United Methodists urged to save lives with 'Nothing But Nets'



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

United Methodists urged to save lives with ‘Nothing But Nets’

Dec. 30, 2006    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0598}

An e-Review Feature
By Tita Parham**

ORLANDO — The United Methodist Church is a partner in a campaign to help African families fight malaria, and Florida United Methodists now have a chance to be part of that effort as it makes its first appearances in the arena of public awareness.

The campaign is Nothing But Nets, a partnership between The United Methodist Church, the United Nations Foundation, Sports Illustrated, the National Basketball Association’s Foundation NBA Cares, Millennium Promise and the Measles Initiative. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Communications are coordinating the church's participation in the campaign.

The goal of Nothing But Nets is to make a serious dent in the fight against malaria, a preventable and treatable disease, by purchasing and distributing as many insecticide-treated bed nets as possible to protect African families from the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. The partners in the campaign plan to do that by encouraging people to make a donation of $10 — that’s all it takes to buy and distribute one net, which will protect a family of four for up to a year.

The campaign’s slogan is “Send a net. Save a life.” It began as a result of a column written last spring by Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly. Reilly challenged readers to make a $10 donation toward the purchase of bed nets, with the money collected by the United Nations Foundation. In response to the column $1.2 million was raised, and the United Nations Foundation asked The United Methodist Church and other groups to be a partner in the burgeoning effort.

The campaign was given an Advance number, #982015, through the Advance for Christ and His Church, so church members can now give directly to the campaign. One hundred percent of each gift will be used to purchase and distribute the nets to families and train them on how to properly use the nets. Members can also make online donations through the campaign’s Web site, http://www.NothingButNets.net, which launched Nov. 14. A net-o-meter keeps a running tally on the number of nets purchased to date.

To keep up with the campaign United Methodists can also receive short updates sent directly to their cell phones. All they need to do is send a text message to 47647 and enter the word NETS in the body of the message.

Other opportunities to connect the first week in January:

n  Stories about the campaign, and specifically the NBA’s participation, will air on many morning television shows, including the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America,” Jan. 4 and 5 and MTV’s “Total Request Live” (TRL) in the afternoon Jan. 4. 

n  The NBA will hold a press conference Jan. 4 at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue at 52nd
Street in New York City to launch their participation in the campaign. NBA players will sign autographs, and Bishop Tom Bickerton of the Pittsburgh Area will test his skills against NBA players.

n  The New Jersey Nets will play the Chicago Bulls Jan. 5, 7:30 pm EST, in the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. The NBA will use the game to raise money for nets.

The Measles Initiative, a Nothing But Nets partner, will be distributing the nets purchased through the campaign to communities in Africa in 2007 and 2008. A total of 150,000 nets were distributed to Nigeria in October. More are scheduled for delivery to Lagos, Nigeria, in January. Partners in the Measles Initiative include the American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Foundation, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Malaria infects more than 500 million people each year, and more than 1 million die from it — 75 percent of them children under age 5.

Gifts to the Advance can be sent to Advance GCFA P.O. Box 9068, GPO New York, N.Y. 10087-9068 or made online at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/advance/donate.cfm?code=982015.

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This article relates to Church and Society.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Information for this article was provided by the Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, director of Communications Ministry, United Methodist Communciations, and “Nothing But Nets campaign gets Advance designation” (UMNS — NASHVILLE, Tenn.) by Melina Pavlides.




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