United Methodists Over Halfway to Nothing But Nets Goal More Than $1.75 Million Raised for Mosquito

United Methodist Communications
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2007

Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 742-5406 (office) (615) 483-1765 (cell)

United Methodists Over Halfway to Nothing But Nets Goal
More Than $1.75 Million Raised for Mosquito Nets

Houston: The people of The United Methodist Church have passed the halfway mark toward the denomination's $3 million fundraising goal for the Nothing But Nets malaria prevention campaign, Bishop Thomas Bickerton announced today during a faith leaders' luncheon at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston.

"The "Send a net. Save a life." message has gained momentum across the United Methodist connection, with churches, youth groups, and individuals employing creative approaches to raise more than $1.75 million dollars between November and August," said Bickerton. "It's been absolutely phenomenal to watch the groundswell of support and the outpouring of generosity."

The Nothing But Nets campaign received a challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in January, matching funds raised through the campaign dollar for dollar up to $3 million. On August 20, a $615,000 check to Nothing But Nets representing funds raised through The United Methodist Church not only put the denomination over the halfway mark towards the fundraising goal, it also put Nothing But Nets over $3 million raised since January, thereby fulfilling the matching grant from the Gates Foundation more than a year early.

Bishop Bickerton is in Houston as part of a year-long multi-city tour to raise malaria awareness through a series of events aimed at engaging students, faith communities, business leaders, athletes, and sports fans in the Nothing But Nets effort. The tour travels to Detroit in October and Minneapolis in November.

Today's event was hosted by the Texas Annual Conference. Bishop Janice Riggle Huie said that Nothing But Nets is a key focus of a new ministry partnership between United Methodists in Texas and Cote d'Ivoire. "We pray through our partnership that God will bring about the next generation of healthy children. We, too, pray that we will be part of a partnership that acts on Jesus' command to love our neighbors as ourselves," said Bishop Huie.

"Our involvement in Nothing But Nets is just part of a larger commitment to combating diseases of poverty," said Bickerton. "We are in the early stages of creating a major global health initiative to raise awareness and understanding of health issues and expand the denomination's health ministries. Our success with Nothing But Nets has shown us the value of non-traditional partnerships, as well as how we can engage congregations at a grassroots level to make a real difference in the lives of others around the world."

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