An interesting read inspired this former Club President to ponder about volunteering"On December 1, 2009, I read with great interest a book review of a newly published book: 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. The subject certainly seemed appropriate for this time of the year, but it was a curiosity as it appeared in the science section of the paper. As I read the review, I thought "How appropriate this is to the Rotary Motto, 'Service before Self.'" Ms. Walker, who lives in Los Angeles, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago. As her health and spirits fell, she went to see Mbali Creazzo, a holistic health educator who gave her a strange prescription to improve her health, which at first she completely ignored. When her symptoms worsened and she was having increasing difficulty coping, she decided to try what had been suggested. And what was the prescription? Give a gift a day to another person – nothing expensive or hard – just a call, a note or something like saving a piece of cake for her husband.
 After the first 29 days, she became more able to cope with her disease, less dependent on pain medication and more mobile. Additionally, she had stopped her trips to the emergency room and her disease stopped progressing. She immediately added this practice to her daily self care and began a web site: Those of you who regularly do volunteer work probably don't think this is very amazing. Focusing on what you can do to help others may not change the basic elements in your life, but it certainly will take your focus off of yourself and change your attitude – and this of course (as with Ms. Walker), can change your entire life! What I am leading up to is simply a question for our members: How will you serve the Rotary Club of River Oaks this coming year? As you think of your life in Rotary, you may want to think about projects our Club could become involved with to extend the Rotary hand of friendship to our community, you may think of friends and neighbors who you could bring into our Club, or choose to serve the Club as a board member."