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May 18, 2011 | Luke Blount

NetsforLife® Goals Reached Across Diocese

katie cornell
Katie Cornell helped raise $144 at school
st. mark's bay city nets
Children from St. Mark's, Bay City 

At this year’s council in February, the Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle announced a partnership with NetsforLife® and Episcopal Relief and Development to distribute insecticide-treated nets in remote regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Bishop Doyle challenged each of the 27,700 families in the diocese to donate at least one net in 2011. One $12 treated net can last up to five years and saves three lives.


“I hope that by our next Council, we can be ahead of the game and announce that we have indeed given all of our 27,700 nets,” said Bishop Doyle at council.


Many parishes made this mission their Lenten project and quickly surpassed the goal of one net per family. St. John’s, Sealy, was the first to reach the goal as Boy Scout Andrew Jelson single handedly raised enough money to purchase 46 nets for the church of 41 families.


Following in St. John’s footsteps, other parishes have also met the challenge. Calvary, Richmond, surpassed its goal of 100 insecticide-treated mosquito nets, raising more than $2100 to purchase 177 nets which will protect 531 people for five years. The effort was due, in part, to the efforts of Foster High School freshman, Katie Cornell, who brought the program to her geography teacher. The effort tied in with the class’s study of Africa and malaria, and the class collected $144, which the teacher matched. 


Calvary raised the majority of the money through their "Nickles for Nets" drive. Many parishioners saved their loose change in the "Nickle for Nets" tubs, which the youth group decorated with “Nickles for Nets” labels.


During a six-week campaign, the 330 households of St. Michael's, Austin, donated $5,076 to NetsforLife (enough for 423 nets). St. John’s, Tyler, raised enough money on Easter to buy twice as many nets as they had families, and St. Andrew's in the Heights, Houston donated $1208.17, just over their goal of $1200 or 100 nets. 


At the beginning of Lent, the Rev. Cliff Rucker passed out empty plastic containers and challenged his congregation at Holy Trinity, Port Neches, to collect their change for NetsforLife®. By Easter, $1203 in change had been donated, and the parish surpassed their goal of 175 nets by 55, donating $2,767.27 in total.


It is estimated that one child dies from Malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa every 60 seconds, and children across the Diocese of Texas have taken this opportunity to help their counterparts across the globe. In Nacogdoches, students at Christ Episcopal School donated $500 to purchase nets, and on Easter Sunday in Bay City, children from St. Mark’s carried a fishing net full of mite boxes holding over $1,000. 


NetsforLife® provides nets to communities that are remote and outside of national health systems cutting malaria transmission by 50 percent, child mortality by 20 percent and the mosquito population by as much as 90 percent.  Since 2006 more than 4.8 million nets have been distributed. 


To learn more and to see an updated list of parishes that have reached the goal of one net per family, visit our NetsforLife® page.