The Traveling Bell

The traveling bell has raised almost $3,000 to combat polio.

The traveling bell has raised almost $3,000 to combat polio.

Norm Noble

There is a bell that has been traveling around the world, starting in Canada, then England, followed by Scotland, the USA, and soon it will visit Thailand. It is an unusual bell in that it doesn’t ring. It just travels.

The idea for this traveling bell started with the Rotary Club of Sooke (Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada) in 2007. It has been to some amazing places around the world since then.

The purpose of the traveling bell is to raise funds for Rotary’s PolioPlus® whose goal is to eradicate polio from throughout the world. Its fundraising method is quite simple: each day the bell is held by a Rotary Club before sending it on its way costs the club $1. Why a bell, you ask? Perhaps it’s for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for polio.

Accompanying the bell is a diary that records its journey from place to place. The beginning took it around Vancouver Island, residing at each Rotary Club approximately 45 days before being sent to the next club. Progress was sometimes slow, being set aside for one reason or another, but always financially supported by the $1-a-day commitment. One club kept it for 803 days, primarily because there was difficulty in locating a club in the area of England where the traveler from Canada relocated. Then it made its way throughout England before heading north to Scotland. And then it was off to Pennsylvania where it lay fallow in a closet for three years “lonely and forgotten,” as the Rotary Club of Lancaster put it. From there, it made it to Potomac, Maryland, before being presented to the Rotary Club of Sun Lakes (AZ) in late October 2015.

By mid-November 2015, it will be presented to the Rotary Club of Bangkok by a member of the Sun Lakes Rotary Club who will be visiting his son in Thailand.

Since its beginning in 2007, the bell has recorded almost $3,000 to combat polio.