By: Bill O’Connell
According to Nothing But Nets, a global campaign that raises awareness, funds and voices to fight malaria, an African child dies every two minutes from this horrible disease which is most often transmitted by mosquitos. It is a very tragic statistic with an extremely daunting task facing those who battle to bring the number down.
This year, as part of their “Safari” theme, Swanton’s Community Vacation Bible School (CVBS) decided to join the fight by raising money for insecticide-treated bed mosquito nets and help save lives of children living over 7,000 miles away. The CVBS, a 20-year collaboration of St. Richard’s Catholic, Faith Lutheran and Trinity United Methodist churches, set a financial goal of $250 to be able to purchase 25 nets. Each day of the CVBS, which ran from June 19-23, the children would bring in a free-will donation in a small “netted” pouch.
The response from the community far exceeded expectations. “I think we are going to be at $1000,” said Ann Geise, one of the key organizers estimating the final numbers. “Our goal was 25 nets and we’re going to triple that,” added Kim Floyd who spearheaded the effort. More likely they will quadruple it, a testimony to the generous spirit often found in the Swanton community.
Held at St. Richard’s this year, the three churches rotate responsibility for organizing the Vacation Bible School week and invite all area children, regardless of denomination. Incorporating a charitable project during the week is nothing new for the CVBS but this is the first time they have gone this far out of the Swanton area and it fits well into their philosophy of giving to others in need they instill into the children.
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