Monthly Archives: April 2015

It Gets Personal

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You cannot really appreciate an organization such as the March of Dimes until someone close to you needs it.

Premature births is the organization’s most recent focus. And that brings me to the reason I have a personal interest in the March of Dimes. Our one and only great grandchild (thus far) is a March of Dimes baby.

I will never forget that frantic phone call in August 2006 from my stepson, asking for our prayers. It was our granddaughter’s first pregnancy, she was in distress, and there was a high risk of losing either or both mom and baby.

Thank God, both came through that horrific ordeal. At 26 weeks, the baby weighed only 1 pound and 8 ounces. As you can see in the photo, her little foot easily slipped into her daddy’s wedding ring. She would spend the first 110 days of her life in the hospital. Thank God again, for the March of Dimes.

Today, just a few months shy of her ninth birthday, this special little girl is a delightful bundle of energy, curiosity, wisdom beyond her years, and a blessing to our family.

This weekend members of her family are participating in a March for Babies in Orlando, Florida, raising awareness as well as money to help other babies who are born too soon.

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No Joke

Entertainer Eddie Cantor came up with the idea of donating dimes to fight polio, suggesting the name “March of Dimes,” a play on the radio and newsreel series, The March of Time. Cantor urged people to send dimes to the White House to celebrate President Franklin Roosevelt’s birthday in January 1938. Thousands responded and mailbags filled with envelopes containing dimes, quarters and dollar bills began arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, mostly from children who wanted to help children afflicted with polio. Before it was all over, a “silver tide” of more than $85,000 in small donations had swamped the White House. Roosevelt, diagnosed with polio in 1921, founded the March of Dimes to support polio research and education.

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Marching Along

In 1949 the first person walked 32 miles for the March of Dimes. Beginning in High Point, North Carolina, he walked to Greensboro and back, pulling a wagon into which people donated over $1,700. According to newspaper reports, he has walked over 1,000 miles and collected over $20,000 for the March of Dimes.

March of Dimes Makes History

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Do you remember these? School children in the 1940s and 1950s filled them with dimes and thus contributed to one of the biggest changes in the history of medical philanthropy. Millions of donors gave small donations instead of only a few donors giving large gifts. Giving to medical causes changed forever, and school children knew they had a part in helping to rid the world of polio. Today the March of Dimes continues to collect small donations from millions of donors as part of their fundraising efforts to help babies born prematurely.