WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHERNick Frankle Picture.jpg

In a few short months our world has changed.  The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every one of us.  We are concerned about our families, our friends and our local communities.  As Rotarians, we are concerned about the global community. 

We each have our own stories of how the pandemic has affected us.  I have been “sheltered in place” since the middle of March.  The highlight of the week has become a trip to the grocery store.   I have also found time to take care of projects I had been putting off; stay in close touch with family and reaching out to friends.  Business calls are no longer just about business. We have become interested in the well-being of those around us.

The economies of our communities and our world is in a state of chaos. The downturn resulting from the pandemic has had its largest impact on those who can least afford it – especially small businesses whose lack of raw materials and customers is forcing many to close their doors impacting not just the business owners but also their employees. 

As members of the Rotary Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM), now is the time when we ask what we can do as individuals, as Rotary Clubs and as Rotary worldwide to help stabilize the communities in which we live.

The Rotary Foundation has taken actions that make it easier for us to assist those affected by the pandemic.  The Foundation has transferred Three Million Dollars (up from the originally anounced $1 million) from the World Fund to the Disaster Response Fund with the stipulation that it be used for COVID-19 response efforts.  In addition,

·       Districts can use district grant funds to support activities like the purchase of thermometers, masks, etc.

·       Districts can use contingency funds from an open district grant or repurpose previously planned activities for a COVID-19 response.

·       COVID-19 related expenses incurred since 15 March 2020 can be reimbursed through the 2020-21 district grants.

·        If your community needs medical equipment, Global grants are an excellent way to respond effectively to COVID-19,  to pay for these expensive items.

·       The requirement for 30% financing by the international partner has been waived for any new global grant that addresses COVID-19.

·       The Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Grants allows Districts to apply for up to $25,000 at a time, subject to funding,  to respond to local disasters. 

As RAGM members, we have experience responding to economic challenges in our local community.   Are we encouraging people in our community to purchase from their local small business? Are there businesses that need financial support that we can provide through our microfinance or other funding partnerships?  Can we use our knowledge to help struggling businesses adapt to the current challenges by finding innovative ways to present their products and services or integrate new ones?

Share your ideas, your experiences, and your challenges on the RAGM Facebook Page.  Send your stories or your need to assistance to info@ragm.org so that we can post on our website and include in our newsletter.  Reach out to RAGM membership for help.  You may be surprised by the support you receive.  

Most of all, pay attention to the medical advice you are receiving locally.   Stay Well!  Stand ready to help.  Make a Difference.

Nick Frankle
District Governor RY 2016-17
Rotary District 5240
Phone: 805.685.6672 x1120
Cell: 805.402.6303
Email: nickdg1617@earthlink.net
A proud member of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise