Submitted by Kirk Reed, PDG
 
On April 3, 2020 Rotary District 5500 issued a challenge to local Rotary clubs in Southern Arizona: "You can receive a gift of $500 today from District 5500 if you want to help your communities and neighbors in times of crisis."

Well, the clubs immediately responded AND at a rapid pace. The Rotary Clubs of District 5500 are truly PEOPLE OF ACTION and demonstrated compassion, caring and kindness as they moved quickly to extend help in their communities. Look what they did.

Ten Rotary clubs decided to invest in their local food banks and pantries coming from Benson, Coolidge, Globe, Green Valley, Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke Sunrise, Sierra Vista, Superior and Valle Verde. Each of these food banks, when adequately supplied, provides daily life support for families. Rotarians said, "We can help."

Eleven Rotary clubs remembered their most vulnerable neighbors and donated to local missions, foundations, community centers,  schools and youth programs coming from the Rotary clubs of Bisbee, Casas Adobes,  Dove Mountain, Fort Yuma, Marana, Mountain Empire (Sonoita-Patagonia), Pantano, Rincon, SaddleBrooke, Sierra Vista Sunrise, and Yuma.  These investments by local Rotary clubs will impact thousands of lives.

Eleven Rotary clubs filled a need of providing urgently needed supplies by making or purchasing supplies: face masks, latex gloves, sanitizer, wipes, toilet paper, disposable surgical robes and more. These supplies came from Casa Grande Daybreak, Douglas, Nogales, Rio Rico, San Luis Frontera, Sierra Vista West, Somerton, Tucson, Tucson Presidio, Vail, Yuma Crossing.

The Kino Rotary club said thank you to first responders and emergency room staff by delivering lunches and dinners to hospitals, police and firefighters.

Two Rotary clubs connected kids and families to online learning by purchasing hot spots and data plans. These actions came from Tubac and Old Pueblo clubs.

Wilcox Rotary made sure cultural activities continue by empowering the Wilcox Historic Theatre to offer art lessons, concerts and STEM program online.

Two Rotary clubs helped keep shelters open by responding to a sewer system crisis at a local shelter that caused 99 women and children to be evacuated and by providing support for overstressed staff at a domestic violence shelter for women and children. These clubs were Sierra Vista South and Yuma Foothills.

Two clubs recognized the need to care for homeless and unaccompanied youth making it possible for them to graduate. These clubs were Catalina (Tucson) and Tucson Sunrise.