Even with massive obstacles, when it comes to supporting our community, Blue Bell Rotarians have lots of stamina. Give us a daunting situation and we will double down. Read about the work we are doing in the community to bring relief to our neighbors who have been impacted by Covid-19.

Even with massive obstacles, when it comes to supporting our community, Blue Bell Rotarians have lots of stamina. Give us a daunting situation, and we will double down. In March of 2020, we began responding to the initial impact of the pandemic—collecting funds from members to provide grocery certificates for families in need, fulfill Interfaith Housing Alliance’s Wish List, and deliver grocery gift cards to Boys and Girls Club of Ambler.  Then, reality hit. As we grasped with how big this was going to be, two dozen Rotarians participated in a 6-week planning process led by Peter Jones and Wendy Axelrod. We looked at the anticipated long-term effects on our community, especially regarding family life, education, careers, business owners, and elders in isolation. We identified where our values, skills, and talents could make the biggest and sustainable difference. To accomplish our goals, we launched new partnerships and identified many beneficiaries we had not worked with previously.

With much more to unfold in the months ahead, this is a sampling of what our three COVID-19 Response teams are addressing:

Team # 1. Led by Teal Mercer. Life skills and vocational mentoring for young adults as they move into independent lives, leaving the child welfare system (partnering with Delta Family Services), and supporting our Veterans who are part of Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). 

Team #2. Led by Michael Brookshire. Intending to provide Elder wellness support with several unique approaches, including live plant project with elders, a Club authored book of inspiration and humor for each resident, an ongoing one-on-one buddy program with Rotarians, and a large whiteboard to provide ever-changing inspirational statements located in a prime location of the elder residence facility (partnering with Silver Stream).  

Team #3-Led by Ron Smith.  A far-reaching countywide response. Enlist many of the 29 Rotary Clubs in Montgomery county to work with us on strengthening our Safety Net of non-profits who support those families with insufficient resources (partnering with BuxMont Collaborative and HealthSpark); help shrink the digital divide by providing internet service to families with young children who cannot afford it (partnering with Montgomery Intermediary Unit for Early Learning Program); provide Educational and Support programs for owners of small businesses (partnering with Montgomery County Community College).    

During the month of October, as our plans move into actions, we will be learning the names of young adults hoping to become prepared for a new world of adulthood; veterans whose families are excited to see them successfully navigate their next vocation; families who are equipped with the proper digital tools to educate their children at home; business owners who have support for their struggling businesses; elders who feel more connected to the larger community; and Directors of local Non-Profits helping to secure our safety net. They will all touch our hearts. Over the next 18 months, our Club’s impact will increase immensely, and the work of the Blue Bell Rotary Club will reach new levels. 

(We thank our team members:  Rusty Beardsley, Lisa Miller, Tom Wynn, Dale Rubinkam, Elana  Sickels, Natalia  Griga, Bruce Dearnley, Heather Morgan, Leigh DeTato, Kim Nguyen, Angelo DeVita, John Forde, Andy Johanson, Leilani  Katz, Sherry, Frances Liao, Bill Messerschmidt, Joanne Messerschmidt, Jon Stolpe, Dave Sargent, Celeste Schwartz, Kent Conway,  Dina Corrado and others members who are participating in this COVID-19 Response effort)