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Idom: Nothing But Nets saves lives

Idom: Nothing But Nets saves lives

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One person dies every 30 seconds from malaria. It's the No. 1 killer of children on the continent of Africa. How many children will die needlessly as you read this article?

Have you heard of the Nothing But Nets campaign?

It is a campaign to save lives by preventing malaria. It began with a column written by Rick Reilly in Sports Illustrated and soon attracted a Founding Partnership that included the National Basketball Association, Sports Illustrated, the U.N. Foundation, and the United Methodist Church.

The goal of Nothing But Nets is simple: to save lives by providing bed nets.

The Web site for Nothing But Mets states:

In the poorest parts of the world, where effective window screens are lacking, insecticide-treated bed nets are arguably the most cost-effective way to prevent malaria transmission. One bed net costs just $10 to buy and deliver to individuals in need. One bed net can safely last a family for about four years, thanks to a long-lasting insecticide woven into the net fabric. Studies show that use of insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce transmission as much as 90 percent in areas with high coverage rates.

The grassroots campaign is growing. New partners include AOL Black Voices, Major League Soccer, Time Inc. and the Rotary Club.

Now Bill Gates is on board, pledging to match every dollar raised across the nation to purchase the bed nets, with no limit to his pledge.

Imagine, for $10 you can know you are saving a life. Heck, that's just two movie rentals. It's a couple of burgers and fries and soft drinks traded for the life of a child. No, make that two lives you are saving because of the Bill Gates Foundation's matching.

First United Methodist Church of Bryan will happily receive your gifts and forward them to the campaign. For directions about giving, check our Web site at www.fumcbryan.org or call the church office at 779-1324. Or go online to www.nothingbutnets.net and give directly.

Come on, Brazos Valley: Let's buy some nets and save the lives of children.

Does your club or professional organization ever need a speaker? Give me a call, and for a mere purchase of 10 nets, I will give your group a great program and play my harmonica, to boot. What a deal.

Pardon me, but I just can't help myself on this shameless advertisement and plea for money. It is so simple: It saves lives, and it goes directly to those in need.

In fact, here is what I'm doing: I ordered magnetic signs to fit on my truck that read: NOTHING BUT NETS, GIVE ME YOUR MONEY!

When you see me next week, flag me down and save a life!

OK, how long has it taken to read this? I'm a bit slow, but it took me the lives of five children to read this.

Will you help?

• The Rev. Matt Idom is pastor of First United Methodist Church of Bryan.

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