Smith Center UMC takes ongoing approach to help fight malaria


By Susie Buckley, special contributor

Pipe-cleaner mosquitos decorate a net as part of a display in the window of the Smith Center UMC’s Hardly Used Shop to raise money for Imagine No Malaria. (photo by Marilyn Schwertfeger)
Smith Center United Methodist Church held a kick-off campaign for Imagine No Malaria on Mother’s Day in May. Members of the congregation were urged to donate $10 to the campaign in honor of their mothers or other influential women in their lives.

At the end of July, the Mission Committee hosted church members as they gathered in the fellowship hall for the Fifth Sunday Brunch. Those attending watched the movie, “A Killer in the Dark,” which chronicles community-based efforts on a national and global scale to reach the same critical goal: end deaths caused by malaria. Donations were taken at the gathering. A large collection jar also was placed at the back of the sanctuary for continued donations.

The first Sunday in August, Mission Committee member Kathy McCary announced an upcoming event for Imagine No Malaria and explained that she had made many large pipe-cleaner “mosquitoes” to be placed on netting. This was part of a display set up in the front window of the church’s thrift shop on Main Street in Smith Center. Adding to the display was a life-sized doll placed on a youth mattress, which the netting covered. A local printing company made a large sign for the window. The display was in the window for several weeks.

All proceeds from the Hardly Used Shop from Aug. 16 and 17 — more than $900 — went toward the Imagine No Malaria campaign. The display was then moved to the church’s sanctuary at the end of the month, where members had the opportunity to donate toward the cause and take a mosquito off the net.

Susie Buckley is a member of Smith Center UMC.

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