By Dominica Pradere, past president, Rotary Club of Montego Bay, Jamaica
When Jamaica’s borders closed in March 2020 from the COVID-19 pandemic, I was packed and ready for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago, where I planned to connect with other Rotary members, as I normally do when I travel. Naturally I was sad and disappointed at having to cancel my plans. Lockdowns and curfews, as well as government restrictions limiting the movements of citizens, further isolated many retirees like myself as we tried to “stay safe.”
My club began meeting online immediately. I became aware that many clubs around the world were doing likewise, and my life was transformed when I received a spreadsheet created by the Rotary Club of Mount Lawley, Western Australia, Australia, showing details of clubs that had started to meet virtually.
By Maris Brenner, Rotary Club of Sandusky, Ohio, USA
As a career Sales/Marketing professional, it was always easier to “close the sale” when our potential client had familiarity with our product. And, in many cases, already liked it. In sales, we call this the “low hanging fruit.”
Most Rotary clubs already have potential members close by.
By Tom Gump, governor of Rotary District 5950, member of the Rotary Club of Edina/Morningside, Minnesota, USA
My district has several new and vibrant clubs. They are all flourishing. Not just because they formed, but also, because they keep on growing.
A majority of charter members, about 88%, are new to Rotary. So, we need to nurture these new clubs as they don’t all know the Rotary way. How do we do this most effectively? It’s simple, we: give them a cause, stay flexible, add diversity, and have fun!
Erin Maloney watching a recording of the 2020 Virtual Convention on her laptop. (On screen is her brother, 2019-20 Rotary International President Mark D. Maloney
By Erin Maloney
Until this summer, I had never really thought about joining a Rotary club. Even though I have been involved with service – from anti-domestic violence issues to giving music lessons – for all of my adult life, I was not interested in the traditional model of Rotary (with weekly meetings).
Living in Turkey, I was becoming more interested in reducing human trafficking, as I was concerned that female university students from abroad were being “groomed.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it became more difficult to address this issue. Continue reading →
By Tracey Antee, past president of the Rotary Club of Opelousas Sunrise, Louisiana, USA
During my tenure as club president in 2019-20, I made a goal of starting a satellite club that would meet after regular business hours, hence the name Sunrise after Dark. A young professional group in the community just ended, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reach out to these individuals and invite them to join Rotary, within the ease provided by the satellite format. Continue reading →
A hybrid meeting setup with a webcam on a dampened tripod, a laptop, and a projector.
By Patrick Eakes, Zone 33 Rotary Coordinator
In our area, the global pandemic arrived like an unwelcome dinner guest. Within a matter of days after the first local case of COVID-19, my Rotary club’s meeting location closed, and gatherings of 50 or more people were prohibited (my club has over 100 members). Face-to-face Rotary meetings came to an almost immediate halt.
David Stovall and Stephanie Urchick, Rotary International Directors, and Director-elect Peter Kyle immediately set up online meetings for all Rotary members in Zones 33 and 34 to attend. They held these meetings twice each week and posted recordings on social media, setting an explicit example for district and club leaders of how they could maintain and strengthen the engagement of Rotary members even during a pandemic. Continue reading →
Editor’s note: The pandemic has challenged the way our clubs operate, but it has also presented some opportunities. A Rotaract club shares lessons they have learned from virtual meetings.
By Kennedy Gayah, Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central, Kenya
Members of Rotary and Rotaract enjoy the comfort, love, and unity they experience during a club meeting, whether it be sharing a meal, enjoying a drink, or chatting with friends who have become like family. Our in-person meetings have been a principle means of connection. But COVID-19 has changed all that. We have been forced to be innovative, creative, and flexible to recreate the camaraderie of our clubs. This is a blessing in disguise. Continue reading →
By Ingrid Waugh, Assistant Rotary Coordinator and Past Governor of Rotary District 9920
During this time of physical separation and social distancing, it is more important than ever to keep our social connections. Rotarians join Rotary to do good in their community. They stay because of the connections they make. Our relationships are important, and we need to strengthen the ones we have and to build new ones. What might this look like in our changed world? Continue reading →
The Friends of Scott-Shiloh Rotary Club holds an event on the air force base.
By Steve Bione, Friends of Scott-Shiloh Rotary Club, Illinois, USA
A little more than a year ago, I was looking to join Rotary. I wanted to be involved in Rotary but also help out Scott Air Force Base in St. Claire County, near St. Louis, Illinois. The base is a big part of our community, and I knew Rotary could help connect men and women in the service with life outside the base. Continue reading →
Members of the Rotary Satellite Club of London, Ontario, Canada.
By Heather Macdonald, Rotary Satellite Club of London, Ontario, Canada
I was a recent college grad when I moved to a new city and was looking to join an organization where I could meet people my own age who were at the same stage of life that I was in. My parents are both Rotarians, so Rotary was the first organization that came to mind. But I struggled to find a club where I could fit in. Continue reading →