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United Methodists skip lunch to save lives April 25

United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
www.umcpresscenter.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2007

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

United Methodists skip lunch to save lives April 25

April 25, 2007

By United Methodist Communications

The people of The United Methodist Church are skipping lunch today and using the money to buy live-saving bed nets to protect African families from malaria.

The effort is being featured on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Web site, http://www.gatesfoundation.org/GlobalHealth/Pri_Diseases/Malaria/Related+Info/AfricaMalariaDay.htm, as well as other Web sites.

More than a million African children die from malaria every year.

In recognition of April 25 as Africa Malaria Day, United Methodists are being urged to skip lunch and send $10 to the Nothing But Nets campaign, which is buying and distributing insecticide-treated bed nets to communities in Africa. Today is also being observed for the first time in the United States as Malaria Awareness Day.

The people of The United Methodist Church are partners in Nothing But Nets, along with the United Nations Foundation, Sports Illustrated magazine, the National Basketball Association's NBA Cares, Major League Soccer's MLS W.O.R.K.S. initiative, and other organizations.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching donations dollar for dollar up to $3 million. The foundation's site features a story on Nothing But Nets noting that the campaign provided 150,000 bed nets for distribution in Nigeria last October, and it will buy 300,000 more nets for distribution this fall.

A $10 donation online atwww.NothingButNets.netor through Advance # 982015 will pay for the cost of a bed net, sending it to a family in Africa and teaching how it can be used to protect children from mosquitoes at night, when bites are most likely. More details are also available at www.umc.org/nets.

The United Methodist commitment to "skip a lunch, send a net, save a life," is also featured on the Malaria No More site athttp://www.malarianomore.org/mad.php.

In addition to the "skip a lunch" effort, United Methodists are participating in Nothing But Nets events in Miami as part of Malaria Awareness Day. The events will kick off a multi-city national tour for the campaign.

Tonight, Nothing But Nets will be featured during a two-hour "American Idol" special, "Idol Gives Back," designed to increase awareness and raise funds for organizations serving children living in poverty in Africa and the United States. Nothing But Nets will host an "Idol Gives Back" watch party at 8:00 p.m. for the entire Miami community on the University of Miami campus. Viewers will be able to make their own donations via toll-free lines and online.

News Media Contact: Diane Denton, United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 483-1765.