On June 4th, Brookline Rotary will begin a series of speakers we are calling "One World/One Rotary", whereby we will visit with a fellow Rotarian from a different country.  It is at this unique time in history, with the entire globe experiencing the same pandemic, that our membership in Rotary International, presents us with a singular opportunity to hear from other, like minded individuals, experiencing a similar threat in a different place.  As we have learned through our work with polio and with COVID 19,  illnesses are but a plane ride away.  We are all best served by knowing what is happening elsewhere and hearing about best practices wherever they may occur.  We would not be members in Rotary, if we did not believe in joining forces to solve issues and in helping others.
 
We have asked each speaker to address: the situation in their country, how their government/communities are handling the situation, and what their Rotary clubs are doing to stay true to our mission of service during this time of pandemic.  Please check our calendar on the website for the list of speakers and the country they represent.  Also, please share this with your friends and family.  All are welcome. 
 
 
It was family coming home this past Thursday when long time members, Susan Howards and Rita McNally, joined us to talk about Susan's local, cable show entitled, The Safety Net, and the topic of domestic violence in the days of COVID 19.  Both Susan and Rita reinforced Governor Baker's concern for the increased incidence of domestic violence.  Brookline has an established anti-domestic violence program that has ramped up in recent weeks to try to address the increased incidences. 
See this presentation and others on the Brookline Rotary YouTube Channel
Key phone numbers from the Brookline Domestic Violence Round Table Resource Guide During COVID-19 (updated 4/13/20):
 
Debbie Good Miller, Executive Director of Brookline Chamber of Commerce, described the challenging situation facing our local businesses.  Ms. Miller reported that despite the potential of small business loans, all local businesses are struggling.  Here are some considerations when shopping:
 
6 Reasons to Shop Local
1. What Happens in the Community, Stays in the Community
Money spent locally stays in the community. Did you know every dollar spent at an independent business contributes 3 times more money into the local economy compared to money spent at a chain? It does. By shopping local, your money support another local family, maybe your neighbor whose children went to the same school as yours, vs. providing a bonus for a Big Chain executive. 
2. Roots Mean Respect
Local business owners have roots in the community, just like you. Independent business owners tend to make decisions with their community in mind. 
3. Community Involvement
Many local business owners give back to their community and donate to local causes. Is there a local cause that you support? Whether is a school’s sport or performance team trip, senior center or community support program, I bet you’ll find a number of business owners in town that have made donations to the cause. Supporting these businesses helps them support the local causes you are passionate about.   Big Chains are much less likely to offer such support!
4. Local Jobs
Locally-owned businesses create more jobs in the community since they often use other local business such as printers, accountants, lawyers, etc.
5. Better Customer Service
Small local business owners are more likely to go above and beyond for their customers because they are personally invested in their business. Reputation and quality are very important for them.  They truly care about their customers. Big business tend to focus on a national sales plan where you are another number .
6. Better Prices – Yes, Better Prices and Value
Big box stores do not control pricing of their products. They sell products at a suggested rate based on MSRP. Locally owned businesses are more flexible when it comes to pricing their products and will go above and beyond for their customers to find the best value for their money.

 
Brookline Rotary announced donations of $7,000 to the Brookline Food Pantry and $3,000 to the Brookline Safety Net Fund. The grants are to help the organizations respond to dramatically increased utilization caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Increased unemployment and economic stress has led to a six-fold increase in inquiries for assistance to the Brookline Safety Net. The Food Pantry is serving more than twice the number of people and has had to implement at new no-contact home delivery service for people sheltering at home.