By Carlito “Tolitz” Villanueva, Rotary Club of Baguio Summer Capitol, Philippines
We heal as one. Our communities were brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that vaccine is becoming available in the Philippines, we are slowly regaining our strength, confidence, and mobility to carry on our daily tasks.
By Alex Johnson, President of Rotary Club of Plano West, Texas, USA
From my town of Plano, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, we see the virus devastating lives in India. Last year, COVID-19 affected people overseas, and then took hold in America. We can counter the threat and stay safe by getting people vaccinated.
Most people have access to information on COVID-19 vaccines. But we discovered many minority residents do not. Motivated by a wish to help our fellow citizens, we partnered with our city government to inform this group.
By Vicki Brentin, a member of the Rotary Club of Houston Skyline, Houston, Texas, USA
Anticipation. Excitement. Nervousness. Uncertainty. Hopefulness. Relief. Gratitude. I had all of these not-so-surprising emotions as I passed through the various stations at the mega vaccine site in Houston to receive my COVID-19 vaccination.
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 James Allen, Project Director and member of Rotary Club of Sydney, Australia
I am part of a team of Rotarians that came together nearly four years ago to initiate a project to recognize and celebrate the Centenary in Australia and New Zealand in 2021. It started as a group from the original four clubs in this part of the world – Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, and Wellington. Since then, many other clubs and districts have participated and are providing support. We called the project Give Every Child A Future because importantly, it will reduce child mortality and ease the burden of cervical cancer, thus giving every child a better future.
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.
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 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 →