Posted by Tim Moore on May 14, 2020
For most of us it has now been over five weeks of isolation and in most cases isolation from your normal Rotary activities.  How have we coped without regular face to face meetings, unable to do traditional community service or fund-raising activities?   Are we looking after our members in these difficult and in some case tragic times?
In short have we been able to provide Rotary value to our members?  If we haven’t, how are we to survive?  All clubs have been forced to adapt to these changed conditions and would expect it may well be to the end of this year and beyond in some cases.

So many questions … and so many answers!
 
To quote Winston Churchill: ‘No crisis should go to waste’ …   Last month’s edition had a rush of ideas on how clubs and districts could support its members.  Now we have an edition full of more.  Well done.
 
Few clubs are letting this crisis go to waste, most are now meeting online and they are learning that we don’t necessarily have to meet be face to face to engage with members, to discuss and plan strategies for the future, support the efforts of continuing and new projects and to donate time and effort.  This is what we are great at.  We haven’t given up but we have adapted to the situation – it is this crisis that may well be the boost that clubs have needed!  Your right too, Rotary just continued to grow and attract a whole lot of new interest as their club became more innovative and flexible.
 
There are so many examples of just this:  Clubs being flexible and innovative.
 
Fund raising is hard but I have been buoyed by the imagination and efforts of so many clubs:
  • The Rotary Club of Frankston North – after a number of strategic meetings they are once a month running an open Zoom meeting with a small fee for a great guest speaker that is donated to a local hospital effort.

  • The Rotary Club of Southbank is having online lessons on how to sew a basic cotton face mask without a sewing machine,  for the Rotary Club to donate to the homeless and those living in crisis accommodation/shelters.

  • The Rotary Club of Wynyard members in Tasmania assisting with a drive through flu shot clinic.

  • The Rotaract Club of Adelaide University with international student and local club members running cooking classes online via Zoom.

  • Rotary District 9820 (Victoria – Peninsula and Gippsland) hosted a webinar and Q&A with the federal Minister for Health and sharing this for all clubs and members.

  • The enormous developments of Districts hosting Zoom meetings and resource pages for their clubs, Rotary Down Under (our regional magazine) now hosting district and club resources for Zone 8 and publicising and sharing in social media.

  • The Rotary Club of Mt Lawley, Western Australia hosting a FaceBook site where all Clubs can register and invite others to join their online meetings.

All of this has come about from this COVID-19 crisis – an opportunity to adapt, change and increase the impact and reach of Rotary.
 
Please send an email to tim@cinet.com.au and tell us what your Clubs are doing so we can inspire all to engage and grow.