“Haley Fights Malaria” started as a way to help others. Originally a plan to host a garage sale to buy other toys for less privileged children, it morphed into making bracelets, selling them, and giving all the proceeds to charity. Haley’s dad offered to buy 'nice beads' so that Haley could produce a genuine quality product, while her mom took a day off work so they could take a class on making bracelets together. At first Haley didn't know what charity she wanted to fund, so the Neumiller’s explored several local charities including buying socks for the homeless, a Christmas gift fund, donating to food banks etc. Although she found merit in those charities, it wasn't until she was watching the "Sons of Lwala" documentary that she heard about malaria and the health disparities in Africa.
Not being able to see a doctor whenever needed or having medicines readily available bewildered Haley. When she learned that every 45 seconds a child dies of malaria with children under the age of five being most vulnerable, she was sold on the cause. Being four years old at the time, Haley identified with the population most affected. She came up with the name "Haley Fights Malaria" that is printed on all of the cards that are given with the bracelets, along with some facts about malaria and reference to the recipients of her donations -- Nothing But Nets and the Lwala Community Alliance. Now five years old, Haley spends nearly every evening before bed making her beautiful hand-made bead bracelets.
She chose to support the Lwala Community Alliance as it is the health clinic started by the Sons of Lwala and can cure a child of malaria for $5 -- the cost of one bracelet. She also chose Nothing But Nets as a way to prevent the transmission of malaria. A life-saving bed net for $10 is an option for her customers.
Family and friends have raised more than $1,000 by purchasing Haley’s bracelets. They are encouraged by her efforts and eager to support her. Many buy bracelets to support her philanthropy; others buy bracelets to give as unique gifts for staff, co-workers or friends. She even sold one back to the lady at the bead store where she took her class and buys her supplies! She takes her purse of ready-made bracelets wherever she goes in the event she finds a new customer, and continually gets requests for more bracelets. Family has given her beads for her birthday, and friends have donated beads in support of her cause.
Her parents are so proud of her golden heart and desire to help others. Haley asked, "Mommy, I'm changing the world, aren't I?" Someday, Haley would like to visit Africa. She wants to go when she is older so she won't catch malaria, but made the comment, "Mommy, even if we went to Africa now and I got malaria, I wouldn't die because we have lots of money." The statement, so honest and true, broke her mother’s heart.
As she told Nothing But Nets, “Our middle income family is so wealthy in comparison and it makes me so thankful that we have access to medical care, clean water and all of the other luxuries we take for granted. It also makes me angry that malaria is allowed to exist in our world, for it surely wouldn't be tolerated in the United States. If only everyone would do something that my now 5 year old has done, the world would be a different place. Her wisdom and breadth of global thinking beyond her five years amazes me. She thinks about and cares for others more than many adults I know.”