Rotarians around the world, including the Salt Spring Island Rotary Club, have all worked hard and been very good this year. We deserve lots and lots of presents.
We only want one gift, dear Santa; help to prevent all children in the world from suffering from polio.
Santa, you know we have worked hard to stop polio since 1985 and we have been 99 % successful!
We saved more than 10 million children from crippling paralysis. We immunised over 2.5 billion children. We eradicated polio in all but 3 countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria & Pakistan.
Our progress to the end goal, though, is at risk when the polio virus in these countries is imported to formerly polio free countries.
Imagine, Santa, our horror with the news on October 24th, 2013, World Polio Day, when we learned of the outbreak of polio in Syria. Syria had been polio free since 1999. The civil war in Syria meant many children under the age of 2 were not vaccinated against polio.
Now the polio virus is spreading in 2 new areas of Syria. There is great fear in the surrounding countries as Syrians flee from war–torn areas and seek refuge wherever they can.
This is a global health emergency requiring Rotary and its partners to immediately mobilize a massive campaign for polio vaccination. Over 20 million children in 7 countries and territories in the Middle East need to be vaccinated in the next 6 months.
Polio Anywhere is a Threat Everywhere
Do you know Santa, in your travels around the world, especially in areas where polio is endemic, that you could pick up the polio virus on the sole of your boots and bring it back to us? Imagine one small child on our island, in our province or our country who has not been vaccinated coming into contact with you and contracting this disease?
If all the children in the world, that last 1%, were vaccinated against polio, this would never happen. Polio would be gone forever. Until that happens, polio anywhere is a threat everywhere.
End Polio Now
Rotary International, whose motto is Service Above Self, began PolioPlus in 1985 to eradicate polio around the world. In 1988, our progress resulted in a partnership with national governments, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention called the Global Initiative to Eradicate Polio (GIEP).
Rotary has contributed more than US$1 billion to GIEP, secured over US$9 billion from donor governments, including Canada, and attracted the financial support of many corporations, international development banks, public and private charitable foundations.
Our most notable support is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who so respect the work of Rotary to eradicate polio that they donate huge amounts to our campaign in the form of matching grants.
So, Santa, please grant our wish and ask your friends and relatives to donate to help Rotary completely eradicate polio in the world. Not one child can be missed.
Thank you, Santa
The Rotary Club of Salt Spring Island
HOW TO DONATE TO POLIOPLUS – you will receive a tax receipt
Locally by Cheque: The Salt Spring Island Rotary Club Foundation
Box 513, Ganges PO,
Salt Spring Island V8K 2W2
Nationally by Cheque: The Rotary Foundation (Canada)
PO BOX 4090, STN A,
Toronto, ON M5W 0E9
Online with a Credit Card:
Rotary International www.rotary.org (specify Polio Plus, then US or Canadian currency)