ROC Association putting ‘Better Together’ into action

The wildfires and floods of 2021 and 2022 started the wheels turning for the ROC Association Directors.

Several ROCs were affected and a few had to evacuate their communities. Personal experience with storm damage and tornado threats in their own communities brought the feelings home. The devastating fire at Bob’s and Jamestown in Lakewood, Wash., on Aug. 7 was the final catalyst.

On Oct. 19, 2023, at their regular monthly Board meeting, the ROC Association directors voted to create a separate fund in their budget to pay for recognition and solidarity with ROCs experiencing disaster, tragedy, or severe loss.  They agreed to put aside $50 from every new ROC membership fee into that fund and they voted to send a small contribution to the Bob’s and Jamestown recovery.

Their thinking was as a member association, ROC Association needs to demonstrate its commitment to the promise of “Better Together” and let members know they are not alone, they are part of a family of support and concern.

“ROC Association is here to help ALL residents of ALL communities.”

– Kelly Jensen, West Region Director

As it turns out, the ROC USA Board thought the Association’s decision was one worth supporting. 

On Aug. 23, 2023 at the ROC USA Board meeting in Chicago, with 19 ROC leaders from all over the country in attendance, the ROC USA Directors voted to contribute $100,000 to the ROC Association Member Support and Disaster Relief Fund.

ROC USA Board Chair Andrea Levere said the decision by Association Directors to establish a dedicated fund for member support and disaster relief is a clear testament to the broader community of ROCs’ commitment to the principle of Better Together.

“In times of adversity, it’s not just about weathering the storm, but about how we stand together, united in support and solidarity,” Levere said. “Each contribution, each act of compassion, strengthens the bonds of our ROC family and reaffirms that no one walks alone.”

ROC Association has created a policy to govern the use and implementation of the fund. Its purpose statement reads, “As a member association, ROC Association is committed to demonstrating by its actions, the promise of ‘Better Together.’ The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent practice and procedure for reaching out to Member ROCs, and, when appropriate, to individual ROC leaders and their family members, when a community tragedy, natural disaster, severe hardship, or other similar incident occurs. The Association will, to the best of its ability, acknowledge and offer sympathy and support, and, when appropriate, a financial contribution or token of recognition. ROC Association wants to support member ROCs in their time of need and to be fair, equitable and consistent.”

“ROC Association is here to help ALL residents of ALL communities. The way to become better will always be working together,” said Kelly Jensen, ROC Association Director for Mountain West Region. “We are and always will be here to listen, lend a helping hand, and if possible, some financial assistance. Please reach out to us whenever you need. We can’t become stronger if we’re not ‘Better Together.’”