By Paul Elsley, Rotary Club of Kingston, Ontario, Canada
A little over a year ago, my club could not have foreseen that we would add 18 new members during 2020 and do so in the midst of a global pandemic. There are silver linings in just about everything.
At the beginning of that year, we were planning to celebrate a century of Rotary in Kingston with other Rotary clubs in the city when COVID-19 struck in March. We watched as service organizations and agencies began to shut down or go into emergency mode and knew a celebration was out of the question. But it also became clear that there was a huge service gap and that Kingston was in great need.
By Jim Marggraff, Entrepreneur and Member of the Rotary Club of Lamorinda Sunrise, California, USA
Four years ago, my wife MJ surprised me with an unearthly question. “How can we keep Mars-bound astronauts connected with their loved ones on Earth?”
This question sparked a journey, though not yet to Mars… Instead, I embarked on a journey to understand social isolation on Earth, to develop new ways to connect remote loved ones using advanced technologies, to found another company, my seventh, Kinoo.family, and to become even more deeply engaged with Rotary!
By Steven Sanbo, past governor of District 6690 and Zone 30 assistant Rotary coordinator
What I recall most are the hundreds of faces. Faces of hope. Faces of relief, gratitude, fear, joy, excitement, desperation, anxiety and yes, faces with tears all hidden behind masks during my volunteer shift at a mass vaccination center in Arizona, USA, on 26 February.
By Dieter Schneider, member of the Rotary Motorcyclist Fellowship (IFMR) and the Rotary Club Würzburg
A year after my son took his own life after suffering from severe depression, I set off on a motorcycle to Cape Town, South Africa. The trip through East Africa was both a time to process trauma and fulfill a desire for adventure. My encounters with interesting people and my experiences on this fascinating continent healed my inner turmoil. When I arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, I made a life-changing decision.
How do we measure the magnitude of the investments made by Rotary clubs in the battle against COVID-19? This is not an easy question to answer, but in my Rotary and professional life, I often deal with assessing impacts. So the question intrigues me.
By Rowland Kingsley Dappa, Rotaract Club of Port Harcourt Westfield, Nigeria
Rotaractors in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, came together to carry out a disease prevention project to fight the spread of COVID-19 and prevent a second wave of infections in our communities. Together with Rotaractors in Port Harcourt Spring Gardens and our host Rotary club, we distributed essential cleaning supplies and COVID-19 protocol information to public health care centers in the communities of Ogumnabali and Okuru-ama.
By Joe Otin, past district governor of Rotary District 9212
In his book “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People,” Steven Covey defines the circle of concern and the circle of influence. His ideas explain how we can build resilience through the toughest times. The current health crisis that we face demands an individual and collective response for any conceivable return to a way of life that is free from fear and a return to a positive and healthy way of life.
By Juliet Altenburg, DGN, District 7390 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Last June as I ended my term as president of the Rotary Club of Mechanicsburg-North and started my role as a district governor-nominee, I was feeling the enormity of COVID-19 in my paid job, personal life, and Rotary club.
In my professional job as a nurse, I am the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation (PTSF). PTSF oversees hospitals that are trauma centers in Pennsylvania. Hospital staff shared with me the stress of caring for patients while trying to protect themselves and their families. They were often the “family” of patients that died alone and were physically and emotionally exhausted.
By Ann Marie Kimball, MD, MPH, Member of the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island; World Community Service chair; and member of the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers
Rotary is engaging vigorously in the fight against COVID-19. I am honored to serve on a new task force Rotary International has created, but it’s also caused me to think about our role as Rotarians. How can we continue our progress toward polio eradication in the time of COVID-19? Continue reading →
A Rotary club president in North Carolina receives his COVID-19 vaccination.
By Dawn Rochelle, governor of Rotary District 7730
Looking at the newest update on COVID-19 in November, my fellow governors in North Carolina, USA, felt we had to do something. Having been a part of two National Immunization Day trips to India in 2015 and 2019 with Zone 33 regional Rotary Foundation coordinator Nancy Barbee, I knew that Rotarians had the ability to respond with a vaccine on the horizon. The global polio eradication partnership gives a blueprint that provides strategy that is effective in any community. Rotary can be a part of the COVID-19 response strategy in the same way it has been for polio and other viruses. Continue reading →