Posted by Tony Nogales on Oct 14, 2017
My name is Tony Nogales and I work at Innovative Pension Strategy & Design as a Retirement Plan Consultant.  
One day when I was working in Participant Services Alison (one of the majority owners of IPSD) asked me if I’d be interested in participating in a house build project with her Rotary club. I thought that would be fun.
I had just finished my Construction Technology Course for a Certificate of Completion for Building Inspectors from Palomar College. The building site was South of the border in Tijuana. I had never volunteered in an organized non-profit before and didn’t know what to expect.
I was so incredibly moved by the willingness of dozens of Rotarians, their spouses, families, & friends to take a day and donate not only materials and money, but their own free time to build a house for a family they'd never met. I was asked if I could assist with asking the family a few questions about how they feel now that they have a roof over their heads and a door they can lock. I witnessed the first of many tears of joy stream out of recipients eyes. I saw and felt the impact of Rotary and I knew right there and then that I wanted to be a part of this organization.
I joined the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club in July, 2016, just a few weeks after I helped build this house.
If I can do something for another person, or in the case of the Mexico house build where I helped an entire family, I will do it. If I could provide lunches for dentists and dental assistants who themselves are donating their time and services by providing surgeries for children with cleft lips or other dental issues, I want to do it. Being involved in Rotary allows me to be a part something that has the power to change lives. It has changed my life for the better. I find myself wanting to do good all the time.
Wanting to do good is contagious.  
I wanted to contribute something back to a community not only in which I work or live, but also in another countries where the basic necessities of living (like running water, plumbing, electricity, food, and shelter) are not always readily available.
As I was once told, "It's not about giving someone a hand out, but a hand up." I believe in that philosophy.
There is no down-side to being involved with Rotary, and LOTS of positives for me, my family, and those we help.
I've made some poor choices in my past because I was selfish. I wanted to do something good for someone else. I want to give back. Rotary International and the RB Sunrise Rotary Club gives me that opportunity.