Notes from the Governor
People of Action,
Over the last month we have witnessed clubs across our district in the midst of the pandemic rise to the occasion and support their club members and communities alike. In this addition of the newsletter you will read stories about how clubs are embracing technology and are staying connected.
In the last couple of weeks, I have had the privilege to attend club Zoom meetings, listen to our Zone leaders speak on important Rotary International initiatives, connect with amazing Rotarians across the globe in places like India, Australia and the Caribbean, and host our weekly virtual lunch and learns.

It has been astounding to me how many new member inductions have taken place over the internet and how District 7610 continues to grow despite our mandate to stay home. However, we are not only growing, we are doing. Clubs are continuing community service efforts by packing and delivering meals to those most in need, providing financial support to worthy causes that are fighting COVID-19 near our homes, and supporting students who are home schooling. Week by week clubs are adapting to our new reality, putting procedures and plans in place to stay productive during the spring and possibly summer, while developing phone trees to check on and care for members. Our mission of Service Above Self endures.

As I write this, some of us have just celebrated Passover and some of us will be celebrating Good Friday and Easter later this week. Both are the celebrations of good over evil, of liberation. In due time, we too will be liberated from the tyranny of this virus and we too will be celebrating at communal meals. However, for now, we will be in fellowship and service through social media, phone calls, and virtual meetings.

In the near-term, this will be our way of life; distanced but together. Continuing to be People of Action.

YIRS,
In This Issue
  • Reaching Out Without Touching
  • Beam Me Up
  • Gloucester Continues Community Support
  • Zoom Wining and Dining
  • For District and Club Leaders
  • Hosting a Zoom Meeting
  • Zooming Along
  • Great Falls Partners With Business
  • ShelterBox in a Coronavirus World
  • New Members
Reaching Out Without Touching
By DGN Patricia Borowski, Bailey's Crossroads
What you need to consider about Club communications during Social Distancing
 
As Rotary Leaders, we need to keep Rotary front-&-center before and with our members. This offers a sense of normalcy, showing that the caring and engagement of Rotary is still there for and supporting them.
 
However, doing so is a multi-pronged process. The following are some of leading points to consider when putting your Rotary Club’s plan in place (developed from the experience of fellow-Rotarians & an excellent resource articles)
Establish a Calling-Tree.  Divide your membership list among your Board members. Have them call each member on their list weekly or no less frequently than every other week. This is a CARE-Check to determine how hey and their family are managing.  Do they need anything? Share your experiences. Tell them what is coming up at the club. Share some humor.  Also, ask members to be sure all their contact information is up to date and complete. If they have not included an email address in the past OR have opted out of receiving emails, encourage them to reconsider that.  Most importantly, if you get no answer after a couple of calls, use other forms of follow up (drop a written note) to ascertain their status. 
Keep up your email communications .  It is best if you convert all club newsletters & communications to email & smart phone formats. In these times, receiving less paper is safer. Don’t worry if these newsletters are a bit longer. These give another level of connection with the spirit and feel of our fellowship in times where we can’t be physically together. Include some local news and keep them up to date on COVID-19 safety precautions.
  Use telephone and video conferences .  The business of the club must move forward. The District has offered to all Rotary Clubs the use of the District’s Ring Central system for both phone and video conferencing. Please contact Valeria Butler, District Administrative Assistant (Valerie Butler admin7610@rotary7610.org ) to get details and methods.
Advance planning is still needed .  You still need to plan out your club’s different meeting needs, especially if you are using the District system. Add variety of method used for these meetings. Include an agenda for each one. Keep them between 40-minutes to no more than 60-minutes. Even with video conferencing, people’s attention wains more easily. You may use a phone conference call for smaller committee meetings, and video conferencing for larger meetings. Clubs meeting can and are being done via videoing conference. Keep your normal format, as much as possible.
Beginning your video conferencing. “Practice makes perfect,” and so it is with video conferencing. Start by testing this format with your officers. Then test the service with your full board. Finally, launch it to/with the member meetings.  One week before the scheduled meeting, advise members you will be using video conferencing.  Be sure to send the link for the meeting along with instructions of how members execute the application that allows the link for the meeting-session to operate. This should include a link to the HOW-TO instructions of the service that will be used. You can even offer a practice run session a day before the meeting to help familiarize members with the different function “icons” so that  they know how to turn-on their computer video camera to be seen, turn on/off their mic, keeping it off until they are speaking, and using the CHAT section to ask questions, if the group is large enough. If you do it at your regular meetings, do it for your video meeting…ring the bell, say the pledge, tell people in your meeting notice what the song of the day will be and say the 4-way test.
Manners matter . Just as there are manners in the way we act during in-person meetings, so too are there manners with video conferencing. Encourage members to engage in your video conferencing, reminding people to be presentable. Avoid having the light coming from directly behind you because your image will appear as a dark faceless outline. Don’t have the light come from directly over your head, again because of the shades it creates and you may also appear to have a halo. Participants should be just as attentive online, as they are during a meeting. Members should ask other family members NOT to be interrupted and to manage household pets &/or children during the meeting session. Please mute your own microphone when you are not actually speaking. Avoid multi-tasking. Yes, we can see if you are eating, typing, answering a phone call or speaking to others during the video meeting.
Be sure you manage the video meeting, as much as you would manage an in-person meeting…  queuing people for asking questions and for speaking time. Bring forward those members that are being passive so that they can be heard as well. Guest speakers need to be dynamic. Learn ahead of time how to share scenes on your video conferencing so that your speakers may use their PP slides. Have a   practice run 10-minutes ahead of every video meeting with speakers to be sure everything is working.
Keep attendance & more. No, Rotary is not bringing back mandatory attendance. Rather, during these times, it is important to know who is not participating       so that you can check on them to assure all is well. Think about taping your club meetings and posting the link on your club Facebook page. Be sure to share the  access information for the weekly District video conferencing sessions (TH @ Noon). There is also weekly Zone 33 video conference meetings. Don’t forget to   search RI YouTube posting as well. These are additional sources of information and Rotary updates. 
Some other great tips!    Also, be aware that there are different access protocols for Apple vs. MC, computers vs. tablets vs. smart phone access. Additional   information can be found at https://it.cornell.edu/zoom                                         
 
How to serve, now.  Rotary is people of action which has meant a lot of physical engagement. This might not be as possible as before. However, we need to see what we can do. For example, while schools may not open again until next school year, high school seniors still need scholarship money. Work with your high school to see how your club still stays involved. Call local food banks and nonprofit direct service groups to see what they need, figuring out how to deliver these. It could be money donations OR ordering online with the delivery address being that of the organization. 

Keep Rotary Alive. You don’t want our communities or members to think we’ve forgotten about them, because they will then forget about Rotary – and renewing their memberships. Also, many of our members are doing service on their own. Gather those acts together and into a Rotary presence.
Rosslyn - Fort Myer Rotary Beams into the Electronic Future!
By Richard Garrison, Rosslyn - Fort Myer
Our club made a successful transition from the traditional restaurant lunch format to Zoom, the new frontier of gatherings. This required a substantial amount of patience and tutoring, but on March 31, 7 members participated also inducted a new member by video, with one member attending by audio only, via telephone.  We are working with our members at the Jefferson Senior living center to get them Zoom so they can join in. 

The time of our meeting is shifted from noon to 6:30 PM, which enabled our members to eat their lunch off-camera.

The video gatherings thus far started with feeling our way through the technology, but a regular meeting format was maintained, with the bell, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the 4-Way test. Members wore the same outfits we wore to our in-person meetings. During the business portion of the meeting, we voted to support a meals program for Arlington school children, received a report on an African student we have assisted, and voted to fund 100 face masks and 10 visors that a member found online. Decorum was maintained by raising hands, and having the member with audio-only use the mute button to reduce static. It is pleasant to again see the familiar, and also the new, faces and hear the voices.  Although we missed the fine buffet of our pre-crisis venue, especially the excellent pecan pie, this is a Plan B which clearly worked for us.
If the pandemic eases and confinement and social distancing is no longer necessary before the end of July, the Rosslyn - Fort Myer Club cordially invites guests to our scenic meeting place, the Vantage Restaurant high above Arlington on the top floor of the Key Bridge Holiday Inn. Since the Holiday Inn is scheduled for destruction and redevelopment in August we encourage you to take advantage if a window of opportunity opens. No decision yet on our future meeting venue, but pecan pies are being sampled at possible locations.
Gloucester Continues Community Support
By Lisa Jackson, President, Gloucester
The Gloucester Club will be holding their board meeting next week via conference call. Some board members are limited to virtual channels. Main topic of discussion is the 2020-2021 District Grant recipient as applications are due June 1!

As we are in the process of awarding benefactor donations, we mailed a donation to Bay Aging as we are keeping social distance! Recipient’s Mike Norvell response below. We will post to our website and Facebook page as will he to the Bay Aging social media! Feel free to edit as needed.

Good morning Lisa, Henry and all the members of the Gloucester Rotary Club,

Thank you for your support of Bay Aging’s services. Your generous donation of $300 will help people live healthier, more independent lives.
Bay Aging is a non-profit that has been serving seniors and people with disabilities throughout the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula for over forty years. From serving hundreds of thousands of meals to home bound seniors to helping nursing home-eligible veterans to continue living in their own homes, Bay Aging’s programs and services directly impact over 23,000 lives annually.
 
Of course, we cannot, and did not, do it alone. Bay Aging is proud of its many community partners for the successes. You are the catalyst for driving the improvements Bay Aging staff makes in people’s lives.
 
We applaud the Gloucester Rotary Club’s commitment to the community and look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. Once things start returning to normal, we would love to attend a meeting to express our appreciation in person and update the club on Bay Aging’s programs, services and community impacts.
Michael B. Norvell
Vice President of Development and Marketing 
Zoom Wining and Dining
By Dave Borowski, District PI Chair, Bailey's Crossroads
  During the COVID-19 pandemic the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads has experimented with alternative ways of communicating and interacting with members. We’ve held several weekly meetings that included visiting Rotarians and the virtual induction of two new members. Our club also held our monthly board meeting via Zoom and we were able to conduct important club business. At the direction of our club president we established a telephone tree where board members would call five club members weekly to check on their needs.

On a lighter note, we held a Wine O’Clock party with dinner and a wine pairing all done virtually via Zoom. It was great fun and offered members a bit of a diversion from the headlines.

We are always investigating other ways to serve club members and the community.
To District Leaders, Club Presidents and President-elects:
By Jim Kirkpatrick, District Communications Chair, West Springfield
We are now using RingCentral for all teleconferencing needs. You previously were invited to activate a RingCentral account and many of you are already scheduling meetings. Because this is a new capability for some, here are some tips that will help you get started. Note: The original RingCentral Invitation was only good for 48 hours. If you did not establish an account and still want to, let me know and I'll re-send your invitation.
-- RingCentral uses Zoom for video teleconferencing, which may be confusing to those who already have a Zoom account. Their branded version of Zoom is called RingCentral Meetings and has all the features of a stand-alone Zoom account.
-- Only those people scheduling and hosting a teleconference meeting need a RingCentral account. Meeting participants will receive a message from whomever scheduled the meeting that will contain a link and password to join the meeting at the scheduled date and time. All you do is click on the link and wait for the meeting screen to be displayed.
-- Once you have activated an account, you need to install the RingCentral app on your computer or mobile device in order to schedule meetings and invite participants. This capability will be based on whatever Calendar function you're using, such as Outlook, Google or iCal. When you schedule a meeting, it will appear on your calendar in the form of a message (with link) that you will send to your desired participants.
-- When you schedule a meeting, you will be asked to set the Date and Time; Duration of the meeting; Video (select "on" for the host and "off" for the participants, since each participant will choose whether they want video); Audio Options (select "Telephone and Internet Audio"); Meeting Options (suggest you select "Enable joining before host" as a minimum); and what online Calendar you use. 


Security Alert: You must select "Require meeting password" under Meeting Options to protect your meeting from malicious intrusions and unwanted tampering. The password you select will appear in the invitation message to your participants and they will be prompted to enter it before joining the meeting.  
 


-- If you already have an account with Zoom, GoToMeeting or another provider that you're using and happy with, feel free to keep doing so. 
-- Whether you're hosting or participating in a RingCentral meeting, you should click on the link ahead of time as a test to make sure the video and audio are working properly on your computer or mobile device. Remember that if you have a problem joining a meeting with video, the invitation will always have a backup phone number and password you can use to join by phone with audio only.
If you need help getting started, or if you experienced any problems using RingCentral as either a meeting host or participant, please contact me. Thanks!
  Jim Kirkpatrick, District Communications Officer  
   jkirkpa104@aol.com   
  703-866-7078
Best Practices for Zoom Meeting Hosts
By DGN Patricia Borowski, Bailey's Crossroads
  1. Some Zoom calls have experienced unwanted disruptor participants focused on taking over meeting in several ways. Zoom is now increasing their focus on higher security.
  2. To increase your security protections, be sure to give each Zoom meeting, even if recurring, a unique Zoom Meeting number.
  3. Be sure that the host is dealing with the permissions in the meeting. For example, set it up so that questions from the group are ONLY directed to the host & NOT the group as a whole. Also, the host will be the only one to handle screen sharing with the speaker. Otherwise, screen sharing for the group as a whole should be turned-off. 
  4. You can still announce your meeting schedule and subject ahead of time on your club Facebook, website, create a hash tag for them and advise the members will receive the individual unique meeting connection information by email either the night before or day of the call via email. 
  5. If something happens that is not part of the planned meeting (sudden screen takeover, white board flashing OR even music/talking disturbances that don’t go ahead even when the host asks (via chat message/verbally) – then they should end the call.
  6. Last, for Zoom meetings just centered around a special speakers, you may consider doing a one-on-one Zoom interview just among speaker,host & club interviewer which is recorded. Then send that out to your members. 
Zooming Along
ByMark Cooke, Gainesville-Haymarket

We are continuing to meet as a club and committees using Zoom. This morning we had about 15 in the meeting. We are finding this not only helpful, but enjoyable and encouraging! We are going to focus on project updates, happy talk, and one classification talk by a member each week.
Great Falls Partners with Business
By Eileen Curtis, President, Great Falls
The Great Falls Rotary Club just partnered with a business to post a full page ad in the Connection Newspapers listing the retail businesses in our community; hopefully encouraging our residents to support. We have also been sending out news about the CARES Act and a business briefing yesterday with Senator Kaine. We have begun a matching fund to raise money for Cornerstones, the large non-profit here helping feed the hungry and provide shelter. We're trying to buddy with seniors for groceries and phone calls. We've checked with our Reston Hospital and hear that they need N95 masks but that they don't expect a spike until May.
ShelterBox in a Coronavirus World
By Kerry Murray,President, ShelterBox, USA
As coronavirus spreads around the globe, governments have imposed quarantines of unprecedented scale to flatten the curve. These include sealing borders and travel restrictions, recommendations on handwashing, practicing social-distancing, and orders to remain at home. But what if you don’t have a home, access to clean water, or a local support network to begin with?

Coronavirus has the potential to ravage the world’s most vulnerable: the tens of millions of refugees and internally displaced people. The virus knows no boundaries and is reaching the furthest parts of our world.

Now, more than ever, the work at ShelterBox is critically important. Millions of displaced families are living in overcrowded settlements where sanitation is poor, social distancing is impossible, and access to basic services is severely limited. Our work to provide families with individual tents, where refugees can self-isolate, as well as our distributions of essential supplies: including cooking equipment, sleeping mats, and water purification, better enable families to have an environment to stay healthier and may reduce the risk of infection during an outbreak.

Prior to the coronavirus global quarantines, ShelterBox was already scaling our emergency shelter projects in response to the widespread displacement in Idlib, Syria where one million people have been displaced in the northwest since December 2019. Even though Syria has reported nine cases of coronavirus infection at the time of this writing, it is likely the outbreak will come to Idlib, and maybe already has arrived. If and when the outbreak accelerates, it will become catastrophic . As health organizations prepare for the worst, ShelterBox’s humanitarian distributions are ongoing in Syria and we remain committed to this lifesaving work.
Our concern is that refugee camps could be an incubator for coronavirus infections, spreading quickly from family to family, camp to camp, with horrific consequences. ShelterBox is working to find new ways to tackle the challenges and adapt to changing circumstances.

We are implementing safety and mitigation procedures with our distribution partners including: increasing security during distributions, conducting smaller daily distributions, and implementing the use of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, and sanitizer). ShelterBox remains committed to doing all we can to provide emergency shelter to displaced families and to mitigate the risks in reaching these beneficiaries, ensuring we do no harm.

The coronavirus pandemic is a constant reminder of the fundamental importance of home to our health and wellbeing. With much of the world overwhelmed by the infection rate and lethality of coronavirus, help to the most vulnerable is of paramount concern for all of us at ShelterBox.

To find out more or to donate to ShelterBox, please visit www.ShelterBoxUSA.org .

We will continue to keep you posted on our work. We are also here to support you. As many Rotary club events and meetings are moving online, we want to provide opportunities for you to remain connected as a club, as a community and globally as people of action. Please visit the ShelterBox Rotary Action Toolkit online for ideas and resources for your club.

Yours In Rotary Service,

Kerri Murray 
President, ShelterBox USA 
New Members
These are the new members added in March 2020