This post of Mr. Rogers reminds me what Rotary stands for and what District 5500 and our Clubs stand for in the midst of these uncertain times while we continue to wonder how to manage the current coronavirus pandemic.  We need to remind ourselves that we are Rotary, we are strong, and we are all in this together. We are also the helpers. That's what we do. Thank you, Mr. Rogers.
The two most important things right now are to help keep our club members connected and our communities supported.
To keep club members connected, club leaders can offer new meeting styles including virtual meetings using Zoom, GoToMeeting, Facebook Live or WebEx so members continue to experience the club camaraderie and fellowship even if it's virtual. Many of our clubs are using these options now as they try to meet the needs of their members and the challenges as best they can.
Club leaders can also reach out to other members, especially the older members, with a simple phone call that conveys the caring and concern for fellow Rotarians. Emails can be sent on a weekly basis to maintain the communication and business connections among club members. Committee decisions and voting can be handled with online meetings. The clubs are encouraged to do everything possible to make sure all members feel valued and important because they are!
To keep our communities and clubs healthy and supported, there are activities and projects we can do.  Below are a few examples of acts of kindness that will attest to our being "helpers."
  • Phone trees can be implemented with several members being assigned to call the other members, especially those who are isolated.  A simple hello may be all that's needed to make someone's day.
  • Club members can come together to reach out to those members in need, offering to pick up essentials.  Social networks can also be monitored to find out what kind of help people are seeking.  If someone needs to be driven to an appointment or would like a must-have item picked up from the store, please always keep in mind the importance of following all recommended safety measures including keeping a 6' distance from others and washing your hands regularly.
  • Clubs can open dialogues between members via phone, email, or social networks to monitor opportunities to trade.  For example, one member may have extra toilet paper, Advil and another member could have extra fruits, vegetables, etc.  This will encourage people to stay home as much as possible once they know they can get things from fellow members.
  • Members can reach out to families whose children are not able to attend school.  They can offer a helping hand or just share a simple voice of support.  Young parents are stressed with work and family obligations confronting them. We can help reduce that stress through our acts of kindness. They need to know that they are not alone in this journey.
  • Members can volunteer at a local Community food bank or shelter where the need is great.  There are ways to pick up and deliver supplies with minimal contact.
  • Members can consider buying gift cards of local businesses and restaurants to help with the economic challenges they are facing. The cards can be used later or now for pickup or delivery of food or items.
I know many clubs and Rotarians in our District are already supporting their neighbors and friends.  Please let me know what you are doing so it can be shared with all members in our District:  Please email me at ellie.patterson1@outlook.com
The health and safety of our Rotarians is a TOP PRIORITY.  Your District Leadership Team is doing all it can do to ensure your safety by canceling large gatherings and events, recommending the cancellation of smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person, recommending different meeting styles and sending out the latest updates that RI releases.
The District will also start providing you with key updates as they are released by our State Department of Public Health. https://www.azdhs.gov/; and the State of Arizona Covid-19 site: https://www.respiratoryboard.az.gov/update-covid  And please check our website regularly for updates. 
We are all a team, “1-50-1”:  one District, fifty Clubs, and one TEAM. We will get through this together. Please stay safe.
Kindest regards,
Ellie Patterson
District Governor