During the pandemic, our Rotary Club developed a plan to help those at risk of losing their shelter and possessions before it actually happens. After thoroughly vetting the local nonprofits who provide emergency rental assistance, our board approved our first grant of $2500 to Volunteers of America (VOA) to help Susan, the widow of a veteran who recently passed away, and her 19 year-old son.
Due to COVID, Susan has struggled to get assistance with services and find employment after having been out of the workforce to raise her son. She was able to get temporary housing through VOA until she found employment at a Motel 6 where she is being trained to work the front desk full-time. After her first paycheck she will move into permanent housing using our Rotary grant for her first month’s rent and security deposit. To help support the family, her son will put off his college plans until the spring. Our grant is stabilizing this family and giving them a fresh start during a very difficult time and the peace of mind that comes from having a roof over one’s head.”
Virtual Meetings & Community Work
Pandemic. Shelter-in-place. Stay-at-home orders. Social distancing. They haven’t stopped our Club from pressing on with living out the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”. Our Rotary Club of Sacramento has adapted its weekly in-person meetings and community service to these challenging times. Our members and guests have continued meeting every Tuesday at noon but are doing so virtually via Zoom since mid-April 2020. From the Pledge of Allegiance, to an inspiring Thought of the Day, to making and maintaining personal connections, to celebrating members’ accomplishments and major life events, to enjoying friendship and fellowship, to highlighting a community service organization for the week, to receiving donations for specific local or world community service programs or for our Club’s local or Rotary International’s community service foundations, to hearing non-profit CEO, corporate executive, or government official speakers and engaging in discussions on significant and timely local, national, international, or human interest topics, our Club has carried on with the essence of our weekly meetings. For our major annual community service events, we re-designed our long-running Golf 4 Kids event with mask wearing and social distancing, put it on, and raised over $40,000 for five local schools that serve physically impaired students, and we went virtual with our 7th Annual Sacramento Century Challenge biking event, made it an all physical activities affair, and raised over $108,000 for the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery! And we helped put a new community service program into operation in conjunction with other local Rotary Clubs – the Chaplaincy Van which provides a mobile location to grieve and onsite assistance and counseling for those affected by adverse circumstances – with our Club contributing $5,000 and the regional Rotary District contributing $4,700 for the acquisition and refurbishing of a van. Who says you can’t meet, collaborate, and still serve your local community and the world during a pandemic?