Rick Reilly said it best in the column that inspired the Nothing But Netscampaign: “Sports is nothing but net.” And accordingly, our supporters know better than anyone how to take a little competition and a lot of fun to make sporting events successful fundraisers for life-saving bed nets. Three years after the column first appeared in Sports Illustrated, our supporters have met Rick’s challenge and raised more than $27 million together for nets.
Despite many successes, our work is far from done. Children are still dying every 30 seconds from a preventable disease. Thankfully, our amazing supporters continue to host events that raise funds for a simple solution! Most recently, Temple Shalom of Newton took Rick Reilly’s words to heart and hosted a Free Throw Shooting Competition to benefit Nothing But Nets. The event took place as part of the Temple Shalom’s 13th Annual Mitzvah Day where the congregation comes together to benefit a variety of worthy endeavors.
During the event, participants were given three minutes to sink as many free throws as possible and were required to sign up sponsors who would contribute for each basket made. In enlisting sponsors, participants also spread the word about the Nothing But Nets campaign to help educate and increase awareness within their community. The event resulted in proceeds of $1,007 for bed nets, with the hope that this event will become part of a long-time Temple Shalom of Newton tradition!
As a sports aficionado, I began to wonder how many free throws I could make in those three minutes. Or rather, how many free throws could I make during the same time that six children will die from malaria? It’s all about a little perspective. As I step up to the line, I know I can sink the shot. Years of practicing have taught me that. As I step up to the line, I also know I can save a life today. Nothing But Nets has taught me that.
Send a net. Save a life. Sink the shot. Seems easy enough to me.