From Our District Governor
Stay Connected and Strong in These Challenging Times

DG Jim and grand child Peyton

DG Jim and grand child Peyton

Hello Rotarians,

I pray you and your families are safe and well. These are truly challenging times. Last week was my wedding anniversary and obviously the celebratory trip I had planned was cancelled, and the Atlanta Fish Market. where I proposed to Donna and we have our annual celebration dinner, was closed. Thank the Lord for Waffle House, where I was able to order two All American breakfasts to go to bring home to start the day with breakfast in bed. And our anniversary highlight was not the umbrella drinks while watching the sunset across the ocean that was planned, but playing a new board game, Sequence.

In a similar situation, we will not be meeting together in Jekyll Island for District Conference later this month; we will look forward instead to a day of district celebration in mid-June in Columbus. And many if not all of our clubs are finding truly innovative ways to demonstrate our District theme for this year, Connect With Rotary. Internet meetings, conference calls, social media, etc. are all being used in new and exciting ways for Rotary connection. And the Rotary Club of Thomasville has shared their special approach to being sure they're all connected during this difficult time.

I have particularly enjoyed the copies of the club newsletters that I have received. Many clubs have added a Fifth Way to the Four Way Test, “Is it fun for all concerned?” and virtually all of the newsletters have included a good dose of humor. The March 29 newsletter from the Rotary Club of LaGrange was a good example - here's a short excerpt: PROGRAM on Wednesday, March 25th will feature a program on Social Distancing brought to us by our Director of Common Sense. We will break into small groups of one (or two in case you and your spouse are members) The meeting place has been changed to your own homes.

I have also been encouraged this week by the stories I have heard about clubs and individual Rotarians reaching out to make a difference in their communities even while staying safe in their homes. Many of you have made donations to local food banks or reached out to local first responders with a meal or other means of thanks. Stone Mountain's Chris Brand and FODAC have been supporting hospitals with needed medical equipment they had on hand. And you'll also read here about places where global grant projects that were already underway have had an unintended benefit in the communities they are serving.

And our hearts were touched and our prayers turned to the Rotary Club of Albany this week in the loss of First Lady Nancy Stephenson from complications of the coronavirus. Please keep President John and his sons Mark and Will in your prayers as they mourn Nancy's loss, and the whole community of Albany and Dougherty County as they have been particularly hard hit by the virus.

One of the new concepts, at least for me, that has been introduced in the fight to mitigate the Coronavirus is Social Distancing. I have certainly been trying to do that as much as possible. But there are times these days when I just can’t help myself.

I believe this historic, though not totally unprecedented, global tragedy will bring a greater appreciation to us for the lives we have, and our friends, family, and those things that are truly important. As we shelter at home, stay connected with each other through all the amazing means we have at hand today. And keep looking out for each other and our community. Let us know if you need help - or you see a need in the community.

Take care,

DG Jim

Posted by Jim Squire
April 4, 2020


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