More Than $7 Million Raised by Nothing But Nets in 2008
September 02, 2009
United Methodists Provide 'People Power'
Washington, DC: In 2008, the Nothing But Nets campaign eclipsed its ambitious fundraising goals and raised more than $7 million from some 40,000 individual donors. The 2008 annual report issued by the United Nations Foundation, creator of the grassroots campaign, declared that 2008 donations represented a significant increase over annual fundraising the two previous years.
Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation, said that Nothing But Nets raised nearly $25 million by the end of 2008, from more than 100,000 individuals - and distributed more than two million bed nets to areas of greatest need in Africa, "based on the momentum of what began halfway through 2006."
"As always, these achievements could not have been possible without our unique set of partners who are helping us to reach diverse communities to spread the message that malaria kills and nets save lives," he continued.
As a founding partner of Nothing But Nets, the people of The United Methodist Church have contributed significant energy and funds to the campaign. The United Methodist Church contributed more than $2 million to purchase and distribute bed nets in 2008 alone.
"We bring the value of people power to the campaign - 11.5 million United Methodists," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, chairperson of The United Methodist Church's Global Health Initiative. "When you have grassroots support fueling a movement like this, saving lives is the joyous result."
Global health is a major focus for The United Methodist Church, which is in mission in more than 125 countries. Its new Global Health Initiative aims to combat diseases of poverty such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, as well as to create conditions for better health for people worldwide through partnerships, awareness, giving, health education infrastructure, and advocacy. The denomination has long been a key player in the fight against malaria, operating hospitals, clinics and mission centers across Africa for more than 160 years. Nothing But Nets is one component of the GHI.
The Church took a leadership role in coordinating and convening the Nothing But Nets "city tours," a multi-city grassroots initiative to engage Americans across the country in the fight against malaria. The city tours included faith events in which church leaders came together to discuss how the faith community can take a leadership role in eliminating malaria. In 2008, six city tours convened: In Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
In November 2008, the people of The United Methodist Church and their partners worldwide helped Côte d'Ivoire's National Program in the Fight against Malaria launch an integrated health campaign and net distribution to protect children under age five in Côte d'Ivoire against malaria, measles, Vitamin A deficiency, and intestinal worms. This campaign was the culmination of a Texas Annual Conference effort to raise more than $1 million for bed nets for Côte d'Ivoire's children.
Children and youth, who have participated in everything from lemonade stands and bake sales to basketball tournaments and skits featuring mosquito-costumed Sunday school classes, are a driving force behind the Church's Nothing But Nets fundraising activities. Eight-year-old champion net raiser Katherine Commale has raised more than $100,000 for the cause to date - and her efforts have attracted significant media coverage, helping increase awareness of the campaign. In 2008, Katherine was featured on CNN and in a front page article in the New York Times, as well (to read the story, "A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool," paste the following URL into your browser: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/02/us/02malaria.html?_r=2).
"Our youth have stepped up and done really remarkable things," Bishop Bickerton acknowledged. "Children helping to save other children have raised global awareness about the malaria situation in Africa in unprecedented ways."
To learn more about Nothing But Nets or to send a net and save a life, visit http://www.umcnothingbutnets.org/.