Doing something meaningful has never been easier. All it takes is to invite over some friends and acquaintances who like to have a good time, throw in some refreshments, add your own sparkling wit or quiet warmth (this works for any personality type) and – Voíla! Before your 80s dance mix has cycled through twice, you'll have raised enough money to provide life-saving medicine, education, and bed nets to protect families in Africa from malaria.
Hosting an Imagine No Malaria House Party starts with a heart: yours – for the children and adults still held captive by a disease which we conquered in our own country decades ago. For while "malaria" may be an ancient name for a forgotten disease to most Americans, this year in Africa it will kill 800,000 people – most of them children.
So invite some people over. Serve some snacks. Share some stories and touch some hearts. You don't have to come up with what to say or how to say it; the resources are all available on line for you to download or order – everything from invitations, to a DVD presentation, to talking points, to offering envelopes. When you show your guests the faces of the suffering, and share their stories of both sorrow and joy, your guests' hearts will open – and their checkbooks will follow.
It's as easy as it gets to fix something that is fixable, heal something that is healable, and prevent something that's preventable: and save children's lives.
And be assured, children's lives are being saved. The United Methodist Church's Imagine No Malaria campaign is working! Because while malaria still claims the life of one child every 45 seconds, a year ago the number was one child every 30 seconds.
World Malaria Day is April 25. You may want to time your Imagine No Malaria House Party to be near that date – or schedule it as a Change the World event for your church (May 14-15). Just be sure that you do it.
It's for a good cause, a great cause. Make it your cause. Party like you mean it.