On October 24, 2017, Joe and the Rotary Club of Swarthmore participated in World Polio Day by setting up displays around the town to both educate and seek donations for the eradication of polio, Those who donated $3.00 (the cost to vaccinate one child) had their pinkie painted purple. Pictured is Joe and his son in front of one of the displays. The Club has raised thousands of dollars over the past 30 years to help with the polio vaccinations around the world. Today polio is found in only 3 countries: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Polio has no cure. It is a crippling and potentially fatal disease, and children under the age of five are at the greatest risk. While there is no cure, there is prevention. For as little as 70 cents, a child can be protected against this crippling disease for life. The purpose of Purple Pinkie for Polio Day is to twofold: to raise the funds needed to finish the job of eradicating polio, and to raise awareness about the seriousness of this disease, and how we can prevent it. Polio has been eradicated in all but two countries. If polio isn’t eradicated, the world will continue to live under the threat of this crippling disease.
When a child is vaccinated in poorer countries the vaccinator paints indelible purple ink on to the little finger (pinkie) nail of the left hand. Before giving a vaccine this finger is checked to see if that child was recently vaccinated. If the finger is not purple then they can have the vaccine.