The Bonds Meadow Rotary Club traditionally donates about $500 per year to The Shepherd’s Staff, a Christian outreach nonprofit.
But this year, in light of the community’s increased need from the coronavirus pandemic, the club surprised them with a $12,340 donation.
“We thought if there’s ever a time to really support and do absolutely everything that we possibly can for local organizations, we wanted to do that,” said President Dana Rogers as he presented the check via video meeting to The Shepherd’s Staff Executive Director Brenda Meadows.
The charitable organization does not receive any local, state or federal government funding. Just in the final two weeks of March, their requests for financial assistance rose 15%. Meadows said the numbers for April will be even higher.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Meadows said. “The one thing that you guys don’t get to see, that we get to see, is the direct difference that this makes.
“When someone is sitting in your office and they don’t have clothes and they don’t have a house and their kids are unable to get to school because of some situations that are having in their lives. And the next week, you see that young lady sitting there who had four kids and they were all in their pajamas living in the van, finding a job working in the management position in the community. And having their lives to turn totally around. It is something that is very hard for for us to portray to the community. But this is incredible.”
The donation will help with some of the revenue that has been lost as fundraisers are canceled or postponed.
The Bonds Meadow Rotary Club formed about 25 years ago, and is named after the area near their first meeting location at the old airport inn. They have done philanthropy as close to home as the schools of Westminster and as far away as Tanzania and parts of India. They meet every Tuesday.
The Shepherd’s Staff was formed out of a desire to bring together the charitable efforts of many churches in the Westminster area. The organization focuses on giving help in areas where there is no duplication of services. They aid in a variety of ways to help their clients keep their heads above water. Meadows said they often serve those who can’t get help anywhere else because they do not meet guidelines for certain grants or programs.