Join Rotary International to End Polio Now and Make History
I come from a family of Rotarians. My grandpas on both sides of the family were Rotary Club members and my dad was the president of his local chapter for a short time. My family benefited a lot by my dad's association with the Rotary Club. From meeting other families in our area to hosting foreign exchange students and attending service projects, we grew up with a global mindset and a spirit of giving back.
Rotary international is dedicated to volunteerism, high ethical standards, and good will. When they reached out and asked if I would help them raise awareness on behalf of their efforts to end Polio, it was a no brainer. I recall attending many a Rotary Club fundraising project with my family growing up.
In 1988, the year I spent in Argentina as a Rotary foreign exchange student, the Rotary Club raised $247M for PolioPlus, doubling their goal of $120M. In that same year, 125 countries were polio-endemic and today, thanks in part to Rotary’s efforts, only three remain endemic. Yes! You read that right. THREE countries! Only these polio-endemic countries stand between worldwide eradication. We are “this close” to ending polio—only the second human disease ever to be eradicated in modern history. However, if we don’t finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed by polio in the next 40 years. The disease could even spread to countries that are now polio-free, virtually being a threat to any child in the world. We've made pretty amazing progress, but there are also significantly staggering negative consequences if we don’t #EndPolioNow, right?
From some advocacy work I've done on global healthcare initiatives in Africa with ONE.org and the United Nations Foundations' Shot@Life campaign, I know what a positive difference vaccinations can make in the lives of the world's poorest, especially when the vaccine is for a preventable disease like Polio. Access is the key!
How You Can Help End Polio
Whenever I read informative posts, raising awareness about a cause, the first question I have is: "What can I do to help?" If you're anything like me and knowing how close we are to wiping out this disease for good, you are asking the same question. Well, here's a few different ways you can make a difference:
- Show your support. Visit EndPolio.org and take part in the World’s Biggest Commercial in a show of solidarity and raise awareness for the complete eradication of polio. People around the world are uploading their photo making a “this close” gesture to join the commercial, and sharing the news with their blogs and social networks to make sure that we finish the fight to eradicate this terrible—and completely preventable —disease.
- Generate Social Media Buzz. Tweet using the hashtag #EndPolioWBC and including the EndPolio.org URL to help raise awareness.
- Give financially. Visit EndPolio.org and make a donation.
- Share the good news with your community. Inform your readers that we are "this close" to ending polio, encourage them to join the World's Biggest Commercial and make history, and share these actions items with them for ways in which they, too, can help.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr.