Beginning Ash Wednesday, which falls this year on March 9, the faith communities of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota are launching a statewide effort to collect donations during Lent to support the purchase of at least one anti-malarial net for every Episcopalian in the state. If successful, this campaign will result in the collection of nearly $235,000 to purchase more than 19,000 anti-malarial nets.
The campaign, which is being called Mission Project 2011, will end with an ingathering on Easter Sunday, April 24.
"The power of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota lies not only in our compassion for all people but also in our commitment to working together to solve some of the most important problems facing our society today," said Minnesota Bishop Brian N. Prior. "We are 20,000 people of faith taking a stand to bring an end to the tyranny of malaria in Africa."
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that every year results in the death of approximately 1 million people, mostly children. Treated anti-malarial nets have been shown to be effective at preventing the spread of malaria. Each net can protect three people for up to 5 years.
The Mission Project 2011 website is available here.
The effort is in support of Episcopal Relief and Development's NetsforLife® campaign, which brings together corporations, foundations, faith-based organizations and private donors in a collaborative initiative focused on eliminating malaria in Africa. More information about the NetsforLife® campaign is available here.
Founded in 1857, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota is composed of more than 110 churches.