March 27, 2020 — In an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of Rotary & non-Rotary volunteers have launched an initiative to provide high risk individuals in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia with essential grocery and medicine delivery. The Covid-19 Rotary Response team is currently expanding its reach by opening this initiative to all Rotary Clubs members and volunteers, as well as non-Rotarian volunteers, looking to join the effort.

The initiative started when Rotarians from District 7620 joined together to discuss how to appropriately respond to the pandemic and to provide help to those in need. In a mere 72 hours, the team mobilized 100+ volunteers from 5 states and 2 provinces in Canada and has secured a partnership with two companies — RingCentral and BaseCamp — to provide its technology to support the new ‘hotline’ service. The team has expanded its effort to include a GoFundMe campaign, where 100% of funds raised will go to provide free prescription fulfillment for those unable to afford medicine. In the first 24-hours, the team has already raised $1200+ USD.

Rotary District 7620 Governor, Barton Goldenberg notes: “All 1.2 million Rotarians in 200 countries around the world are devoted to serving those in need. The Covid-19 Rotary Response is an outstanding example of Rotary in action. I strongly encourage all Rotarians and non-Rotarians to volunteer with this initiative in a way that works for you. I also encourage local government agencies and other service organizations to collaborate with our initiative.”

How it Works
Between 9 am-6 pm EST, any high-risk individual (elderly, disabled, or severely injured person) unable to leave their home can call 240-781-6586 to coordinate grocery and medicine pick-up.

Interested volunteers and supporters are encouraged to:
● Share the hotline number with people in need: 240-781-6586
● Sign up to volunteer for ground support (pickups and deliveries) or remote support (participation in the call center, logistics, marketing).
● Donate to the GoFundMe campaign
● Follow and share the efforts of the team on Instagram and Facebook

Coordinators of this project are committed to the health and safety of the Ground Support volunteers. All necessary precautions, including social distancing and personal protective gear, will be taken to ensure Rotary supports communities without risk of spreading.

About Rotary
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

Contact

For Volunteer & Partnership Inquiries
Nomie Hamid, Lead of Covid-19 Rotary Response
Cell: (443) 851-1118
rotary.covid19esponse@gmail.com

For Media Inquiries
Mahrukh Tahir (MT), Public Relations Lead, Covid-19 Rotary Response
Cell: (202) 870-0986
rotary.covid19response@gmail.com