Nothing But Nets launched a month-long, nationwide campaign on Tuesday to encourage Americans to "Compete to Beat Malaria" and raise money in an effort to send 25,000 insecticide-treated nets to Africa.
"Nothing But Nets was created with sports in our DNA," Nothing But Nets Director Chris Helfrich said. "For years, our supporters have leveraged their passions for sports to raise money for the campaign while doing what they love. If everyone takes a challenge this month, we can help protect thousands of kids from malaria."
The organization will gather national partners, communities, schools and individuals on April 25, World Malaria Day, to accept sports-related challenges, educate and raise awareness and funds to fight malaria.
Nothing But Nets recently honored Cooper Smith, a middle-school student in Lafayette, Calif. Two years in a row, Smith asked friends and family to donate to Nothing But Nets instead of buying him birthday presents.
"This year my birthday will have a basketball theme - but I don't really need a new basketball hoop or sneakers," Smith said. "I just want others to know about malaria and how it easily it can be prevented. So for my birthday, I am hosting a trick shot competition to raise awareness for Nothing But Nets at Oakwood in Lafayette, to help make sure kids don't get sick from malaria. My best friend is doing one as well. We hope others will join in."
Nothing But Nets said several high schools, colleges and universities have planned basketball tournaments and 5K races in support of the campaign.
The organization has delivered more than 7 million malaria nets since 2006 with the help of its United Nations partners