Covid restrictions limited Rotary Club of Ojai’s usual in-person involvement with youth while it dramatically increased basic needs among babies and young people in the Ojai Valley.  Rotary Club of Ojai partnered with community organizations to meet some of those needs, utilizing D5240 district grants to double their relief efforts.

As a result of on-going COVID stressors, low-income families in Ojai and surrounding towns faced unprecedented need for free diapers and wipes.  Secure Beginnings, a non-profit organization in the Ojai Valley that seeks to nurture healthy relationships for families with children 0-5, operates a Diaper Bank in Ojai twice a month.   Pre-Covid, their Diaper Bank served 13 families a month.  Now it provides diapers to over 400 babies a month. Rotary Club of Ojai helped meet this dramatic increase in need by donating $2000 for baby wipes, as well as Rotarian volunteers to help staff at the Diaper Bank twice a month during the spring.

In Fall, 2021, Ojai Unified School District school staff referred an increased number of students from very impoverished families to OUSD Family Fund.  These students and families face significant food insecurity and/or are having difficulty getting to school or work due to financial constraints.  Rotary Club of Ojai provided $3571 in grocery and gas cards, to be given to families who have been referred to existing county and state resources but are not yet receiving services, or who cannot receive services due to mitigating circumstances.

It is gratifying to see our contributions to The Rotary Foundation Annual Program Fund be used for serious needs in our own communities as well as around the world.