United Methodist staff mark Malaria Awareness Day


The Rev. Larry Hollon encourages people to donate $10 to the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign during an observance of Africa Malaria Day in Nashville, Tenn.
UMNS photos by Mike DuBose.

By Deborah White*
April 25, 2007 |NASHVILLE, Tenn.(UMNS)


Neil Alexander, publisher and CEO of the United Methodist Publishing House, displays a mosquito net during an April 25 gathering of agency employees.

About 450 employees of United Methodist agencies and regional offices gathered April 25 to eat soup at United Methodist Publishing House and donate their lunch money to help save lives in Africa.

In observance of Malaria Awareness Day, the gathering called attention to the plight of children in Africa and rallied United Methodists around the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign supported by the people of The United Methodist Church.

"This day, O God, we focus on malaria and we resolve to make a difference," said Bishop Robert H. Spain, chaplain of the Publishing House, as he led a special litany for Malaria Awareness Day.

"Praise God for a way to make a difference, particularly in making malaria history. It's infectious," said Neil Alexander, president and publisher of the denomination's publishing agency.

The people of The United Methodist Church are one of the founding partners in Nothing But Nets, a grassroots drive to prevent malaria in Africa through the purchase and distribution of insecticide-treated sleeping nets. Other partners include the United Nations Foundation, Sports Illustrated, the National Basketball Association's NBA Cares, Major League Soccer and Malaria No More.

A donation of $10 pays for the purchase and distribution of one net, which offers protection from mosquitoes that transmit malaria to people at night when they are sleeping. Since its 2006 launch, the campaign has raised more than $5 million -- enough to buy more than 500,000 nets.

"It's an exciting time," said The Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. "It is a step of faith that the people of The United Methodist Church, in partnership with others, can make a difference. It's as simple as skipping a lunch, buying a net and saving a life."


Karla Taylor (left) sells T-shirts to support the anti-malaria initiative backed by The United Methodist Church.

Bishop Richard J. Wills Jr., of the Nashville Area, attended the event along with cabinet members of the Tennessee Area (regional) Conference. "With complicated problems, often simple things make a huge difference like a net for a child," Wills said.

In addition to filling a large jar with cash and checks, a steady stream of supporters bought "Buzzkill" T-shirts, watched a video about Nothing But Nets, signed a large banner, wrote notes to children who will receive the nets and wore buttons with images of children from Africa.

"It's very affordable for anybody to be able to contribute a net," said Bonnie Seay, who works as an editor in the children's department at the Publishing House.

Other workers echoed that sentiment and were impressed by the turnout from church agencies.

"I just wanted to do my part," said Sarah Beasley, a Publishing House employee who bought a T-shirt. "Little ones we need to make sure they grow up to be good citizens."

"What a wonderful way to be involved," said Tim Mabry, controller for the publishing agency. "We can save lives."

To learn more, visit www.NothingButNets.netor www.umc.org/nets.

*White is associate editor of Interpreter magazine.

News media contact: Deborah White, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or [email protected].

Related Video Stories

Nets Fight Malaria

Nothing But Nets Promo

Related Articles

Florida faith leaders join in fight against malaria

Nothing But Nets to get 'American Idol' exposure

Africa Malaria Day set for April 25

Resources

A Litany for Malaria Awareness Day

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Nothing But Nets

Malaria Initiatives of The United Methodist Church

Malaria No More


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Evangelism
The Rev. Tom Berlin (left) presents a copy of his book, “Courage,” to Massachusetts National Guard Chaplain Chad McCabe in the chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. McCabe, whose unit was assigned to help provide security at the U.S. Capitol after the January riot, contacted Wesley Seminary asking for Bibles, novels and board games for troops stationed there. Photo by Lisa Helfert for Wesley Theological Seminary. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Church responds to chaplain's call to help soldiers

A National Guard chaplain got Bibles, games and 150 copies of a new book about courage when he turned to Wesley Theological Seminary for help keeping soldiers occupied in Washington in the aftermath of the Capitol insurrection.
Violence
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

What would Jesus tell the US Capitol rioters?

The Rev. William B. Lawrence examines the claims of Scriptural authority by violent protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Local Church
A view of the United States House of Representatives chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

31 United Methodists serve in 117th Congress

United Methodists serve on both sides of the aisle in a Congress faced with repairing a highly polarized country and responding to violence at the Capitol.