Los Alamos School Children Get Pinkies Painted Purple To Help Eradicate Polio

The Purple Pinkie Project is the Rotary Club effort to eradicate Polio. Courtesy/Rotary


Volunteers through the Rotary Club of Los Alamos will visit local elementary schools at lunch Monday, Oct. 22 to raise money for polio eradication.

In 1985, Rotary International began raising funds in an effort to eliminate Polio worldwide. Polio has not been a problem in the United States for many years, but this is not the case in many developing countries. By partnering with the World Health Organization and other government and private groups, Rotary International has achieved a 99 percent reduction of Polio worldwide.

The Rotary Club of Los Alamos has been participating in this effort from the beginning. Presently, through the Purple Pinkie Project, students in the Los Alamos Public School District can be part of the effort to eradicate Polio.

Since $1 is the estimated cost to immunize one child from polio, local students are being encouraged to bring $1 or more to help with this cause. Each time a student puts $1 in the Purple Pinkie Bucket, his or her pinkie will be painted with Gentian Violet as a symbol of one child immunized from Polio. Of course, more than one finger may be painted if more than $1 is donated!

Gentian Violet is a topical dye used by Rotary International to mark children after they have been immunized from Polio. This prevents double dosage. It is widely used by nursing mothers and in the mouths of infants and so it is very safe. Its safety has been confirmed by doctors and pharmacists. However, Gentian Violet is brilliantly purple and will leave the child’s finger colored for a day or two. By partnering with Rotary, local students will become part of the defense against polio, and their purple pinkie will be their own personal reminder of one more child saved from the polio virus.

The Purple Pinkie Project will be promoted within the schools for several weeks leading up to Purple Pinkie Day. It’s expected that more than 1,200 students will participate.


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