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Volunteers, the March of Dimes, and the Fight Against Polio

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The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (later known as the March of Dimes) was founded by Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 and immediately engaged thousands of volunteers in a two-decade struggle against the dreaded disease of polio. And it was successful, ultimately having to face the question: What happens to the energy and devotion of volunteers when their job has been accomplished?

In his 1957 book, The Volunteers, Columbia University researcher David L. Sills examined the phenomenon of the March of Dimes, particularly its devoted corps of volunteers, and raised issues still pertinent today.