Gary C.K. Huang
Trustee Chair 2019-20
Friends, World Polio Day is this month and we are facing a major challenge. The news out of Afghanistan and Pakistan tells us that we have more work to do. It tells us that polio will not die out quickly or easily.
Most of all, it tells us that we are needed now more than ever. Success will require us to remain steady and show that there is no time limit to our commitment. We are in this to the end, and we will conquer this terrible disease. We will give life back to children and families, and restore hope to communities.
We are fortunate to have great friends in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which continues to match every donation 2-to-1. We have already eradicated wild poliovirus type 2, and type 3 could soon be wiped out. India is polio-free. All of Africa may soon be polio-free.
The most important factor in ending polio forever is you. The people of Afghanistan and Pakistan have faced so much hardship in recent years. Polio is just one more challenge. To them, it could all feel overwhelming. But not to Rotarians. We do not feel overwhelmed. We feel challenged, and, as people of action, we rise to challenges.
In the words of Confucius: “If one is virtuous, one will not be left to stand alone. It is certain that associates of like mind will come and join with one.” In Rotary, we understand these words very well. When we say “Service Above Self,” we take a stand for this virtue. We know that our like-minded brothers and sisters around the world will join us. We have been drawn together by our need to do good in the world.
We can rid the world of a disease forever. And you will be the ones to do it, through your continued commitment and generosity.
Be a part of history! Help us overcome the final hardship, the final challenge. Make your donation at endpolio.org/donate.