Fellow ROC Leaders: Thanks for your help!

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On Jan. 1, 2020, I started my first three-year term as the Central Region Director of the ROC Association. Quickly, COVID-19 changed the format of how we meet, providing an early challenge and an educational opportunity. Despite the challenges provided by COVID-19, being a ROC Association Director and serving on the ROC USA Board of Directors representing my region has been a wonderful experience so far.

On the 29th of July, President Paul Bradley, Kim Capen, Lorie Cahill and I met to go over the Better Together Grant applications. Earlier this year, we announced a $15,000 budget, which would allow us to approve about eight grants. As we went through all of the applications and tried picking which communities would receive funding, we realized this was not going to be an easy task. We went through them all and started to whittle them down when Paul said we could be generous this year. So we said OK, not knowing exactly what that meant. The Directors said, “It would be nice if we could give to all of them that have complete applications.”

Paul added up the total if we awarded all grants and said, “Let’s do it!” We were shocked, excited, thrilled. We approved more than $55,000 in grants. As Directors, we collectively decided to call the people and tell them firsthand that their grant application was approved. We followed up with an email confirming it.

On a personal level, I’ve been struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and PTSD flare ups from wearing a mask. My depression was starting to affect me. As I’m sure many of you can relate, these last six months have been so stressful. But calling the recipients, sharing the good news with them and talking about their lives and their communities brought me out of my funk. To know that I got to be part of doing some good by helping others during these times was an amazing experience. I felt such joy calling the communities in my region.

You guys, we need to pull together during these times and be thankful that we have the privilege and opportunity to live in a ROC. We can all be the rock that someone else needs during this time. For me, talking to the grant winners on the phone and getting to share the news that they would be receiving money to help their communities helped me! I didn’t even have to have a bill for therapy – my fellow ROC leaders helped me and for that I say THANK YOU.

We need to pull together. Once a month, we plan on having Better Together virtual calls again. The first call is Saturday, Sept. 5th at noon Eastern. Please join us and we can get your expert advice on issues. Let’s all help each other!

Looking forward to working with you all.