In the weeks leading up to World Malaria Day on April 25, we're calling attention to this deadly but preventable disease and sharing simple ways by which everyone can be involved in stopping it for good. And by "everyone," we mean exactly that -- including a 7-year-old boy from Missouri, whose unique story we hope will inspire others to take action.
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Evan, just 7 years old, is an example of how even young children can step up to help others in a meaningful way. His idea for a lemonade stand has become a fundraiser that has provided more than 400 bed nets for children at risk from malaria.
Evan’s mom, Rhonda, talked with Evan and his two brothers, Gideon and Lincoln, about the fact that malaria takes the life of a child every 60 seconds. She explained that through Malaria Sunday -- a partnership between World Vision and churches across North America to save lives from malaria in the name of Jesus -- $6 would buy a bed net that could protect children who sleep under them from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Evan and Gideon immediately emptied their piggy banks and each brought their mom $6 to buy an insecticide-treated bed net. But Evan decided that wasn’t enough.
Evan's idea has resulted in the donation of more than 400 bed nets through the sale of lemonade.
He came up with the idea of putting together a lemonade stand to raise funds that would be donated to World Vision to buy bed nets. He enlisted the help of friends, family, and students from Messenger College, where his parents work, and "Lemonade for Life" was formed. A student from Messenger built the stand, and a family friend helped paint. Another person stepped up to make logos, and the stand even got its own t-shirts.
The first Lemonade for Life event raised enough money to buy 400 bed nets! But it hasn’t stopped there. Christpoint Church, where Evan’s family attends, has adopted it as a campaign for its children’s ministry. As word has spread about Lemonade for Life, other groups have asked to bring the stand to their events. Though the Lemonade for Life stand is based in Missouri, it has even traveled to churches out of state.
While Evan is only 7 years old, he is helping other children around the world -- with some inspiration from Malaria Sunday, help from his family and friends, a creative mind, and a willing heart. This little boy serves as a reminder that we all have something to offer in helping others.
How can you be involved in fighting malaria? What steps can you take to bring help to people who are vulnerable to this disease?
Please share with us your ideas -- or what you have done already -- as comments below!
Want to help end malaria deaths worldwide by 2015? You and your church can!
Host a Malaria Sunday. Your congregation will learn about malaria and have the opportunity to help save lives by donating insecticide-treated bed nets. We'll provide you with everything you need for a successful event!
Read related post: Bring Malaria Sunday to your church