A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
Donating $10 to buy a mosquito net to save an African child from malaria has become a hip way to show you care, especially for teenagers. The movement is like a modern version of the March of Dimes, created in 1938 to defeat polio, or like collecting pennies for Unicef on Halloween.
Unusual allies, like the Methodist and Lutheran Churches, the National Basketball Association and the United Nations Foundation, are stoking the passion for nets that prevent malaria. The annual “American Idol Gives Back” fund-raising television special has donated about $6 million a year for two years. The music channel VH1 made a fund-raising video featuring a pesky man in a mosquito suit.
It is an appeal that clearly resonates with young people....
...most of the contributions have been modest, raised by students.
Yoni D. P. Rechtman, a seventh grader on the undefeated middle-school team at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, organized a 3-on-3 basketball tournament as part of his “mitzvah project,” the tradition of raising money for a good cause before one’s bar mitzvah. Unfortunately, he said, it rained that day; but the nine players who showed up anyway had family pledges totaling $1,900....more
A new charity generates new energy. At first glance I was doubtful about the legitimacy of this effort. But it looks kosher to me.