Rotary TEAM Cares

It started with a dream…a germ of an idea…shared with Club Service Chair Bobbi Stephens. Could we put together a team of Club members who could focus on caring for each other and caring for the community – all from their computers, kitchens, offices, and homes – and do it for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Yes!,” exclaimed Bobbi “I would be happy to lead such an initiative!”

And so it was born…Rotary TEAM Cares…volunteer Club members caring for each other and for members of the community…supporting the people on the front lines, supporting the elderly, supporting the homeless, supporting the community…while supporting each other.

While imagining the idea, sharing the dream, and creating a response, Rotarian Karen Hansen worked with Stephens and Rotarian Sally Pessein to collect ideas and projects to spread caring support throughout the community.

Responding to the needs of our community

During a Rotary meeting on March 19, Past President Rick Hansen led a discussion about the impacts of the Coronavirus upon club members and the community. “What can we do to respond to the mental and physical needs of our own members and the needs of our community as we move through this difficult time?”

Reaching Out to Members

Each member of the Club was contacted through email or a phone call to check on themselves and their families.

Zoom Meetings

ZOOM meetings were established, and members were trained in the use of the digital conferencing application.

Card Writing Campaign

Members coordinated a card-writing campaign to write letters of encouragement and appreciation to over 100 residents and health care workers in a local nursing center.

Donating Blood

When they heard that the local blood bank was critically short of blood, Rotarians signed up to give blood at Cascade Blood Bank.

Donating Unused Budget Monies

Under the leadership of President Kevin Bates, Rotary Board members pieced together unused budget monies at their March 26, 2020 meeting to provide $2,000 to each of six non-profit, community organizations to assist with services related to the COVID-19 outbreak:

In addition, the Board approved a donation of an additional $1,000 to the Graham South Hill Food Bank.

Sewing Face Masks

Rotarian Tammy Montevideo, members, and friends coordinated an effort to sew over 100 face masks to give to distribute to patients and staff at Community Health Care, a medical organization serving more than 46,000 patients each year at its six medical and four dental clinics in the Pierce County area. Staff in three of those clinics treat or test for COVID-19 and three clinics see non-COVID related patients. The majority of the patients are low income or members of underserved populations. 

Lisa Moczynski made and delivered 30 masks to the Washington Soldiers Home in Orting.

Click on an image below to view larger.

Seamstress Stephanie Plumber

Seamstress Stephanie Plumber was responsible for the majority of the masks “I first started sewing my senior year of high school for an elective credit. But I didn’t really sew a lot until my first daughter was born in 2014. I started my own little shop because sewing brings me a true sense of joy. Not to mention some calmness to my busy life. I usually get to do it in the still of the night when everyone is asleep, and I am okay with that. It’s truly my time!

I was really excited to join together with Tammy and the South Hill Rotary Club to donate these masks because it felt like the right thing to do. I wish I could do more. If these masks help keep people healthy then I feel a little grateful I get to help in my own way. The time spent making them is well worth it.”

    Helping Fund A Local Food Pantry

    A funding mechanism was established to support Hands of Hope, a local organization with a food pantry that supports Puyallup School District families in need. Currently serving over 150 families, Rotarian Patti McMullan and the Emerald Ridge High School Interact students, and members of the Cornerstone Community Church provide food and toiletry items to serve families in need. Following a decision to commit fines and donations from a recent Club meeting, South Hill Rotary Treasurer Don Miller presented a check for $1,885 to Patty McMullan to assist with this program. Click on an image below to view larger.

    Home Cooked Meals

    Following a tip from President-Elect Suzanne Johnston, Rotary TEAM Cares assembled a home-cooked meal for 70 members of the local community. Home-cooked spaghetti, crisp salad, rolls, fresh-baked cookies, and bottles of water were delivered to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Puyallup to serve to dinner guests. Click on an image below to view larger.

    And the work goes on

    Caring for each other and caring for the community…South Hill Rotarians working together, remaining hopeful in the face of a Coronavirus Pandemic, believing in themselves, and keeping strong for others while serving the community.

    The Rotary TEAM Cares initiative is operated through the Puyallup South Hill Rotary Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. Further information or questions may be directed to the Club by email