Pandemic Response Fund

Thank you to all the Rotarians and friends of Rotary who made it possible for RCAA to support the most vulnerable in our community.

The Pandemic Response Fund allocated $61,793 to twelve non-profits in Washtenaw County to reduce the impact of COVID on vulnerable populations. Rotarians were on lockdown, but we found a way to provide “Service above Self”.

In mid-April 2020, the Board of Directors approved the Disaster Response Committee as proposed by the International Humanitarian Projects Committee. RCAA realized the economic impact of COVID on many non-profits in Washtenaw County. Planning began immediately for the Pandemic Response Fund.

The Board of Directors reallocated $11,000 for the Pandemic Response Fund from cancelled events and projects and approved a Fundraising Campaign from May 1 – May 31, 2020. The Disaster Response Committee made weekly progress reports from the Podium and in Constant Contact announcements as well as the Harpoon. Thanks to the generous donations of many Rotarians and friends of Rotary, the Committee raised almost $56,000 and a $6000 matching grant from an anonymous donor yielded almost $62,000.

The Disaster Response Team had 3 subcommittees:
PPE/Healthcare/ Frontline Worker Support to identify these needs in the community
Human Services developed a brief grant application for nonprofit organizations affected by COVID
Fundraising to organize the campaign, encourage donors and make it happen in one month!

The majority of funds were disbursed in May-June 2020 and final disbursements occurred in January, 2021. Below is an Allocations Chart and a Pandemic Response Fund Agency Description and Fund Utilization document with a brief description of all the nonprofits in the community who received funds and how the Pandemic Response funds were utilized by the agency.

Thank you to the RCAA Board, our generous members and the Disaster Response Committee who worked tirelessly to achieve our goals.

RCAA Disaster Response Committee:
Dan Lewan – Chairperson
Mary Avrakotos
Barbara Bach
Sal Barbatano
Andrea Bare
Tim Johnson
Eric Lipson
Vic Rosenberg
Ashish Sarkar
Norma Sarkar
Peg Talburtt
Caroline Sanders (Ypsilanti Rotary)

Pandemic Response Fund Allocations Chart


Pandemic Response Fund Agency Description and Fund Utilization

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County at the Delonis Center provides temporary shelter and connections to services in a safe and caring environment and works with the community to allocate the necessary resources to meet the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness. They serve nearly 1200 adults experiencing homelessness each year in Washtenaw County. They are housed at the Robert J. Delonis Center in downtown Ann Arbor and they operate 24 hours, 365 days a year.

SAWC received $7,500 in May 2020 for non-contact thermometers and Staff Support for 5 sites due to COVID. SAWC received an additional $5,000 in January 2021 to offset additional costs for staff support and operation of multiple sites due to COVID.

Safe House

SafeHouse received $3,000 In May 2020 for assistance with overtime staffing due to increased services for domestic violence and sexual assault. SafeHouse received an additional $3,000 in January 2021 to assist with additional service demands sustained after the COVID lockdown.

SafeHouse Center provides support for those impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault.SafeHouse provides free and confidential services for any person victimized that lives or works in Washtenaw County. Services include emergency shelter for those in danger of being hurt or killed, counseling, legal advocacy, support groups, and especially, hope.

SOS Community Services – Food Pantry

SOS Community Services provides resources for families through four fundamental ways. Services include providing housing, The SOS Resource Center, programs for children and parents, and support for families in public housing.

SOS received $5000 in May 2000 for the Food Pantry which is a part of the SOS Resource Center. Food demands have increased significantly because of COVID. Families can access the pantry once per week to supplement their nutritional needs.

Peace Neighborhood Center

Peace Neighborhood Center is located in west Ann Arbor and provides Family and Youth service programs. Parents can receive Family Enrichment Programs and Case Management. Youth services include after-school programs for elementary and middle school students; ninth grade academy, college and career prep club and Summer Camp for elementary and middle school students.

Peace Center received $5000 in May 2020 to provide vulnerable youth with online activities and tutoring during the summer months at the main center and two public housing satellite centers. This effort is to strengthen student learning which has been very challenging with virtual learning.

Packard Health

Packard Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), meeting all federal requirements to offer health care services to people who are uninsured, isolated, and medically vulnerable. Packard Health is also a Patient-Centered Medical Home, as designated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Packard Health received $5000 funding in late May 2020 for 105 Home BP Monitoring units for low income, medically vulnerable clients to assist in management of Hypertension through telehealth services.

Corner Health Center

The Corner offers a full range of health care, mental health, and supportive services for young people (ages 12-25) as they transition to adulthood. Corner staff—including physicians, nurses, a psychiatrist, social workers, and health educators—are well versed in young people’s unique needs. They provide services to young people regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay for care. The Corner is located in downtown Ypsilanti.

The Corner received $5000 in late May 2020 to fund a Summer Nutrition Program to provide Health Education and access to fresh fruits and vegetables for 50 clients.

Avalon Housing

For over 25 years, Avalon Housing has been Washtenaw County’s leading provider of Supportive Housing. Supportive housing is a combination of affordable housing and support services that helps people achieve housing stability and lead healthier, productive lives. Avalon provides supportive housing for people who have been chronically homeless and who have behavioral and physical health challenges, including mental illness and substance use disorders.

In June 2020, Avalon received $5000 to assist with the additional staffing costs and client support services required due to COVID, including food deliveries and essentials like diapers and baby formula as public transportation options were not available. 

Hope Clinic

Hope Clinic strives to make lives better by providing free care for the whole person with Medicial, Dental, Food and Care + Prayer. Hope Clinics are in Ypsilanti and Westland.

Hope Clinic received $5000 in June 2020 to construct a cooling shelter outside of the Ypsilanti facility for elderly clients so they would have a place to sit and be sheltered from the sun while waiting to enter the clinic for services.

Pune Metro Rotary Club, India Global Grant

In cooperation with Ann Arbor North, Pune Metro Club of India obtained a Rotary International global grant to provide COVID relief to Detroit and surrounding counties.

$3000 was donated to this Grant in June 2020. $1500 was given to Food Gatherers of Washtenaw County and $1500 was donated to Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels.

Family Learning Institute

FLI has a small professional staff and approximately 200 volunteers who provide free tutoring to elementary school children from low-income families that are performing below grade level. FLI students are with one volunteer trained tutor for the entire school year, this one-to-one student to tutor program is the key to success. The primary location is 1954 S. Industrial Dr. with after school online outreach programs.

FLI received $8780 in August 2020 to fund additional virtual tutoring for 30 students for 32 sessions in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti public schools. This donation will be utilized for providing free virtual tutoring for students in need. The tutoring program will be individualized, structured to each students’ needs and consist of literacy and writing instruction. It will be developed and overseen by teacher professionals and implemented by trained volunteers. These on-line learning opportunities will address academic support and assist in better preparing students for their virtual or in person learning with their school. Also, some time during each session will be for parents to ask questions about their child’s learning or assignments.

VA Ann Arbor Employees Association

This group is composed of VA staff who work with veterans daily and have established a non-profit organization. The VA provides for health care needs but cannot address some of the personal needs of veterans. This group does fundraising to assist veterans with food, personal items, cleaning supplies and gift cards for clothing. The group has identified veterans facing homelessness and those who have lost benefits and/or employment through referrals from Hire MI Vet, VA case workers and VA employees.

The VA Ann Arbor Employees Association received $500 in January 2021 to support their efforts from December 2020 – August 2021. They also hold food drives at the VA hospital and clinics to collect food and necessary items.