I usually begin this column with acknowledging the Rotary monthly theme, which for April is Child and Maternal Health month. But instead, with a global pandemic underway, I realize it is just HEALTH MONTH. I urge everyone to strictly follow the precautions of our federal, state and local health officials and perhaps we can soon CELEBRATE GOOD health month as we fight this invisible threat. In spite of the disappointment of sporting seasons canceled, Galas delayed, District Conference and International Conventions canceled- we remember what is important- EACH OTHER.
But Rotary has a way of surviving, just as Rotarians do. I urge every club to meet in a virtual way, and it is exciting for all of us to discover the technologies available to enhance and maintain our bond. We will be having Roundtable in April over a Zoom connection. Presidents have connected in 2 video conferences. Our Virtual Happy Hour was a hit, as we shared anecdotes related to the coronavirus, and we are planning another one. We are finding new ways to Connect, and as that is our theme word for this Rotary year, we not only connect the world but we Connect right here at home in 5810.
I am most proud of the 5810 spirit in the area of SERVICE. Our foundation committee sprang to action and made available funds for which clubs could apply to help our hard- hit food providers to our needy neighbors. Our needs in the community don’t go away in a crisis; they multiply. But you have responded in a big way, helping food banks and pantries. We have applied for a RI Disaster Recovery grant to buy beds for Parkland Hospital, our largest regional hospital and provider of emergency services. Acts of kindness are springing up everywhere- bringing supplies to the elderly neighbor, checking on one another via a phone tree, volunteering at a local charity to collect supplies or feed their clients...your spirit of Service is on full display. Thanks to everyone who adds a model of service in every aspect of our communities. We will look back, and will realize this was Rotary’s finest hour.
Thank you for your commitment to the ideals of Rotary. Let’s check on each other, let’s stay Connected, let’s follow the Guidelines strictly. Use technology and ingenuity to keep our essential business thriving. I look forward to seeing each other via screen time until we get together and are able to deliver personal HUGS. Prayers and good wishes to each 5810 Rotarian and their families.
Stay well.