A Shot for a Smile
As a Rotarian of the Norwin, Pa., club, I have teamed up with a Rotarian in the India club along with Federal Express to eradicate polio. This project has been ongoing for the past four years. I have collected used stuffed animals and sent them over to India.
Deepak, the Rotarian from India, set up stations around the slum areas to get the parents to bring their children to clinics for their polio immunizations. In the past, it was next to impossible to get the parents to bring in their children. As soon as they found out that their kids would get a stuffed animal, they came.
The project started off with shipping 18 boxes of stuffed animals. This year we are shipping 48 boxes, which amount to more than 3,000 animals. Fed Ex has partnered with me to send our animals for free. We have touched and helped so many children in four years that it is amazing. The photos of these children receiving their animals are so touching. I cried my eyes out. I vowed to Deepak that I will not stop until every child has a smile on their face and a warm and fuzzy friend to have and hold.
Deepak and I have become very close through emails and a few phone calls. We exchange photos, but hope that we shall meet in person one day. This was the ultimate reason that I became a Rotarian, to help someone (many children) that I will never meet, but have changed their lives. It is a very heartfelt project that I love from the bottom of my heart.