How often do you get the chance of being part of something amazing, and from day one?

With our ‘Purple Clothes Day’ you have that opportunity.

Our club (the Rotary Club of Leicester) recently received an excellent and inspirational talk from our District Governor Margaret Morley about why she got involved in Rotary, how we could engage and attract new members, and the good work that Rotary does worldwide.

Margaret delivered Rotary International’s President’s message ‘ENGAGE ROTARY – CHANGE LIVES’ and told us about her visit to a Polio vaccination clinic in India. On leaving the vaccination session Margaret explained how she had noticed the children (aged 5-10) playing outside, the ages that Polio typically hits, however due to earlier vaccination sessions these children had been saved from the horrors of Polio – a real case of Rotary saving lives.

This talk was the inspiration for myself and our club President Tony Jarvis to propose the idea of a ‘Purple Clothes Day’ on the 18th of October (our last school day before our half term holiday / World Polio Day) to raise funds for Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign.

The plan is for Rotary and Rotaract clubs across the world to write to the head teachers of local schools requesting that they support World Polio Day by holding a ‘Purple Clothes Day’ with pupils donating £1 ($2) in order to come to school in non-uniform wearing an item purple clothing.

We have prepared a proposed letter for our own use and naturally we are happy for other clubs to use this for their own purposes. Just e-mail if you would like a copy.

We would also like to ask Rotary and Rotaract members to hold a ‘Purple Clothes Day’ at their own places of work, and mention this event to their contacts to help promote it and encourage others firms and schools to participate. Hopefully together we could make this an international event potentially raising thousands or even millions for this fantastic cause.

The timescale is a little tight; however this will have the benefit that our mailings / PR will be topical and timely.

The rewards could be massive, especially as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match any money raised on a 2 to 1 basis, i.e. for each $1 raised by Rotary they will donate $2.

In my own role as Social Media Project Leader I am supporting this in the following ways: –

Putting together a database of schools in our specific area (hopefully other people and clubs can put together their own database)

Producing a Facebook page for ‘Purple Clothes Day’

Promoting ‘Purple Clothes Day’ via Social Media, including our club’s Twitter account @LeicesterRotary

Engaging Social Media, we have already made a huge start in just over a week, attracting interest from across the world with clubs and people in Australia, Hawaii, Pakistan, American, Canada and many other countries have expressed interest and support for ‘Purple Clothes Day’.

I feel that this is a chance for every member of Rotary and Rotaract around the world to get involved in a great new fund raising idea at day one, with the potential to raise thousands or even millions of dollars for the ‘End Polio Now’ campaign potentially saving millions of young lives. This is surely your opportunity to do something amazing .


Scott Gallacher

Social Media Project Leader

The Rotary Club of Leicester