In observance of World Malaria Day, today thousands of supporters worldwide will join The Million Nets Pledge, a two-year pledge by the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to protect refugee families with one million bednets by 2016. This ambitious $10 million pledge focuses on their increased work with UN partners to protect children, refugees, and families displaced by conflict in sub-Saharan Africa from malaria.
“There has been a large surge in refugee families displaced by conflict in several countries across Africa,” said Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich. “Malaria is a leading killer of refugees – after all they have endured and survived, these families should not have to fear dying from a mosquito bite.”
The Nothing But Nets campaign boasts hundreds of thousands of supporters – from students to athletes to CEOs – who all help to protect families on another continent from the threat of malaria. Today, campaign partners and supporters across the country have announced their commitments to The Million Nets Pledge.
Beginning today, Orlando City SC defender and member of the United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT), Brek Shea, will donate 30 nets to Nothing But Nets for every win, 10 nets for every tie, and 10 for every goal he scores in any Orlando City or USMNT game.
“I’m glad I can help raise awareness for this important cause and inspire more soccer fans to help us save refugee lives,” said Shea. “No one should suffer from a disease that’s preventable.”
Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver also announced his support for the campaign today via social media. He joins several professional athletes including Steve Blake, Kristin Hildebrand, and Vania King who this month have all pledged their support for Nothing But Nets and asked their fans to take The Million Nets Pledge.
Lieutenant Commander Dr. Andy Baldwin, an ironman triathlete, humanitarian, U.S. Naval Officer and physician, and star of ABC’s hit show, “The Bachelor,” has pledged his commitment to the campaign through a running challenge between himself and Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich. From April 1 through World Malaria Day, each ran “Miles for Malaria,” donating $1 for each of the other’s total miles tally. The loser will buzz his hair.
The Million Nets Pledge is spreading through local communities across the country. Retired American professional soccer player Jared Montz, through the Online Soccer Academy, today hosts the third-annual nationwide Juggle-a-thon to bring together local soccer teams and players to juggle and raise funds for nets. The Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, Southern California Chapter, will host its 1st Annual World Without Malaria 5K Walk, to help Nothing But Nets send nets to refugees fleeing violence in Nigeria.
Nothing But Nets youth champions are holding local events to send nets and help save lives. West Springfield High School student Kevin Strickland is hosting a local bake sale in Springfield, VA and expects to surpass his $10,000 fundraising goal in the history of his work for the campaign. And through a Nothing But Nets partnership with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, several of the campaign’s Malaria Fellows on college campuses across the country will be holding in-district meetings with their members of Congress to advocate for strong continued U.S. leadership and funding in the fight against malaria.
Malaria is a deadly disease, transmitted by a single mosquito bite. Malaria kills a child every 60 seconds. But long-lasting, insecticide-treated bednets provide a simple, cost-effective solution that can stop the spread of malaria and save lives. Nothing But Nets and its UN partners, including The UN Refugee Agency and UNICEF, deliver these nets to families where they’re needed most.
Anyone from students to CEOs can join The Million Nets Pledge and help to send one million nets to protect refugee families from malaria. Go to www.NothingButNets.net/MillionNetsPledge to take the pledge and help save lives.
# # #
Senior Communications Officer, Nothing But Nets
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Since then, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $56 million to help deliver more than nine million bednets to families in need. Campaign partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, Junior Chamber International, and Major League Soccer’s MLS WORKS. It costs $10 to purchase and deliver an insecticide-treated bednet, provide education on its proper use, and provide other malaria reduction interventions that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.