Foundation offers matching gift for Arkansas’ Imagine No Malaria effort05/25/12
Foundation offers matching gift for Arkansas’ Imagine No Malaria effortThe Imagine No Malaria (INM) effort in the Arkansas Conference has received a “win-win” opportunity in the drive to eradicate malaria. A matching grant provided by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas will double the amount raised through local efforts, up to $333,000.
Foundation president and CEO Jim Argue has committed the foundation to a dollar-for-dollar match for every dollar raised by local churches, Wesley Foundations and other ministries and missions of the Conference.
“The Imagine No Malaria effort is a perfect place for the foundation to commit its grant funds targeted for global UMC missions,” Argue said. “We’re impressed with the INM leadership, our partners beyond the UMC. I think our congregations will remember the enthusiasm for Nothing But Nets and respond generously to this next phase of the effort to eliminate malaria. The foundation is delighted to help our conference respond boldly to this initiative.”
Arkansas was named at General Conference in April as one of twelve conferences to lead the denomination’s fight to end malaria by 2015. The work involves several action channels: prevention, education, communication, treatment and advocacy.
With the matching grant, local churches can double the effectiveness of their efforts to raise funds and have a continuing impact on reducing the death toll from malaria. In only six years, the death toll from malaria in Africa has been reduced by almost 50 percent—to fewer than 700,000 deaths per year—mainly through the efforts of Imagine No Malaria and other faith-based and non-profit partners.
Argue has heard the concerns about the state of the economy or local needs hindering the enthusiasm for such a large local effort. But he believes Arkansas United Methodists will rise to the challenge.
“Now is the perfect time for us to rejoice in the power of the United Methodist connection to change the world, and to unleash our capacity to do God’s work in dramatic ways around the globe,” Argue said.
Local church mission groups such as United Methodist Women or United Methodist Men, as well as individuals, can take advantage of the foundation’s matching grant by planning fundraising events, taking up special offerings or initiating creative ways to educate members about malaria and the ease with which it can be prevented.
Attendees of the Annual Conference gathering in Fort Smith June 10-13 will see and hear stories about those affected by malaria. They also will have the chance to gain information and resources about how to begin raising awareness and funds in their churches and communities.
Materials will be available at the Imagine No Malaria display table and may be found online at www.imaginenomalaria.org. To schedule an Imagine No Malaria presentation for your church, contact conference communications director Martha Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-646-1816 or 501-324-8005.