Trinity Episcopal School students recently concluded a fundraising drive to send protective anti-malarial bed nets to countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Students raised a grand total of $3,124.52, which is equal to 260 nets that will be donated to people living in African countries at high risk of malaria. The money will be donated to Nets for Life, a relief initiative sponsored by Episcopal Relief and Development.
“Until the day comes when there is some kind of immunization that can really stop malaria, these nets are the only effective means of prevention,” said Richard Hoff, Major Gifts Officer for Episcopal Relief and Development. “Nearly a million children die each year from malaria, although with programs like Nets for Life, that number has been dramatically reduced.”
To raise the money, Trinity’s fifth graders organized a fundraising campaign encouraging all Trinity students to raise and donate $12 (the cost of one bed net) by doing a service activity. The fifth grade students also made educational posters and videos with facts about malaria and ideas on how students could help raise money.
Students completed activities such as mowing the lawn, dog-sitting, having bake sales; whatever they could do to raise $12. The drive lasted about a month, and culminated on Friday, February 6 with a Spirit Night event managed by the fifth graders. The event featured basketball games, contests, carnival games, and concessions to benefit Nets for Life.
“I think fifth grade is sort of a perfect age for this,” said fifth-grade teacher Cat Cook. “When they learn about current events they immediately want to propose solutions and know what they can do to help. They are very wide-eyed about the world.”
Since Trinity’s class of 2013 began this project (it was run by the seventh graders until this year), Trinity has provided 1,392 bed nets to Nets for Life.