Service Above Self - Hawaiian Style
Group of Rotarians from Hawaii on a Program of Generous Giving to the Island of Bali in October 2019.
Rotarians from Hawaii, known in the Rotary world as District 5000 are visiting Bali, and in coordination with Rotarians on Bali and around the world will celebrate the handover of US$160,000 in equipment for the Bali Blood Bank at the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, Bali generated via a Rotary Global Grant.
The Bali Blood Bank’s connection with Rotary has a 20-year history, dating back to 1999 when Rotarians from Alberta, Canada; Traverse City, Michigan; and Hiroshima, Japan transformed a dilapidated and outmoded blood bank into a modern state-of-the-art facility that was credited with saving scores of injured during the Bali Bombings of 2002 and 2005. The initial Rotary Global Grant also provided the funds for the replacement of 2 vehicles used for blood collection campaigns across the Island.
The visit by the Hawaii Rotarians will celebrate 20 years of Rotary Support for the Bali Blood Bank and bring a much-needed installation of the newest generation of life-saving blood transfusion technology at Bali’s sole blood repository.
The busy group of Hawaiian Rotarians will also spend their time on the island working with three local non-profit foundations. They will pay calls on Bali’s award-winning Puspadi Foundation that provides prosthetics and rehabilitative care to disabled Balinese. During the Puspadi visit, they will work with 18 recipients who will be fitted with new prosthetic legs. The Rotarians from across the Pacific will also pay a call on the Jodie O’Shea House to refurbish, paint, and do electrical and sanitary repairs on their home for 85 children in Bali. A collection of age-appropriate reading material in the Indonesian language will also be deposited in the Jodie O’Shea Library during the 6-day humanitarian mission. Working with the Kolewa Foundation and the Niti Mandala School that specifically caters to the needs of disabled children, the Rotarians will support the painting, refurbishing, roof repair, and school furniture for children assisted by Kolewa Foundation.
Eric Kaler, an expatriate who worked in Bali for an extended period in the past as the local manager for Continental Airlines before moving on to new challenges with other airlines in Hawaii and Seattle, is returning to Bali to lead this group of some 25 Hawaii Rotarians on a much-needed mission of goodwill and community service.
Much respected within Rotarian circles internationally, Eric currently serves as the District Governor of Rotary District 5000 that encompasses some 1,600 Rotarian members across 52 clubs situated on the four islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. This project is one of his major initiatives for his year as Governor, he will also welcome some 30,000 Rotarians from around the world to America’s 50th State for the 2020 Rotary International Convention to take place later in June.
Eager to return to Indonesia and Bali that Eric considers his adoptive home, he will bring his group of Aloha Rotarians on a whirlwind trip over 6-days - October 13-19, 2019.
Reflecting on his coming trip “back home to Bali," Eric shared with balidiscovery.com and Bali Update the bittersweet memories of living and working in Bali during the period when it suffered a horrendous terrorist bombing attack on October 12, 2002, that claimed the lives of 202 people from 23 countries and injured at least 209 more. Seeing how Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike from around the world wanted to come to the assistance of the people of Bali in a time of unspeakable tragedy, became a life-changing experience for the young airline executive motivating him to even more firmly embrace the organization’s mantra of “service above self” eventually leading him seek the pivotal post of Rotary District Governor for the Hawaiian islands.
Eric continues to champion the Island of Bali to his fellow-Rotarians on the Islands of Hawaii and accordingly made the current 6-day visit to the Island of the Gods an integral part of his Rotary Connects the World International Service Project.
In all, the Rotarians' beneficence given to Bali during their October visit to Bali is put at nearly US$250,000. “I’m thrilled to return to Bali with such an incredible group of Rotarians who are giving of their own time and expense to be here, joining Rotarians from Bali to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Bali Blood Bank and provide service to these three deserving foundations.” Eric said, “it isn’t the amount of money, it's about the individual connections. As we often experience in Rotary, the more you give in this world, the more you receive.”