into the local town hall a month or so ago. Laughter, music and the aroma of New Mexican food filled the air. Friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends and civic leaders mingled and chatted through the afternoon.

Four generations gathered to celebrate the successes of a young person boldly living with cancer, to share with each other the joy and vibrancy of life, of knowing each other while helping this young person and his family through a tough time. They are a community.

Medical Mission
Quota members from Manila South providing special medical mission clinics in remote villages to support healthier communities.

What is community? Community as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is: “the people with common interests living in a particular area”. That definition doesn’t quite hold the same spark as the group that was just mentioned so let’s look beyond this definition to the heart of it. Where does community begin? Does it begin when you are asked to do something or are placed in a situation that calls you to be part of a group?

Community starts with the inspiration of being touched by an experience you have had, by an event that someone you love has experienced, or by something you have witnessed. Community, my friends, starts with you and starts with me being open to saying, “Yes”. If you have some hesitancy in jumping in to a group, event or activity, take minute to let the following quote speak to that fear.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
Michelle Obama

Rugs by Quotarians in Taree
In Taree, New South Wales, Quota members provide comfort and help rebuild lives by sending hand crocheted blankets, towels, and rugs to survivors of devastating floods.

Your participation in community is valuable.Whether it is spending time working at a medical mission as a volunteer, raising funds to ease a financial burden of a family facing a medical challenge, knitting blankets and rugs for flood survivors, or using organizational skills to plan an event, being courageous and willing to share your skills and talents makes a difference. When you say “Yes” to being in action with those around you, the world changes.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Feeding Program in Manila
Through the Philippines Feeding Program run by members of Quota in Manila, thousands of children living in poverty are nurtured and fed.

It is the association of willing individuals to step forward together to fill a need that is the essence and power of community. The power of community is what has children be fed, schools to be built and has families facing seemingly insurmountable challenges be supported.

Your community is waiting for you.

Be bold, be you, say “Yes”.

International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldForChange

International Women's Day logo

Today, March 8th, 2017, is International Women’s Day. Quotarians join in celebrating this day as an acknowledgement of the work that is being done in local communities around the world to improve the lives of women and those they support. We recognize that when women have access to education, health care, child care and employment opportunities in traditional and non-traditional careers, the entire community benefits.

Since the beginning of Quota International, Inc. in 1919, Quotarians have been working to improve the lives of women and children through community service projects. Our signature projects such as Buckets of Love which are made and distributed by Quotarians directly impact women who have experienced domestic violence or economic hardship.

We stand with the United Nations and the theme of their work: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” The status of women in the world and the steps towards equality is articulated by the United Nations Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her message of February 28, 2017:

This International Women’s Day, and each day, we invite you to join us in stepping forward to #BeBoldForChange!

 

Minute for Mission: Dress A Girl Around The World

“New Zealanders are amazing and someone is always going somewhere and they willingly take the dresses and give them away to girls in need.” – Jo Dixey

Pillowcase Dresses from Whakatane 2016
From left: Nancy Neilson of Eastbay Quilters; and Jo Dixey and Yulene Watts of Quota International of Whakatane (New Zealand) with 150 dresses for girls in Uganda.

Eastbay Quilters Group and Quota International of Whakatane (New Zealand) recently donated 150 pillowcase dresses to Dress A Girl Around The World. Dress A Girl Around The World is a program of  Hope 4 Women International which is a charitable organization with the mission of empowering “women in Uganda who are suffering from poverty, disease, and low self-worth to become self-sufficient with businesses of their own”*.

Jo Dixey has been a champion collecting pillowcase dresses and shipping them from New Zealand to areas of the world in need. She has sent the dresses with missionaries and volunteers traveling to the South Pacific Islands and under developed countries for the Dress A Girl Around The World and Orphan Aid programs. The dresses are then distributed the to girls of all ages who have never owned a dress.

To learn more about this vibrant 54 member club that was founded in 1980, the good works they do and how you can participate with their projects, visit, Quota International of Whakatane.

_________________

*About Hope 4 Women International

Minute for Mission: Signing Santa

Santa Claus

Our children look forward to this event every year, and appreciate what the Quota Club does for families like ours. – Kristin Noonan

This December marks the third year that Quota International of Ottawa has held a Signing Santa Christmas party for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than 75 children came to see Santa, share their Christmas wishes with the Jolly Ol’ Elf, enjoy holiday treats, receive a teddy bear and play various games.

“The Noonan family has attended the Quota Club of Ottawa’s Signing Santa party for three years now. What makes the event extra special — besides the hot chocolate, cookies, games and laser tag — is that Santa can communicate with both of the Noonan children.

Makiya, 10, was born deaf, and was implanted with bilateral cochlear implants at 13 months. She speaks and uses American sign language, while her eight-year-old brother Damon, who can hear, is still learning ASL.

Luckily for both kids, Santa speaks, uses sign language and has a cochlear implant, making every child feel comfortable while sharing their wish list. Makiya and Damon, along with their parents Craig and Kristin, anticipate the annual event.

‘Our children look forward to this event every year, and appreciate what the Quota Club does for families like ours,’ said Kristin Noonan.”

To read the complete article and see a photo of the event, visit ottawacitizen.com.  This article was submitted by Liz Revell, former Quota International Canada Area Director and Treasurer of the Quota Club of Ottawa.

___________

Signing Santa events are hosted by Quotarians in nearly 100 communities in four countries.  To find out if there’s a Signing Santa event near you, contact staff@quota.org.