A few of you may recall when in 1976, the Teton dam in Southeastern Idaho failed, damaging or destroying about 80 percent of the structures in the small town of Rexburg. Living then as I do now in Salt Lake City, my father invited me to join him and a volunteer group to Rexburg where we helped dig mud out of a basement and otherwise work to salvage a home. As an 11-year-old kid that was a lot of fun. The whole trip took about 24 hours, leaving about 2:00 AM, arriving at dawn, working all day, leaving at dark and returning after midnight. Now, I’m not a big guy. Picture me as an eleven-year-old standing next to a shovel—I wasn’t as tall as the handle and just lifting the empty shovel was a task for me. I’m sure I was of virtually no real help that day, but the experience has come to define my life. I felt so good helping people that day that I promised then I would never miss an opportunity to .serve.
Of course, I have missed many opportunities to help. I was, perhaps, distracted by building a successful finance career, but ever since I was let go from my position as the CFO for a global food and beverage company three years I have focused on channeling the enthusiasm of my youth to do my part to make the world a better place.
Polio has been eradicated in India. The poverty, population, population density, insanitary conditions, etc. led many to believe India would be the last country on earth to do it, but the last case of polio was reported in January 2011 and the country has been polio free ever since.
Envision a world without polio. And keep shoveling. Envision a world where everyone has access to clean water and start shoveling. Envision a world where every child receives a quality education and start shoveling. Envision the world you want to live in and start shoveling.
Envision a world without blindness, where every living person can share in the joy of a sunrise and funny cat videos on YouTube.
Envision a world where few people get cancer, where everyone who does is diagnosed early, and treated successfully. A world where no one dies from cancer.
Envision a world without poverty, where everyone has food to eat, a quality primary and secondary education, and a legitimate opportunity to earn a living.
Envision that world within 30 years. A world that you and your children are likely to see and enjoy. A world your grandchildren will take for granted.
Ending polio will prove once and for all that when we humans combine our God-given talents to solve big world problems in time frames that are relevant to individuals, not just to the human race, there is virtually nothing we can’t do.
The world doesn’t need more believers, the world needs more doers.
You Can Change the World
We Can Change the World
Devin D. Thorpe
September 23, 2016
Polio EGS: $5.5 Billion
First 25 Years Last 5 Years
Global Polio Eradication Initiative
$ Billions Per Year
We Are This Close
• From 400,000 cases per year to
23 cases this year, we’ve
reduced polio cases by over
• 10 million cases of polio have
• 2016 could be—no must be—
the last year for polio
Three Phases of Polio Success
Build Momentum and Support
End Game Strategy
“It always seems