In early July, I represented the ELCA Malaria Campaign at the Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering in Spokane, WA. (A shout-out to those of you in Spokane: the locals were amazingly friendly, helpful and cheery!)
My colleague and I staffed an exhibitor’s booth in “Camp Dianoigo,” which was the Triennial exhibit hall. Dianoigo is a Greek word meaning “to open one’s mind to new experiences,” and the Triennial participants certainly came to our booth with open minds… and crafty hands.
We offered a craft project for the participants: they could sit down for a few minutes, hear about the ELCA Malaria Campaign, and make a lovely corsage out of netting, fabric and ribbon. The netting that we used is meant to remind us of the mosquito nets that are one part of the sustainable prevention, education and treatment programs that we’re funding through our companions in Africa. Colorful corsages make a great conversation piece, too: if you receive a compliment on your lovely corsage, let your conversation partner know what it represents!
I was impressed by the number of Triennial participants who had already heard about the ELCA Malaria Campaign; indeed, many had already raised funds for the campaign in their home congregations or WELCA chapters. Some of them had already experimented with crafting their own net corsages. To that I say, “Keep up the great work!”
After a short article appeared in The Lutheran a few months ago, many congregations have seized the idea of net corsages, often using them to raise money for the ELCA Malaria Campaign. If a net corsage brings in a donation of $10, that’s the equivalent of supplying a mosquito net to a family in Africa! (A $2 donation covers a dose of medication to treat a case of malaria.)
There are so many creative ways to get a congregation involved in fighting malaria. Check out these activity ideas, one of which contains a set of instructions for making your own net corsages.
Do you have other creative ideas for getting the word out about the ELCA Malaria Campaign? Have you raised money in your congregation? Let us know what worked for you! Tell us your success stories!