I would like to share with you how and why I am pleased to be a part of Nothing But Nets. I first became aware of the organization after reading Rick Reilly’s article in Sports Illustrated. I am a former soccer player so the analogy of sending the ‘wrong nets’ was powerful. I have also been to Africa twice with a volunteer medical group and have seen first-hand the extreme poverty and need.
I tucked the info about Nothing But Nets in my head, thinking I should act on it. I went on with life, celebrating holidays and birthdays with family, struggling to think of new and unique gifts, especially for my parents. They are always telling us, “no presents please, just help someone else.” My whole life they have been taking care of other people and putting family and loved ones first. My parents never took a vacation on their own without the kids, and my dad worked hard to take us to the beach every year.
Now that most of us are out of school and involved with our own professions and families, my parents haven’t skipped a beat. They routinely help me with my children one day a week and my mother never comes to our house empty-handed. There is always a pie to bake for someone or a note to write. My parents have set the bar very high for my siblings and me. Now as a mother myself, I don’t know how I will ever live up to them.
My parents have always wanted us to be happy and to succeed in all of our endeavors, and they have spent their lives making sure their children and family and friends are taken care of. I am very privileged to have the parents I have and the opportunities I have. When I think of the families in Africa and the barriers to a healthy, happy, successful life, they seem insurmountable.
But then I read that one net can save a child from malaria. One net can give a mother or father the chance to protect their children from malaria and allow them to fulfill their dreams of a healthy, happy family. With Nothing But Nets, your gift, no matter how small, is measurable. $10 equals one net and one net equals one more chance for a family to succeed. So this spring as we celebrated my parents’ birthdays as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, my family gave a gift in honor of them. We donated nine nets to help other families live better, each net representing my parents’ children and grandchildren. We know this can change lives.
Ann Zimmer Craig and Family (Matt, Annelise, Liam and Andrew Craig)