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Anti-malaria campaign will launch Jan. 4 at NBA store

 

Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly laughs with school children in Lekki, Nigeria, during a visit to view mosquito nets provided by the Nothing But Nets campaign. 
A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.


 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

By United Methodist News Service*
Jan. 3, 2007

 

 Bishop Thomas Bickerton

Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of United Methodist Communications, will join NBA legend Sam Perkins, Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly and others for the global launch of the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign on Jan. 4 in New York City.

The kick-off event is planned for 2:30 p.m. Eastern time at the NBA store on Fifth Avenue. Plans also include a malaria advocacy boot camp for student leaders, media appearances and interviews, and activities at the New Jersey Nets-Chicago Bulls basketball game on Jan. 5.

A featured participant during the launch will be Katherine Commale, a 5-year-old United Methodist from Downingtown, Pa., who has raised $10,000 for bed nets with help from her mother, Lynda. The two have teamed up to make fund-raising presentations in their community using a diorama made by Katherine and her brother Joseph showing how bed nets work.

 

 Five-year-old Katherine Commale displays a handmade diorama showing a bed net for malaria prevention. A UMNS photo by Richard Swift Glassman.

The people of The United Methodist Church are partnering with NBA Cares, Sports Illustrated, the United Nations Foundation, Millennium Promise and the Measles Initiative in a campaign to prevent malaria by raising funds to purchase and distribute mosquito bed nets in Africa. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Communications are coordinating the church's participation.

"What this Nothing But Nets campaign signals to me is a clarion call for The United Methodist Church," Bickerton told United Methodist communicators during a meeting in Indianapolis last October. The bishop has said he wants to use the denomination's connectional system to engage United Methodist youth and others in the campaign.

An insecticide-treated bed net can protect a person from mosquitoes that spread malaria, a disease that kills a million people each year. Malaria kills one out of five African children under the age of 5.

The campaign, which got its start from a Sports Illustrated column by Reilly urging readers to make a $10 donation to buy a net and save a life, has already raised enough money to provide more than 220,000 nets. Accompanied by a film crew from United Methodist Communications, Reilly visited Nigeria last fall to talk with some of the people who have received nets and to see the campaign's impact.

Nothing But Nets was recognized Dec. 14 during the White House Summit on Malaria in Washington, along with other initiatives on malaria.

Contributions can be made to the campaign through the Advance for Christ and His Church, the designated mission giving channel of the denomination. Donations, designated for Advance No. 982015, can be made online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate.cfm?code=982015, by phone at (888) 252-6174, or by mail at Advance GCFA, P.O. Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. Checks also can be placed in the offering plate of any United Methodist congregation. One hundred percent of every Advance gift goes to the designated ministry.

For more information about the Nothing But Nets campaign, visit www.nothingbutnets.net or www.umc.org.

*This report was adapted from a press release by United Methodist Communications, with additional information from United Methodist News Service. UMNS is a unit of United Methodist Communications.

News media contact: Diane Denton with United Methodist Communications is on site in New York for the event. She can be reached at (615) 483-1765. UMNS News Writer Linda Bloom will be covering the event and can be reached at (646) 369-3759.

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Bishop Thomas Bickerton: "Nothing but Nets" Partnership (October 2006)

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Resources

Nothing But Nets

The Advance

United Methodist Communications

 

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