Interact Club thanked for efforts
Published 9:58 am Tuesday, July 21, 2015
In the United States, polio was eradicated through vaccinations in the late 1950s. In other parts of the world, however, the disease still runs rampant today — crippling people and giving them severely limited mobility.
This past school year, the students of the Dowagiac Union High School Rotary Interact Club decided to help those stricken with the disease, and recently, they were commended for their efforts.
Through frozen pie sales, donations and more, the Interact Club raised $1,500 for Wheels Of Hope, a non-profit organization that provides wheelchairs to polio victims in developing nations. Their donation was able to fund 10 wheelchairs for victims in Nigeria.
“The students thought that it was something worthwhile that would really make a difference in someone’s life,” said Rotary Interact Club Co-Adviser Brenda Reagan.
When the group decided to raise the funds, they also decided to take their understanding of the crippling effects of polio even further.
For a fundraising effort in October, several students confined themselves to wheelchairs during lunchtime while they collected donations, allowing them to better understand the lives of polio victims. That experience, Reagan said, netted around $300.
The majority of the money, Reagan explained, came from the sale of frozen pies, which raised nearly $1000 for the group.
On July 9, the Interact Club received an email and a certificate of recognition from Wheels Of Hope thanking them for their contribution.
“Ten wheelchairs is a huge gift,” the email started. “And knowing 10 lives will be forever changed because of [the students’] gifts of mobility should make them feel very proud.”
Reagan said that the Interact Club will consider donating money toward Wheels Of Hope next year and that they will also consider becoming involved with the Smile Train organization, a charity that provides surgeries for children with cleft lips and palates.