Last January, St. Luke’s launched the Nothing But Nets campaign in our congregation to raise funds to buy malaria preventing mosquito nets to help save the lives of some of the one million people (75% of them children) who die of malaria every year. We pointed out that for $10 we can purchase and send a mosquito net and when families sleep under these nets there is a 90% drop in deaths from malaria.
The people of this congregation were exceedingly generous. B. J. Larsen, a Sixth grade teacher in Carmel took the net idea to her class and they became involved in telling the story and raised over $7,000 for mosquito nets.
Lin Henderson, Principal at IPS School #20 where most of the students come from very low income families, presented the idea, some students got inspired and they raised over $1,000 to save the lives of other children.
I know of at least one girl who asked that, for her birthday party, everyone bring $10 to buy a mosquito net and not bring her any presents. And I know of some business leaders who told their employees they would match whatever they gave to buy mosquito nets.
From many sources, over $82,000 has been given to St. Luke’s to help buy mosquito nets. Throughout the nation over $15 million dollars has been donated through United Methodist Churches, the Bill Gates matching grant and the American Idol television show.
Think of all the lives of children in Africa which will be saved because they are now able to sleep under a mosquito net!
On Wednesday, August 15, lay leader Bob Zehr and I went to the Indiana Fever WNBA game to represent St. Luke’s when the WNBA and the United Nations Foundation recognized St. Luke’s for what this congregation has done for the Nothing But Nets campaign.
The story about what this congregation has done will hopefully encourage other congregations and communities all around the nation to help wipe out malaria and the death it causes all over Africa!
Grace and Peace,