Posted by Charlie Wasser
Rotarians are used to the familiar phrase “we are this close” meaning that worldwide eradication of polio will happen soon. In case you are wondering if something is stopping us from reaching the eradication goal and the phrase is no longer used for that reason, not at all.
So far in 2021, in the two endemic countries, Afghanistan has had only 1 case of Wild Polio Virus 1 (WPV1) and Pakistan has had 1 case. WPV1 is the only wild virus still found in the natural state.
To continue the eradication process and to make sure the infrastructure built to end polio remains useful for future pandemics like Covid will take money. One of the best fundraisers clubs have used is “Pints for Polio.” Unfortunately, with the quarantining we have all had to live through, only a couple of clubs ran a “Pints for Polio” in September and October. The district ran the campaign with the PolioPlus themed Christmas cards which brought in funds but we are behind our goals.
To meet the fundraising goals this year, we are asking that if your club can manage it, please plan a “Pints for Polio” type event before June 30.
Another way to raise funds are the Mothers Day themed PolioPlus cards now in production. When I used this idea in another district, we brought in $22,000 each year during the 2 years the program ran. The cards will sell for $10.00 each and are ready for distribution right now. Any Rotarian that buys or sells cards will be eligible to receive Paul Harris points for their next level Paul Harris Fellow. With families separated from loved ones in the hospital or senior facilities.
because of covid, clubs could purchase cards and send them on to the women that may otherwise be alone on Mothers Day. If you are sponsoring an Interact or Rotaract club, ask the members to sell the cards. Both Interactors and Rotaractors, by their nature, enjoy working with Rotarians on service and fundraising projects.
RIP Holger mentioned that the covid vaccine is free to us but could have cost as much as $25.00. He suggested we all donate that $25.00 to PolioPlus.
If I may assist in any way with your fundraising, I am available to come to your Rotary club, social club, church, etc to make a presentation on polio and suggest attendees consider making a donation.