I have the privilege of working with Nothing But Nets grassroots champions every day, and I’m continually motivated by the efforts of the wonderful people who have joined the movement to fight malaria. Recently, one story in particular has captured my attention—the town of Colchester, Connecticut, which has come together to raise over $16,500 for Nothing But Nets!
The Colchester story is truly remarkable. Seemingly everyone in town—from elementary students, to grocery store patrons, to the local Rotary—has pitched in however they can. Equally impressive is that the effort to gain the town’s support for malaria prevention has been inspired and led by one outstanding Colchester resident, Dr. Jamie Roach-Decker.
Dr. Roach-Decker became passionate about malaria prevention after reading a book by Nothing But Nets champion Rick Reilly, wherein she learned that a child dies every 60 seconds from the disease. Inspired to action by this tragic statistic, Dr. Roach-Decker set a goal last September to raise $10,000 in order to send 1,000 bed nets to Africa.
She began by enlisting the help of her family, collecting funds anywhere and everywhere they could—at the local grocery store, youth soccer tournaments, churches around town, and beyond. And after seeing her passion and hearing about the importance of the issue, hundreds of others from Colchester have joined in the effort, enabling Dr. Roach-Decker to beat her fundraising goal, sending more than 1,650 nets to communities in need!
Beyond the town’s amazing fundraising efforts, Colchester residents have also recognized the importance of advocacy as a crucial tool in the fight against malaria. Recently, several Colchester champions traveled with me to Hartford, to educate and engage several of their members of Congress on the importance of U.S. leadership in eliminating this deadly disease.
This is another great reminder of how Nothing But Nets is truly driven by the passion, energy, and commitment of our supporters around the world. A special thanks to everyone from Colchester who has given time and resources to help fight malaria with Nothing But Nets (it’s quite a list!):
Colchester Rotary, Jack Jackter Intermediate School, Interact Club and International Causes Club at Bacon Academy, Sam and Weston Dzwonchyk, Ed Johnetta Miller, Val Geato and Colchester Youth Services, CASTLE Daycare, Summer from Hebron CT, Harrington Court Rehabilitation Center, the Colchester Senior Center, Pastor Marek at St. Andrew Church, St. Andrew Choir and Ladies Guild, St. Francis Ladies Guild, Cragin Memorial Library, Knights of Columbus, Bacon Academy boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball teams, Noels Market, Professional Massage, S&S Worldwide, Carol Burke and Silpada Jewelry, Jack Faski of Skyview Realty, Kim Nardone, the Esteve Family, and many other businesses and establishments in Colchester who donated to numerous fundraising initiatives.