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By: Rick Reilly

The most important column I’ve ever written

June 9, 2017
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We need nets. Not hoop nets, soccer nets or lacrosse nets.
Not New Jersey Nets or dot-nets or clarinets.
Mosquito nets.

See, nearly 3,000 kids die every day in Africa from malaria. And according to the World Health Organization, transmission of the disease would be reduced by 60% with the use of mosquito nets and prompt treatment for the infected.

We gotta get these nets…
You need about $10, all told, to get them shipped and installed…
10 bucks means a kid might get to live.

The words above are from the most important column I ever wrote for Sports Illustrated — the column that inspired the UN Foundation to launch the Nothing But Nets campaign five years ago today.

Since then, people like you and me have rallied behind this simple idea: Nets save lives. Malaria takes a child’s life every 45 seconds, but any of us can change that by giving $10 to send a net to save a life.

Five years later, hundreds of thousands of people have come together with Nothing But Nets to send some 6 million nets to 25 African countries, helping to save millions of lives. That’s incredible.

Now — we’ve got an even bigger job to do. More than a million people have been forced to flee their homes because of drought, famine, and conflict in the Horn of Africa region. Because refugee camps are swampy and crowded, malaria spreads quickly, and these families need nets — now.

That’s why Nothing But Nets is working with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to send 150,000 bed nets to refugees in the Horn of Africa. Please help. Every $10 you give will deliver one more net to protect these families, who have already been through so much, from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Thanks to a big donation from one of Nothing But Nets’ partners, BASF (one of the companies that makes bed nets) we’re already halfway there — now we need your help to close the deal.

I hope you’ll send a net — or two, or twenty — today. Refugee families in the Horn of Africa need nets now, and the life-saving solution is right in your hands.

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