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2020 was a year of adaptability for many organizations, and Rotary District 5020 was no exception. Last year, the organization had just received a $5,000 grant from Coastal Community Credit Union to fund a conference speaker when the event had to be canceled due to COVID-19. Rather than return the money, the two organizations worked together to create a new plan that would double the impact of the original $5,000 and target pandemic relief in Island communities.

Under the new plan, Rotary District 5020 split the $5,000 into five separate $1,000 grants dedicated to helping local clubs deliver COVID-19 related aid. Individual Island-based Rotary chapters could apply for a grant as long as they were able to double the money by adding their own $1,000 to the total. The Rotary Club of Campbell River, Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise, Rotary Club of Parksville AM, Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside and Rotary Club of Nanaimo Daybreak successfully applied for funds.

The Parksville funds helped refurnish the Words on Wheels (WOW) bus, while the Qualicum Beach chapter supported the Mount Arrowsmith Salvation Army Food Bank. The Rotary Club of Nanaimo Oceanside helped the Nanaimo Toy Drive adapt to pandemic challenges. The Nanaimo Daybreak chapter put the funds toward playground equipment for programs affected by COVID-19. In Campbell River, the Rotary club supplied Personal Protection Equipment to local community organizations.

“These funds have helped support numerous citizens and organizations adapt to COVID 19, keeping them safe and assisting community organizations to continue to provide needed services during the pandemic,” said Ken Hammer, Nanaimo Daybreak Rotarian. “Rotary clubs on Vancouver Island have always appreciated working with Coastal Community Credit Union to serve our communities.”

The Credit Union is equally appreciative of the ability to work together with local organizations to extend the reach of its community programs. “Being there for our communities and supporting people at risk is part of our DNA as a co-operative,” said Kristin Hocking, Community Experience Specialist for Coastal Community. “Joining with Rotary District 5020 to support pandemic relief was a perfect fit with our initiatives to help Islanders recover from the challenges of the past year.”

Pictured Left to Right: Mike Holyk, Daybreak Rotary, Greg Scott, Coastal Community, and Ken Hammer, Daybreak Rotary