What inspired the Rotary Club of Fort Collins to donate 3,000 masks to FCRM during COVID-19?

At a Rotary meeting, I heard about the challenges the Mission was facing as a result of COVID-19. Many in our community were in need of masks, but those experiencing homelessness were especially vulnerable. We immediately started working on a Rotary District Grant to bring in masks for the Mission, Homeward Alliance and the Northside Aztlan Community Center. The Rotary Club of Fort Collins donated $500, our Rotary district matched $500 and we were able to donate 3,000 masks.

How have you seen FCRM make a difference in the Northern Colorado community?

One important thing I’ve seen FCRM do is make sure that people experiencing homelessness are truly seen and not ignored. It’s important to include them in local conversations and consider them as community members with their own needs, rather than as “nuisances.” It keeps the community proactively involved and see solutions as beneficial to the community at large.

How has your involvement with FCRM impacted you personally?

In the early days of the pandemic, I was feeling overwhelmed and helpless. It was easy to become focused on what my family and I had “lost” due to the sudden changes in our lives. Being a part of something bigger reminded me—as it always does—of what really matters.

-Robin Steele, Member of Rotary Club of Fort Collins

What inspired the Fort Collins Foothills Rotary Club to give $2,500 to FCRM during COVID-19?

We heard about the increased need for supplies and food to support the collaborative efforts in the community to address the homeless population’s needs. We know that with the drastic changes in employment status as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an increase in homelessness and hunger. Our club’s vision is to improve lives, and it’s our privilege to be of service to our community during this global health crisis.

What have you learned about homelessness in Fort Collins since getting involved with the Mission?

Most people do not choose to be homeless and want to be productive contributors to their community. The pandemic has increased the number of people who are experiencing homelessness, and we need to collaborate as a community to provide services to help people with a hand-up. The Mission not only provides temporary shelter and food for the homeless population, it also provides help in transitioning individuals to acquire job skills that allow them to return to self-sufficiency.

-Karen Morgan, President of Fort Collins Foothills Rotary Club

This post is a part of October’s Changing Lives Newsletter. In this month’s edition, The Ripple Effect, you’ll learn about how our NLP Graduates are giving back through the Peer Leader Program.