Jim O'Meara's introduction to Rotary came in 1994 when his employer invited him to attend a Rotary meeting. "I had just moved to San Diego to start a new career in real estate when Bob hired me," Jim says. "He became my Rotary sponsor and mentor, and for that I am forever grateful."
Jim and his wife JoAnn (Rotary Club of Carlsbad and El Camino Real, CA) quickly embraced the opportunity to serve others through Rotary. Through their club they traveled to Mexico where they helped a medical team that performed life-changing surgeries on children with cleft palates. "We jumped right in," recalls Jim.
Many more service opportunities followed over the years, including Matching Grant projects in South Africa where Jim served as the primary project contact.
He fondly remembers how Rotarians in South Africa worked together with District 5310 to purchase a vehicle that would pick up food supplies from the Hotel and Food Service industry and transport them to those in need. Before, the leftovers were simply discarded. Today, there are multiple vehicles in rotation providing immediate hunger relief. "It is amazing to see the progress they have made over the years," says Jim, who just returned from a month in South Africa. Currently, he is hoping to organize a global grant, one of the grant types under the Future Vision grant model, to support relief projects for the nearly 20 million orphaned children in Africa.
Jim and JoAnn have supported the programs of The Rotary Foundation for years, and they enjoy giving back. "We consider ourselves blessed," says Jim. They recently decided to include a bequest in their estate plans to extend their support of Rotary beyond their lifetimes.
"I have complete faith in The Rotary Foundation," Jim says. "I know the Foundation will appropriately steward and utilize the funds that we leave behind. I can't think of a better way to help people around the world than through Rotary."
Including a bequest in your will or living trust to The Rotary Foundation is one of the easiest ways to support us after your lifetime. Learn more here.