The Hinesville Rotary and Bradwell Institute Interact Club kicked off the Pennies for Polio drive March 30, hoping to top last year’s nearly $2,000 collected to fight the crippling disease worldwide.
The drive started Monday. For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected against polio for life. Overall, the annual number of polio cases has plummeted by more than 99 percent since Rotary International’s initiative was launched in 1988, when polio infected about 350,000 children a year. More than two billion children have been immunized in 122 countries, preventing five million cases of paralysis and 250,000 deaths.
The drive collects pennies at Ineract and Rotary meetings. Anyone can donate pennies and get into the fight.
Last year, the BI Interact Club collected $1,908.
"Students will be hanging signs, organizing collection materials, and finalizing a game plan to ensure that this year will be even bigger and better than last year," Interact advisor Rebecca Wood said.
Rotary club members worldwide have contributed more than $1 billion and many hours to the polio eradication effort.
"Rotarians all over the world lead the way in ending polio that still threatens children. The Hinesville Rotary and BI Interact Club are committed to this worldwide fight to end polio now," Rotary President Michelle Ricketson said.