To me, nothing embodies one’s coming of age more than having a global vision. Especially for a younger audience, it’s all too easy to get caught up in pop culture, school assignments, or the countless entertainment channels that are so readily at our fingertips. Despite all these distractions, an elite tier of individuals stand as a shining example of our youngest generation’s potential.
Each week Nothing But Nets hears your stories of how youth are serving as role models in their communities. So what is it about our Nothing But Nets youth supporters that set them apart? Plain and simple, it’s their ability to recognize and impact a global problem.
Madeline is one such example, representing the many supporters that raise funds for life-saving bed nets in honor of their Bat or Bar Mitzvah. After researching malaria for a school paper, Madeline learned how more than a million people die from malaria each year and that malaria kills more children in African than any other disease. Now it hasn’t been that long ago for me to recall that with such an assignment, most students would turn in their papers, hope for a good grade, and quickly disregard what was learned. Yet Madeline saw this as an opportunity to go to each classroom in her school and explain the devastating effects of malaria. She even told them about Nothing But Nets and how easy it is to save lives!
And she didn’t stop there. Incredibly, Madeline raised more than $5,000 by asking family and friends to make a donation to Nothing But Nets in honor of her Bat Mitzvah. On her beautiful invitation, she included a personal note requesting loved ones “to buy nets to help save lives in Africa by preventing malaria,” explaining how $10 is all it takes for a family to sleep safely at night. Madeline created a NET-Raiser Team to track her Bat Mitzvah donations and soon saw that she had far exceeded her fundraising goal! Moved by Madeline’s efforts and the response to her request for donations, Madeline’s rabbi suggested they set up information on malaria and Nothing But Nets in the synagogue’s lobby!
Demonstrating both compassion and generosity, Madeline has certainly touched a number of lives – evident from the multitude of posts on the “Team Madeline” website. Nothing But Nets is grateful to have such motivating supporters to spread the word about life-saving bed nets. From the whole team, congratulations on your Bat Mitzvah, Madeline! You are truly an inspiration for how to make a difference in the fight against malaria.