Submitted by Darrell on November 10, 2006
Just the Beginning
Hello again! Before I go into details on the past semester of work done by Chip Away Malaria I want to thank everyone who supported us and donated. Thank you. It is amazing how responsive and supportive people have been to us. In a matter of half a semester, Chip Away Malaria has been able to accumulate a total of 5,798 dollars raised. This would not have been possible without the amazing work done by the fifty Central Michigan University students or so who were apart of Chip Away Malaria. The dedication, passion, and time devoted to the cause by my fellow classmates has been a very beautiful thing. Together we have accomplished things that many never imagined possible. Our goals at the beginning were to raise over 5,000 dollars, raise awareness around the community and campus and apply for grants. We have accomplished all of our goals. Already we have saved over 500 lives, planned and put on a fundraising event, plus much more.
The fundraising event that our organization developed was a free-throw shooting contest. Being apart of Dr. Mumford’s sports management class, we were able to not only help others through our actions, but also learn many skills first hand that professionals use in the sports management field. We held the event at the basketball arena, Rose Arena, on Central’s campus on a weekday evening. Besides the actual event we also had concessions, raffles, and a DJ. We had about 70 people participate in the event and gathered over 800 dollars in donations. It was a very fulfilling feeling for all of the students involved with Chip Away Malaria to see an event take place and do well. To all of those who donated prizes, in the event, and were of assistance, thank you. A special thanks is deserving to the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Central Michigan University, Ernie Zeigler. He took time to speak at the event and support everything done by Chip Away Malaria.
Raising awareness around CMU and the community is another priority of Chip Away Malaria. The past four months we have definitely done that. We have already had stories in our campus newspaper the Central Michigan Life, our local newspaper The Morning Sun, and a press release from the university. Furthermore, the mere fact that all of the students told friends, family, classmates, and local businesses about the cause has made more people aware of the problems malaria is causing in Africa. We have also been able to get The Huge Show, a Michigan sports radio show, to plug our free throw event and so did the universities station 91.5. As a matter of fact, just a few days ago 91.5’s Sunday show, The Central Beat, talked to some members of CAM and a story will be airing this Sunday. It is available for download via iTunes as a podcast under the name The Central Beat. Also, this past week The Beacon News, a newspaper, that circulates around the suburbs of Chicago, by my hometown, is going to write an article about Chip Away Malaria. It is remarkable how Chip Away Malaria has taken off. A big reason for that is the recognition bestowed on Chip Away Malaria by the Detroit Pistons organization. On Martin Luther King Jr. day, Dr. Mumford and I were presented with Michigan Heroes medals by the American Red Cross and Detroit Pistons for the work done by CAM this past semester. While it was us two who were apart of the ceremony, every member of Chip Away Malaria, is a Michigan Hero. The honor is to the whole body of work done by Chip Away Malaria, which would not have been possible if were not for every student.
The past months that I have been apart of Chip Away Malaria has been a special time for everyone involved. From the day we began until today, all that has been accomplished is awesome. The most rewarding and important aspect of our work is without a doubt the lives we have affected and being able to make a difference. Even though Chip Away Malaria derived from a class assignment, it is not ending since the class has. All of us involved with the organization are continuing on. This semester we anticipate doing much more than last semester. We want to raise more money and get more people aware of the issue on hand. Chip Away Malaria is eager to get more students involved and reach out to people across Michigan and even nationally. I shared a fitting quote with everyone in Chip Away Malaria a few months back that I want to share with you.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
To contact Chip Away Malaria please e-mail email@example.com
The First Steps
In September 2006, Dr. Mumford, professor of Physical Education and Sport at Central Michigan University, issued a challenge to his students to devise a plan to use sport as a vehicle to help solve the problem of malaria. As a junior at CMU and a student of Dr. Mumford’s, I embraced the challenge and immediately began to research malaria, its effects on Africa, and how people can limit the strain of malaria in African countries. I learned that over 1 million people in Africa die from malaria each year and that more people die from malaria in a year than those who have died from HIV in ten years. To make matters worse, African countries also lose over 12 billion dollars in gross domestic product annually because of malaria. I could not believe how horrible the problem of malaria is in Africa and I wondered how a disease killing millions is not talked about more in the media. When I found out that insecticide-treated bednets cost only 10 dollars and can protect a family for up to four years, I dedicated myself to work with my classmates to devise a plan to raise money for insecticide-treated bed nets.
As I began researching malaria, the Nothing But Nets campaign inspired me. I read the article written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated and instantly felt guilty. Even though this was the first time I had researched malaria, I felt guilty for not knowing about the disease and its effects on Africa earlier. I felt guilty for not donating 10 measly dollars to purchase a bed net to save someone’s life. When I looked at my CD collection I did not see CD’s anymore, I saw lives. Each of those CD’s represented a life. The 10 dollars spent on each CD could have been spent on an insecticide-treated bed net. I began to feel that if all of the people who have the means to donate at least 10 dollars knew about the problem of malaria they would be more inclined to donate 10 dollars for the purchase of a bed net.
Over 1.2 million dollars was raised for the purchase of anti-malarial bednets because of Rick Reilly’s article in Sports Illustrated. Clearly, we have the ability to put a significant dent in the number of deaths in Africa due to malaria. Reilly’s article and the Nothing But Nets campaign helped inspire me to work with my classmates to inform others about the problem of malaria in Africa, in hopes that they would join in the effort to reduce the epidemic of malaria in Africa.
Ryan Lambert, President
Chip Away Malaria Foundation