Saving lives one bednet at a time

Lynda Commale in Uganda

Lynda Commale distributes bednets through Nothing But Nets in Uganda last October.

Eight year old Katherine Commale, from Hopewell United Methodist Church in Downingtown, PA, was celebrated at Annual Conference 2009, as she topped $100,000 raised for sending bednets to Africa to prevent malaria.  Katherine recently sent us an update on her family’s efforts.

“Hi everyone.  I am still working hard raising money for mosquito nets.  I have raised over $135,000 so far.  I still get so excited every time someone gives me a $10 bill for a net.  That means one more family will stay safe from malaria.

Since last year’s Annual Conference, my church, Hopewell United Methodist Church, had a super fun bed net festival celebration for reaching 10,000 nets. We had tons of games, moon bounces and we even had a dunk tank.  It was great!  I also attended the 2009 World Malaria Day summit in Washington, DC.  I spoke to about 350 world leaders about my commitment to ending malaria and reminded them that if we work really, really hard, we could end malaria by 2014 instead of 2015, which is the Nothing But Nets goal.  I was also given the DragonFly Award by The White House “For Remarkable Efforts in Fighting Malaria.”  It is a really pretty award.  In the fall, my whole family spoke at Saint Joseph’s University where my parents went to college.  We taught the students and professors about mosquito nets.  We raised over $1,500 in one hour.

My mom and I are still visiting churches and schools to teach people about malaria in Africa.  It is so great when others want to help us send more nets.  If you would like us to come to your church and teach your congregation about mosquito nets please send an email to my mom at LyndaCommale@yahoo.com.  We would love to come.

Did you know that my mom went to Uganda in October to give out some of my nets?  She went to Gulu, Uganda, which is in Northern Uganda.  She visited refugee camps and internally displaced people camps and gave out over 2,000 mosquito nets.  I missed her a lot but I was so glad that she got to give out some nets.  She had such great stories about her adventure.  Maybe when I am a little bigger I will get to give some nets out too.

One of my favorite stories from my mom’s trip was about a little baby girl named Pricilla.  Pricilla was born 10 weeks early.  She was born in a clinic with no electricity or running water.  My mom says that Pricilla is a miracle baby.  She is soooo cute.  My mom got to hold her a lot.  She looks like a little angel all wrapped in her pink blanket.  Pricilla did not have a net, but my mom would not leave the camp until Pricilla and her mom got a net to sleep under.  I am so happy that she is safe now.

My mom met a young dad named Simon at one of the camps too.  He has a wife and two small children and they did not have a net.  My mom gave him one and he took her back to his hut and she hung it for him.  It was pouring rain and she was all muddy and wet.  I got to see pictures of Simon’s new net.  My mom said she will never forget Simon’s face once the net was hung over his sleeping mat.  He was so happy and thankful.

My mom told me lots of stories about the families she met.  It is really sad that many of the people in Africa are so poor.  She met a lot of children that were sick with malaria too.  It was great that she got to give out so many nets, but so many more are needed.  She said it was a terrible feeling when they ran out of nets and there were more people waiting to get one.  We need to send some more and I hope you will help us.

Maybe I’ll see you at Annual Conference in May.  Don’t forget…Send a net!  Save a life!  Hope to hear from you soon.

God bless!

Katherine Commale”

More information: www.nothingbutnets.net