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Nothing But Nets Nets Over $18 Million To Date

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information

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Nashville, TN37203
www.umcpresscenter.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2008

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

Nothing But Nets Nets Over $18 Million To Date
Partners Called "Key to Success"

NASHVILLE, Tenn.: In its first year, the Nothing But Nets campaign raised over $18 million from more than 60,000 donors. A new report issued by the United Nations Foundation, creator of the grassroots campaign, indicates that as of December 31, 2007, a total of $18,114,147 had been raised for the purchase and distribution of long lasting insecticide-treated nets for children and families in Africa.

The total includes more than $9.4 million donated by individuals, $3 million in matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and $5.7 million contributed through "Idol Gives Back," a two-night American Idol special benefiting organizations that help children in poverty. The average donation is $60.

More than 700,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets have been distributed in the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Chad, Mali, Gabon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Nothing But Nets has developed a unique set of partners over the last 18 months, ranging from multimedia organizations to professional sports leagues to faith-based groups to foundations," the report states. "These partners are key to the success of the Campaign, for it is through partnerships that Nothing But Nets has been able to reach mass constituencies and engage diverse segments of the American public in this global effort to prevent malaria."

As a founding partner of Nothing But Nets, the people of The United Methodist Church have made significant contributions to the Campaign's success through grassroots support, local events, fundraising drives, dedicated offerings, and individual donations. Annual conferences, local churches, youth groups, and individual church members across the U.S. have gotten involved in the effort.

"It's just phenomenal what we've been able to accomplish in such a short time," said Bishop Thomas Bickerton, United Methodist spokesperson for Nothing But Nets. "It's been more like a movement than a campaign. The reality is that we can save a child's life for such a small amount of money, and that message has really touched people's hearts and compelled them to get engaged."

One of the ways that The United Methodist Church has been engaged in the Campaign is the multi-city tour which kicked off last April on Malaria Awareness Day. In 2007, Nothing But Nets partnered with the area bishop's office in each city to host faith events in Miami, Washington, DC, Chicago, Houston, Detroit and Minneapolis.

In July at the Youth 2007 conference, United Methodist youth attended workshops to learn more about the issue of malaria and how they can help. Following a challenge from Bishop Bickerton and Chicago Fire soccer player Diego Gutierrez, thousands of teens who were gathered at the Greensboro coliseum for the event threw more than $15,000 onto the stage in just a few minutes.

The denomination has been actively involved in helping to raise awareness of the burden of malaria, providing information through media outreach and news coverage, the UMC's official web site, distribution of a United Methodist specific toolkit for "netraisers," and participation in malaria observation trips and field visits to countries in Africa.