July 17, 2020 

Working closely with District 5020, we applied for a COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Rotary International. The Grant needed to specifically help the community....so we selected Helpline House.

The Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island was awarded a $25,000 Grant

The effort was spearheaded by RCBI Rotarian Don Mannino. When applying for the grant, Don wanted to choose a non-profit organization deeply committed to assisting people through these difficult times…both on and off the island. He gravitated immediately to Helpline House.

Helpline House is a community non-profit agency that has for many years provided an umbrella of social services to help Bainbridge Islanders and their neighbors meet essential needs. Services are provided cost-free, regardless of income. Needs are defined broadly and not always financial. Any community member in crisis or in need of consultation is welcome.

They have responded to the pandemic among vulnerable populations by building their capacity to address the most pressing needs. These include supporting low-income households, older adults, people with disabilities and others most vulnerable to the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Maria Metzler, Executive Director of Helpline says, “……households who have never been to Helpline or haven't been in over two years really need the assistance right now.We are truly happy they feel comfortable to come. This grant, along with the continued support from Rotary can be truly life-changing for many families.”

Rotary’s response for Maria didn’t stop at handing out a check. A call to action by Dave Christiansen, Chair of the BI Rotary Helping Hands Committee, brought an overwhelming response from the club. Every Monday and Thursday you will see Rotary Members at Helpline House packing boxes, moving containers and sorting food.

Thanks to the support of Rotary International and the “never say no” push from Don Mannino, our passion for serving is truly making a difference in peoples lives.