President Hannah's December Message.
Now that we’re in the full swing of the holiday season, gifts have been on my mind. What to buy? Who to buy for? What would be thoughtful, meaningful, or useful? 
I’m recalling Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta’s message back in August and expanding my ideas of what a gift can be.
“To me the gift of membership to Rotary has been an extraordinary gift,” he said.  
He described Rotary membership as a valuable life-changing gift because of the opportunities it offers to make friends, be a leader, and serve the local and global community. 
For me, that has also been true. The value of Rotary isn’t well measured by dues and meal costs, but by the people you meet, things you learn, and opportunities to make a difference. 
Through Rotary, I’ve been able to get to know people who I likely may not have otherwise met. Not only is friendship a gift, but so is access to new perspectives. 
I always learn something from the club meeting speakers, and often those who I initially thought may be uninteresting. I like having my assumptions challenged. In an era of misinformation and partisanship, I’ve also come to treasure the twice-monthly talks as a time we come together to gain a shared knowledge.
The behind-the-scenes tours and experiences coordinated by our social chair, Diana, and vocational chair, Joanne, provide a more intimate experience with people and places otherwise overlooked in my day-to-day.
Serving as president this year has allowed me to put my leadership style to practice and discover areas for growth and a way to refine my strengths. 
And of course, being able to see life-changing projects come to fruition - such as the water project in Nicaragua and the recent camp for at-risk youth at Camp Whittier - delivers not only a gift to those benefitting, but also restores a belief in the good of humanity and what is possible when people come together to give back.
Rotary has certainly been a gift in my life and one of the best enduring legacies of my previous job. If Rotary has been a gift in your life, let’s take time to thank those who brought us here and to think of people we want to invite so we can share the gift with them. 
In Rotary, giving is much more than a season. It is something to be shared and received throughout the year. Who on your list will you give it to?