Somerville, NJ Lodge News

NJ WEST CENTRAL
District No. 5860

Exhalted Ruler's April 2020 Message

Elkdom in a Time of Social Distancing

In these unprecedented times, all of us are doing things which we never thought we’d do before. Our normal life, work and Elk routines have been fundamentally altered by COVID-19. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t do what we did before, it just means how we do it will be different.

Previously, we pretty much had a bead on what we would do as Elks and how we would do it. Those traditions now are, for the most part, impossible under new social distancing conditions. Then we were told by both the State of New Jersey and State Elks Association that the Lodges must be closed until further notice to help stem the spread of the virus.

But this does not mean we are powerless to help ourselves and others in our communities. Our Chef developed a plan to provide a soup kitchen for our food insecure members and your officers secured permission for the Lodge to be used for this very limited purpose.

Unfortunately, our usual fundraising events have had to be cancelled, but for the most part, efforts will be made to reschedule them wherever possible to later dates in the year, once this viral storm has passed. So I ask the Committee Chairs to keep their plans current and maintain communications with their various vendors and other community supporters for the eventual return to a “new” normal, once these social distancing requirements are relaxed.

While our members cannot use the Lounge or Lodge for meetings or fellowship we can still help our community while out of quarters. Essentially, our usual ability to jointly and publicly harness our efforts collectively as Elks has been forestalled by health and legal considerations, requiring us to stay home to stay safe. Our ventures into the community are severely limited, but not entirely so. Some things that can help realize our commitment to do good might be to make arrangements with local hospitals to donate blood while on your infrequent trips to the store for essentials. Likewise, we as a group could harness our caring attitude by making individual donations to our local food banks for those whose need is greater than our own, but have fewer resources to meet them. Let us also not neglect our fellow members by not only keeping them in our thoughts and prayers, but contacting them by phone to maintain friendships and your Elk connection.

In this way we can still demonstrate that Elks Care, Elks Share. Your Board Members and I will continue to identify other ways that we might contribute in this new environment and work with both Elk and other charitable and governmental entities to find opportunities for our members to make their charitable impact felt in the community. Please share with me any opportunities for service that you become aware of that might benefit from participation by or from our members.

Fraternally (but from a safe, virtual distance).

Peter


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