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May, 2020

A Note from Your District Governor

Greetings, District 5970!

How’s the new virtual world treating you? I’m inspired by the number of clubs who have shared their stories of engaging online. 

Though the pandemic has brought anxiety and grief, it has also surfaced opportunities for Rotary to evolve. Food banks, homelessness initiatives, and other community organizations are in desperate need of philanthropy, from volunteer support to monetary donations. 

Physical distancing recommendations are a necessary public health measure that must be respected. But the restrictions do not mean we can’t continue to help. We must simply get creative and remain flexible:

  • Respect the recommendation to cover your nose and mouth around others. This isn’t to protect yourself, it’s to protect others. COVID-19 infection can cause no symptoms in some people but cause fatal respiratory failure in others. 

  • Wash your hands regularly. Even if it slows down your volunteer progress. If you or your fellow philanthropists get sick, you won’t be able to help at all.

  • Take turns and try new things. Allow new members to take the reins of a volunteer shift in order to reduce the number of people present. It’s a win-win. When this is all over, your new members will feel more engaged and you’ll have a new backup!

  • Offer help online. Right now, community members need personal and professional support. Are you good at writing resumes? Can you offer an empathetic ear? Use these soft skills to help without person-to-person contact.

Our motto, Service Above Self, perhaps has never been more suited to the times than it is today. How will you safely serve your community?

Iowa Food Banks to Receive Rotary COVID-19 Relief Funds

In April, District 5970 presented the Iowa Food Bank Association a check for $22,000 to combat food insecurity in Iowa.

These funds were part of a $25,000 Disaster Response Grant from The Rotary International Foundation. District 5970 was one of 40 districts worldwide to apply for and receive the grant (there are 535 Districts in the world).

There are 51 clubs in District 5970, and each could apply for $1,000 to support COVID-19 needs in their communities. To date, 24 clubs have chosen to send funding to Iowa Food Banks in their communities. The District opted to send the funds through the Iowa Food Bank Association to streamline reporting and distribution of the funds.

Thank you for your generosity always, and especially during these trying times. If your club needs any assistance, connect with me.

Yours in Rotary,

Michelle Bell
District Governor 2019-2020