United Methodist Communications
Officeof Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2006
Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 741-3111 (office) (615) 483-1765 (cell)
The People of The United Methodist Church Join With NBA Cares, Sports Illustrated, UN Foundation to Fight Malaria
'Nothing But Nets' Campaign to be Launched November 14
NASHVILLE: On November 14, The People of the United Methodist Church will participate in the official launch of Nothing But Nets, a campaign to save lives by preventing malaria. Several agencies of the denomination are joining together with NBA Cares, Sports Illustrated, the United Nations Foundation and others in a partnership to raise funds to purchase mosquito nets for children in Africa, more than a million of whom die from malaria every year.
An insecticide-treated bed net can protect a person from mosquitoes that spread malaria, a disease that infects nearly 500 million people each year.
"We're excited about our involvement in this campaign. The People of The United Methodist Church have been in mission across Africa for more than 160 years," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, President of the Commission on Communications. "Our work in the area of malaria prevention made Nothing But Nets a natural partner for us. There are many ways to stop the spread of malaria, but buying a bed net for a family in Africa is something that almost everyone can do. We hope that everyone will join us and our other partners in support of this effort."
The campaign launch in New York will include a radio media tour with representatives of the partner organizations, a media roundtable with members of the UN press corps, and other interview opportunities.
The Nothing But Nets effort got started when Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly learned about the UN Foundation's efforts to provide bed nets across Africa and decided to get involved. In a column entitled "Nothing But Nets," he made an appeal for anyone who ever played or enjoyed any sport involving nets to donate $10-the approximate cost to purchase and distribute an insecticide-treated bed net. More than 17,000 people have donated a total of $1.2 million already-enough to deliver 120,000 nets to Nigeria.
The People of The United Methodist Church were invited by the UN Foundation to join in the partnership because of the church's long history of working to fight disease and poverty, as well as its extensive presence in Africa.
The hope is to get the denomination's 36,000 congregations-and youth groups in particular-involved in the fundraising efforts. United Methodist youth groups that raise money for Nothing But Nets will be eligible for prizes at the international Youth 2007 gathering which will take place in Greensboro, N.C. next July. Toolkits specifically designed for church youth groups will be made available on the Nothing But Nets website.
For more information, visitwww.nothingbutnets.netor join the Nothing But Nets "Nets-work" to get regular campaign updates by sending a cell phone text message to the number 47647. Just type the word NETS in the body of the message and hit "send" to be added to the network.