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Nothing But Nets raises $18 million in first year

A mother in Lekki, Nigeria, tucks her child beneath an insecticide-treated mosquito net provided by Nothing But Nets. UMNS file photos by Mike DuBose.

March 13, 2008 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

Nothing But Nets, an anti-malaria campaign of The United Methodist Church and other partners, raised more than $18 million from 60,000 donors during its first year.

A new report issued by the United Nations Foundation said the total was raised as of Dec. 31, 2007, to buy and distribute insecticide-treated sleeping nets for families in Africa.

Diego Arrambide collects donations
for the anti-malaria campaign during
Youth 2007 in Greensboro, N.C. aaaaaaaaaaaa

The sum includes more than $9.4 million donated by individuals, $3 million in matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and $5.7 million contributed through "Idol Gives Back," a two-night "American Idol" television special benefiting organizations that help children in poverty.

More than 700,000 nets have been distributed in the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Chad, Mali, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United Methodist Church is a founding partner in Nothing But Nets. Other partners include the U.N. Foundation, Sports Illustrated, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, Major League Soccer, the Mark J. Gordon Foundation and VH-1.

"Nothing But Nets has developed a unique set of partners over the last 18 months, ranging from multimedia organizations to professional sports leagues to faith-based groups to foundations," the report states. "These partners are key to the success of the campaign, for it is through partnerships that Nothing But Nets has been able to reach mass constituencies and engage diverse segments of the American public in this global effort to prevent malaria."

“It’s been more like a movement than a campaign.”
–Bishop Thomas Bickerton
During 2007, the campaign attracted broad participation across The United Methodist Church through local churches, youth groups, annual conferences and individuals. Organizers also partnered with a number of bishops' offices to host special malaria awareness events in Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Houston, Detroit and Minneapolis.

"It’s just phenomenal what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, United Methodist spokesman for the campaign. "It’s been more like a movement than a campaign. The reality is that we can save a child’s life for such a small amount of money, and that message has really touched people’s hearts and compelled them to get engaged."

*This story was based on a news release by the Office of Public Relations for The United Methodist Church.

News media contact: Deborah White, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.  

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