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A Caring Community

A Caring Community

A Caring Community

Have you paused for a second to consider how this crazy pandemic could have affected our lives if we did not have such a caring and supportive community? When our world went into lockdown, we suddenly had time to consider what mattered; what really mattered to us as a country, society, and community. T-C Rotary thought about it and quickly decided that we needed to help any way that we could.

It started with our time spent at Foodland cleaning and sanitizing carts so that everyone continued to have access to food.  We then took on the role of delivering groceries to many of those who suddenly found themselves in quarantine. We didn’t stop there though. In June, we pulled together and organized a virtual Stay at Home Gala to raise money for community Covid-19 support. The Gala was a leap of faith because it was something we had never done before, but to our immense relief, the community responded with strong support. The first thing we did with some of the money raised was to allot $10,000 to help address immediate COVID challenges in our community.

One of the first initiatives was to help support Rotarian Jean Lewis-Knight Oliver’s “Village Meals”.   Jean generously purchased, prepared and cooked meals for families who deserved a little break and for families that suddenly found themselves needing a little extra support.  Jean worked in collaboration with St. George’s Anglican Church, BVCS and BVO. Working with them, T-C Rotary helped deliver 250 family meals over 15 weeks, from May through to the beginning of August.

In addition to helping deliver the amazing home cooked meals provided by Rotarian Jean, T-C Rotary purchased and distributed gift cards for Pharmasave and Foodland to many of those who received weekly meals.  Some of the gift cards were shared with The Reverend Dr. Grayhame Bowcott to distribute among the other four community churches with whom he was coordinating. 

Customer Donated Foodbags delivered by Rotarians & BVO

In August when Jean’s epic effort wrapped up, the Ravenna General Store and Blackbird Pie Company answered the call to help by providing main course meals at cost.  In September, a new meal program launched - “A Caring Community”.  This collaborative group consists of volunteers and employees from St. George’s Anglican Church, T-C Rotary, BVCS, BVO, and Foodland.  By mid-October, meals for 120 families had been prepared, cooked, and delivered.   

When students headed back to school this fall, T-C Rotary provided many families with “Back to School Packages” filled with bags of apples, yogurt tubes, cheese strings, milk, granola bars, and reusable “Stasher” bags (needed for “no litter” lunches).  

Items also distributed by Rotary include:

  • masks sewn and donated by both the Lora Bay Social Committee and recently returned Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Sophia Donais;
  • backpacks filled with supplies donated by The United Way and;
  • the “Back to School Hamper Bags” that were purchased by community members who shopped at Foodland.

In total 67 families were helped in some manner through this difficult time.

T-C Rotary has also responded to financial requests from the Meaford Hospital Foundation and Georgian Bay Community School.   Donations were made to purchase PPE for the hospital and for a memory book for the graduates at GBCS. 

This is a story of disparate parts of our community coming together and helping to support each other when times are difficult. Is that not what community is all about?