Rotarian Linda King helps Barranca Mesa Elementary students participating in Friday’s Purple Pinky Project. Photo by Ed Van Eeckhout
Barranca Mesa Elementary students show off their purple pinkies during Friday’s recognition of Rotary’s World Polio Day. Photo by Ed Van Eeckhout
In honor of Rotary International’s World Polio Day, members from the Rotary Club of Los Alamos volunteered Friday at local elementary schools to engage students in the Purple Pinky Project.
For a $1 donation, roughly the cost of a polio vaccine, students were given the opportunity to dip their little fingers in Gentian purple dye, just as children do across the globe when they are immunized against polio, a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to paralysis, breathing problems, or even death. The money raised will go directly to Rotary International’s PolioPlus.
In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the CDC, Rotary International has reduced polio cases by 99 percent worldwide since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
Polio has been eradicated in all but two countries worldwide, Pakistan and Afghanistan; Nigeria was declared polio-free earlier this year.
To learn more about Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio, visit www.endpolionow.