Engagement through Service (from Afar)

Community Needs Assessment
Once you have connected your members turn your attention to how Rotary can help in your community.
- Consider carrying out an accelerated simple community needs assessment to see how Rotary can best respond. Our motto is Service Above Self. Reach out to your local Municipality, Social Services, Schools, Health organizations, Chamber of Commerce, BIA, etc. to see what help they need. Remember those businesses that have donated and sponsored Rotary in the past, how are they coping now? These are challenging times that need bold imaginative and caring responses over the coming months. Click here for guidance on carrying out a needs study.
- Check-in with local organizations to see how they’re doing and if they need any assistance. - Be aware of community needs. As many of you have observed, if schools do close, many children will lose their primary source of food. If COVID-19 cases increase, local first responders and health care facilities will be strained and may be in need of support. Challenging times bring an increase in needs (not just for toilet paper), and we are great at serving community needs. 
- Check-in on your neighbours, especially those in the at-risk populations (the elderly and the immunocompromised) and see how they’re doing. Help out when and where you can. Physical distance may be healthy at this time, but social isolation can be deadly as it contributes to depression and allows people in need to fall through the cracks. Be a good neighbour and a good friend. 
- AND don't forget to take care of yourself and your families – pay attention to your physical and mental health. Ask for help if you need it. And even if, like me, you are one of those “it won’t happen to me” types, try to remember that your health and the public health are interrelated. While you may feel fine, you might just be carrying something harmful to others. If we stay connected and lend a hand where we can, the worst that will happen is that our communities will survive a trying global pandemic. The best that can happen is that this all passes us by and we grow stronger as Rotarians and as a community. 
As always, you can ask members to donate to The Rotary Foundation (hint: use the array of Rotary assets including videos to promote; all available on My Rotary). Other considerations include initiating “friendly competitions” with other clubs to see which can raise the most money for a particular focus area or fund to earn “bragging rights” (or maybe the “losing” club has to provide the manual labor for the winning club’s future project). Get creative and use this opportunity to bolster promotion of opportunities for Rotarians to give.
The Rotary Foundation is only taking Online Donations at this time. Here are two documents to guide you through the Online Donation Process.

Service ideas

(If you have better different or better ideas please email us at rotary6330@gmail.com so we can add them to this list)
  • Coloured Care Card Alert System – Householders display a Coloured Card in their window or on their door to indicate GREEN ‘I am OK”, ORANGE “I need assistance” RED “I need urgent assistance”. To enable people to have a system other than online/social media of advising they need help. A simple solution to reach out to community members who may not have access to online social networking and where volunteers can take an active roll to check up on friends, and neighbours or people who do not have many community connections.
  • A variation on "Pay it Forward": For example, Pay for a meal for home delivery from a local Restaurant for some one less fortunate or send a Rose or Bunch of Flowers to cheer someone up.
  • Online Art Competition or Story Writing Competition.  The online contest will encourage children to use their imaginations and connect with each other through this challenging time and provide parents a focused activity to provide them with. Entries will be submitted to a generic email address and uploaded to a photo album to a website page, facebook and posted to instagram. A modest prize of say $50 - $100 weekly prize, in gift cards to local restaurants for takeout or local stores think may work best and also support struggling business in the community (half a cash card for the child, and half a gift card to a local restaurant so they could order take out etc.)
  • Use your video conferencing creatively, think differently why not hold a virtual coffee morning meeting or a virtual happy hour meeting just for social interaction – Just have a chat. Think you at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks or your local bar but you are connected in the comfort of your own home.
  • Offer to book meetings on your new Zoom Account to other community organizations. For example your local PROBUS Club or other non for profit community organisations to help them stay connected.
  • Why not donate a one year subscription to Zoom to another non for profit organisation to help them connect through this difficult time.
  • Choose a local charity and ask all members to highlight it using their social channels. Choose a new charity each week! This is a great way to leverage the influence of Rotarian leaders to elevate causes that matter to your local community (and it might even sprout a future project collaboration!).
  • Coordinate with local hospitals or nursing homes for members to send cards or letters to combat loneliness from isolation in facilities that have limited visitors.
  • Ask members to make blankets for My Very Own Blanket or similar organizations.
  • Challenge members to look through their homes and sort items that can be donated to charity. Once it is safe to do so, hold a group donation day to a local charity thrift store (remember to take pictures!).
  • Ask members to record themselves reading children’s books and post through your club’s social channels for parents to share with their children for “alt-tv time” during school closures.
  • Start a gift card drive. Ask members to purchase gifts cards (bonus points if it’s a local small business) and then mail them along with a note from the Rotarian to organizations that would be able to put them to good use.