Today the Nothing But Nets campaign marked its four year anniversary of sending nets and saving lives! Having been with the campaign since its earliest days, I marvel at how far we have come thanks to our incredible partners and our committed supporters — YOU. Four years ago we were in New York City launching the Nothing But Nets campaign with the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. We were just beginning to spread the buzz about malaria and how easy it is to help — trying to get information about this relatively forgotten disease into local communities and onto the front pages.
Now, four years later, we have started a movement to end malaria deaths in Africa. Over the years our partnerships grew — from sports leagues to businesses to youth organizations — and our supporters got busy, raising awareness in their communities and raising funds through bake sales, basketball tournaments, and birthday gifts. We now have hundreds of thousands of committed supporters who in their own ways are champions in the fight against malaria.
I could not be more proud of the work of this campaign thanks to our partners and supporters. Together we have raised over $33 million to date and, working with our UN partners, distributed over 3.5 million bed nets across 25 countries in Africa. Nothing But Nets is making an impact. I have had the privilege of traveling to many of the countries where Nothing But Nets has provided urgent funding for bed nets and education around malaria — Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal — and I can tell you firsthand that bed nets are helping save lives. I have watched mothers joyfully receive their nets, fathers hang them over the sleeping spaces in their homes, and children sleeping under the nets from rural communities to refugee camps. And when these families learn that the nets are provided by individuals in the United States and around the world, they are thankful to YOU for caring about their health and well-being.
We have more work to do — there are still more bed nets needed to protect the most vulnerable people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes — but together we can build upon the success of the last four years to continue to grow this movement and ensure that we reach our global goal of ending malaria deaths. Thank you to our partners, supporters, and champions for your efforts every day to help us send nets and save lives. Together we can cover a continent!