When we discovered there would likely be about $5,500 left unused in the District Foundation account, it was decided we could make it available to our clubs so they could address the effects of CoVID-19 immediately and in simple ways.  Knowing a message from the GOVERNOR would get more attention, we launched the initiative. Within a day, we had our first two applications and by the end of the allotted time, there were 21 clubs requesting over $15,000. A panel of 8 district leaders discussed various ways of dividing up the $5,500 decided to honor every club’s request, dividing the money in equal percentage to each club. That provided only 36.5% of what they had requested. But, it turns out, things weren’t over…
Soon afterwards, Senior District leadership met and decided to honour what they saw from the clubs and their members – a spirit that embodies what Rotary professes to be about “PEOPLE of SUPPORT”. A windfall because of a cancelled Conference gave them the path to say, ‘we will MATCH what the Foundation Committee is able to provide’. And so today, 21 clubs have now or will shortly receive two checks/cheques, giving them 73% of what had been requested. From FOOD BANKS, to PPE of various types to Lunches programs for kids they had been relying on when in school (but now couldn’t get because school was out), to delivering grocery orders to shut-ins, your District has made a lucky chance into a tremendous opportunity. Thank you Governor Bob and your Governor Team.
I hasten to add that some clubs had proposals that were larger and have been encouraged to use the regular District Grant-Local Project route to accomplish these things and also address the impact of our times. The Rotary Foundation has made one-time special exemptions for grants which address CoVID issues so they can embark on and pay out things NOW and be reimbursed later, should their grant be approved on May 9 and then by TRF later. How wonderful these opportunities are. What a changing landscape we are facing. I applaud our clubs on their agility to quickly adjust and move from one thing to the other and want them to know that we are more than proud of them.
These days, more than ever, the need to generously donate to The Rotary foundation’s Annual Fund, even just aa little at a time, can give benefits right here. That’s where our grant money comes from. Have you made your donation yet?