Local run aims to end malaria

“Crashing, hit a wall. Right now I need a miracle. Hurry up now, I need a miracle…. I need you, I need you, I need you right now. Yeah, I need you right now. So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down.” —“Don’t Let Me Down,” Joy Williams

Sometimes marketing companies miss the mark and manage only to get on our nerves. Think a fast-food commercial with two not-so-bright middle aged men making jokes about a fax machine (in 2017?) and trying to use a cherry stem as a straw.

But other times, they manage to touch a different kind of nerve. State Farm Insurance has a new commercial showing a man surrounded by people in need. Every deprivation he sees begins to follow him everywhere he goes. Rescue dogs, veterans in need, the homeless and the sick, until he’s overwhelmed by the desperation around him. He eventually walks into a youth center to volunteer.

The message, “You can lift the weight of caring, by doing.”

There are opportunities everywhere and one more, with a very real impact and a very real success story, is coming up April 22.

In 2010, a campaign called Imagine No Malaria began. Its purpose is to end malaria, a disease that was eliminated in the United States in 1950 but still kills a child every two minutes in Africa. The campaign has global backers, including the United Methodist Church.

Their work is resulting in a lot of prevented deaths by way of mosquito nets, testing and medicine, and improved water and sanitation.

Enter a blatant plug for our local small-but-mighty effort at imagining no malaria: The fifth annual HUMC Skeeter Run. The Hillsboro United Methodist Church’s fun run is just two weeks away and the entry fees and donations will melt right into the campaign goal. Those dollars will turn in mosquito nets hanging above more kids’ heads.

The good news is that as of August 2016 the campaign had raised 92 percent of its $75 million goal.

In just seven years, one dollar at a time has multiplied into $69 million —$623,000 from United Metho­dist churches in the Great Plains (Kansas and Nebraska) area from little events like this one.

If you need a solid reason to come out and participate, they still need a few more bucks.

If you need another reason, there are cinnamon rolls.

If you need a third, consider that 90 percent of malaria victims are under age 5 or pregnant women. The female mosquito feeds and bites at night (which is why the nets are a line of defense), the parasite gets into the blood stream and untreated, can lead to organ failure.

If you need a fourth, this is all 100 percent preventable.

It’s fun, it’s fitness, and as sad as it seems to roll out of bed on a day where alarm clocks should be switched off, it’s worth it on many levels. It’s is an opportunity to lift the weight of caring, by doing. And there are cinnamon rolls.

Since we’re listing reasons to come out and participate, here are a few more: tables of door prizes, newly redesigned T-shirts, a cheaper registration fee through April 14, a 5K fun run, a 1-mile fun walk, and finisher awards.

While you’re there, hitting the streets at 9 a.m., the weight of caring might be lifted. Just a little.

And there are cinnamon rolls.