Fighting malaria, one net at a time
Story submitted by Roger Lemnus
St. Mary’s – Kenosha
Early last spring, the Synodical Affairs Committee at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church recevied a report from Lutheran World Relief that announced a large new anti-malaria fundraising initiative that would be conducted throughout the American church. Field representatives from their agency have reported for some time that malaria was bringing terrible illness and family tragedy throughout sub-Sahara Africa. LWR decided it was past time for an extensive effort to combat the desease since it is both treatable and preventable. Families and individuals who can sleep under the protection of medicated nets considerably reduce their chances of contracting the disease.
The Synodical Affairs Committee felt this would be a good project for St. Mary’s to promote. The committee received permission from the church leadership to conduct a five month initiate to raise funds to puchase as many nets as possible. A $10 donation purchased one net that would protect one person or a couple from the disease carrying mosquitoes. The campaign received a strong incentive when a $5,000 leadership grant was received from the St. Mary’s Foundation.Under the leadership of Jan Weinstock who chaired the effort, over $14,000 was donated at St. Mary’s over five months as members made private donations or participated in fundraising events conducted by various organizations within the congregation. Fundraising activities involved youth and adults sponsoring a community fest, having car washes and bowling tournaments, and sharing in sales. Everyone working together raised a grand total of $19,000 which was presented to a representative from Lutheran World Relief during the morning service on November 20th.
This fundraising effort was important for several reasons. It obviously helped a well-known international church agency assist people in need. It also was important to St. Mary’s because it represented the interest of the congregation in the work of benevolence and was an expression of their support for the work of the wider church.
Learn more about Lutheran World Relief and how you can help out by visiting their website, lwr.org.