KALISPELL, Mont. — At 91, Polly Nikolaisen has found a way to help stamp out tuberculosis and help disabled children by working with canceled postage stamps while sitting in her easy chair at Buffalo Hill Terrace in Kalispell.
“The name Tubfrim is a combination of tub for tuberculosis and frim, part of the word for stamp in Norwegian,” Nikolaisen said.
Back in 1928, a postmaster in Norway got the idea of collecting stamps as a painless way to raise money to eliminate TB in the country’s children. As fewer children suffered from TB, Tubfrim expanded to assist disabled children while still paying for research into tuberculosis, which still plagues Third World countries.
“TB has hit South Africa really bad,” Nikolaisen said.
Throughout Norway, private citizens along with embassies, consulates and Seamen’s Churches participate in the program. Outside the country, the United States makes the greatest contributions from people such as Nikolaisen participating through the Sons of Norway.