What will cause a child to die in the next 30 seconds and causes neurological impairment and chronic anemia in some of those who survive? If you happen to know about the Nothing but Nets campaign, then you may know that the answer is malaria. The people of the United Methodist Church have entered into a partnership with groups such as NBA Cares in response to a challenge in an article by Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly. Reilly describes this terrible illness, carried by mosquitoes, that kills some 3,000 kids every day. In response to this challenge, you can purchase a mosquito net for $10, all of which goes to purchase nets that can help reduce malaria by nearly 60%.
For United Methodists, this is also an advance special, and has its very own number – Advance #982015. I’m going to challenge both of my churches to give to this campaign in the months ahead, and I figure basketball season is the perfect time. Perhaps we can even use our in-state rivals, The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, as motivation for people to give. There is such an intense rivalry between these teams, folks will be excited to give to help their team “win” by purchasing nets for their particular team to see which team can give the most. In the meantime, the kids around the world who are in danger of malaria are the real winners when we give nets that will literally save lives. I challenge you to think of a creative way to raise money for this. Someone is counting on you.