Remembering the child in each polio case

Districts around the world are launching PolioPlus societies or reinvigorating their current ones, and the response has been amazing and positive. This initiative allows each district to establish criteria for membership in their society, including a minimum recurring gift, and decide on their own recognition awards and marketing materials.

The Rotary Foundation Trustees are giving districts flexibility to implement this fundraising approach for the PolioPlus Fund in ways that work best in their own regions. A district that establishes a PolioPlus Society is emphasizing the importance of reliable and recurring donations to fulfill our promise to the children of the world.

Recently, news of a fifth case of polio this year was reported in Afghanistan. Whenever I hear the term case, I cannot think of it as a number or a fact — instead, I immediately think about the child. This child (not this case) will now live with polio forever, and their family will now have to support that child in ways they could never imagine.

To me, we should always think about the child, rather than the case number. We need to remember our promise to save each child from this devasting disease. This fifth child may have been a vaccine away from being protected. So we cannot be discouraged in our effort to end polio. A PolioPlus Society is a way to reinvigorate this commitment in your district, club, and members. It takes your small gift to PolioPlus each year to keep making progress toward our top humanitarian priority: eradicating polio.

I’m honored to serve as the Global PolioPlus Society chair and am ready to assist you in any way I can. Contact me at

I encourage you to explore the new PolioPlus Society toolkit, where you’ll find materials to help you establish or energize a PolioPlus Society. As we do this work, I’ll constantly be reminding the world about each child who is affected. I hope you’ll join me.

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Bob Taylor, End Polio Now Coordinator and Member of Alma Nebraska Rotary Club | May. 13, 2024