New Friendships During COVID: The 75+ Ogunquit Rotary Calling Committee in Action.
 
While Mainers are accustomed to cold days and snowy winters, the onset of COVID-19 created new levels of isolation and concern, especially for senior citizens.  Starting in late March of 2020, some Ogunquit Rotary Club members realized they could provide a valuable community service by checking on the welfare of local seniors.  
 
Member John Clancy coordinated with Lt. Buttrick from the Ogunquit Police Department to determine who should be called and Rotary sprang into action with about 15 Ogunquit Rotarians each calling a dozen 75+ senior citizens each week.  In many cases, the conversations provided practical resources, like where to get masks (Rotary provides them at the Chamber of Commerce) and how to get food delivery.  Over time, Rotarians have spoken with folks so often that friendships have developed, and the calls are uplifting and helpful to both the seniors and the Rotarians. 
 
Member Ed Seppa speaks regularly with a man who came to America from Nazi Germany.  They talk about his Eastern European heritage, his thoughts on politics today in America, and his appreciation for Dr. Nirav Shah’s leadership of the Maine CDC.  In addition to interesting conversation, Ed has benefited in another way, “he told me about a Polish restaurant and deli in Portland where I was able to get some genuine Polish kielbasa for a recipe I knew of” Ed happily reported.  For almost a year now, the friendship has continued to thrive and both participants express sincere appreciation for the calls.
 
The calling continues, and if you or someone you know would like to be on the call list for check-ins, please contact John Clancy at: jclancy2009@gmail.com