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View from the Field: Conferences Imagine No Malaria


Imagine No Malaria field coordinators work with local United Methodist churches to educate congregations and communities about the effort to stop malaria. 

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Kylie Foley: “Most people don’t die of malaria. There’s over 200 million infections of malaria each year. It affects tons of people. And only 600,000 people die. But those are 600,000 people that die from a mosquito bite. My name is Kylie Foley and I work for the Florida Annual Conference as the Florida Field Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria. For our over 600 churches, for them to get 100% involved with Imagine No Malaria, either through giving, volunteering or praying, I coordinate the efforts. I provide resources, enthusiasm, interaction if they’re willing to get involved with Imagine No Malaria.”

Nicole Wilken: “My name is Nicole Wilken. I’m the Imagine No Malaria Field Coordinator for the Wisconsin Conference. I was just coming home from an opportunity working for a non-profit in Nicaragua and I was there during a dengue outbreak. And so, I was interested in international community development and mosquito-borne illnesses and it just struck a chord. And I knew I needed to get involved.”

Maria Maxwell: “My name is Maria Maxwell and I will be the Field Coordinator for the State of Virginia. I think the thing that I can bring to the job is my passion for children. I don’t want to harp on the doom and gloom of what I know is the reality. I drove home from work the other day, 42 minutes. And I realized that in the amount of time that I drove home, 42 children died. And it was stunning to me. And I knew that four years ago that number was doubled. It was 84. And if in four more years and less, we can reduce that number again by half, why would I not want to do that for the sake of children?”

Nicole Wilken: “When you think about it in terms of $10 can save a life, that’s a small contribution. And many people can do much more than that. And so the 75 million dollars is coming from major gifts and grassroots fundraising. But it starts with those small donations. And it starts with people just learning about this initiative and then finding that passion in themselves to get involved.”

Kylie Foley: “Something I love is that you can add Imagine No Malaria to any event that’s going on in your church. And so, if you have an annual Christmas offering, how can you add Imagine No Malaria to that? Maybe your women’s group is gonna have a retreat somewhere. Add ten dollars onto the retreat price. That ten dollars can buy an insecticide-treated bed net, which is the best way to prevent malaria. Or if you’re with a kids’ group, if you just have five dollars for a movie night that you already want to host as a youth group, that five dollars can provide a full round of treatment for malaria. And so, throughout the year we’re not calling churches to have a one-time offering for Imagine No Malaria. That’s great. We’re asking them to consistent and faithful and pray and give throughout the entire year.”

Maria Maxwell: “We’re going to be reaching out not just to our churches. We’re gonna reach out into our communities and to the areas that we all walk life in. I don’t walk life with my church people every day. I walk with baseball moms. I’m at PTA meetings. I want our effort to reach out into our communities."

Kylie Foley: “When I talk about Imagine No Malaria and how the church is actually on the forefront of science and on the forefront of non-profit and community development, then my friends are interested. And that is my segue to tell them ‘Yes, we are a church.’”

Learn more about ways you can help end suffering and deaths from malaria through Imagine No Malaria.

Published August 6, 2014