March 30, 2020

Rotary leaders in the Rotary Clubs of District 6040 -

First of all, I hope each of you are safe, healthy, and at home.

Rotarians throughout the world, including those of us right here in District 6040 Rotary Clubs, are adjusting to find new ways to connect during this time when in-person connection must be limited.

We are just receiving  the details from Governor Marc Horner concerning the District 6040 Conference scheduled for late April at Lake of the Ozarks.  It was some positive news that the hotel can re-schedule the conference to be held August 21-23.  Hopefully, that is a time when we can all gather, with greater Rotary spirit than ever.  In my own small way, I ask you to support Governor Marc's conference.
In these unprecedented times, some of you have been appropriately asking about the impact on our Shoes for Orphan Souls campaign.  Please allow me to share my current thinking, as this is something I have been reflecting on for some time.

1.  Thank you for your efforts to date this year with our Shoes collection.  These efforts are a strong part of the "brand" for Rotary District 6040.  And we help so many orphan and vulnerable children.

2.  Given that our Rotary Clubs are not meeting in person, and given that many communities are in a state of emergency, or stay-at-home orders, we will postpone our Shoes collection at this time.

3.  From my discussions with Governor Marc, and with my caravan colleagues PDG John Gill and PDG Cassy Venters, we will postpone our Shoes Caravan at this time.  (We had been planning to share the Shoes Caravan would have been held April 23-24, just ahead of the District Conference). 

4.  I have spoken with Rachel Wallis and Scott Collins with Buckner International in Dallas, Texas.  They indicate they have adequate supplies of shoes right now, and would be fine if we postponed.  They encourage us to postpone.  

5.  Since the annual Shoes Roll Call of Clubs would have been held on Saturday, April 25 at the District Conference, we will now have to think of other creative ways to handle the Roll Call, whenever the Shoes campaign is able to be active again.

6.  At this time, though no one can say for certain, I would hope we could have a Shoes Caravan prior to June 30.  Time will tell.

7.  If more time would be needed, I would hope we could have a Shoes Caravan ahead of the new District Conference dates - a caravan on August 20-21.

8.  I was so excited knowing that we were (and will resume to be) headed toward a strong collection this spring.  It was also making me excited about next year's 20th year where I am planning a big effort and big celebration for April 2021.
As always, this is our collective project, and I am happy to receive your creative ideas and input about how to traverse these unprecedented times.  I felt the need to provide some guidance and leadership to you, and I hope this proves helpful and answers your immediate questions.
So hold onto your collected monies, and keep storing those shoes you've collected.  I know we will all look forward to when we can resume these Shoes collection activities, when normal times return.  Our momentum will return.
Thank you and keep up the great work of Rotary.

Larry Lunsford
Your Shoes Cheerleader