UMC reaches 90% of Imagine No Malaria Goal

 

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Bishops Thomas Bickerton, Peggy Johnson, and Jeremiah Park

Harrisburg, PA  – At a special press conference today, the 3 bishops serving Pennsylvania joined together to announce that the United Methodist Church has successfully raised over 90% of its $75 million goal for Imagine No Malaria, an initiative of the UMC to eliminate malaria deaths.

This new milestone was reached through a $1 million pledge from the Harrisburg Episcopal Area, led by Bishop Jeremiah Park. At the press event today, Bishop Park presented a $150,000 check (representing 15 percent of their pledge) to Bishop Thomas Bickerton of the Pittsburgh Episcopal Area. Bickerton chairs The United Methodist Church’s Global Health Initiative and has led Imagine No Malaria since 2010. Bickerton’s area has raised more that $2.1 million for Imagine No Malaria.B ishop Peggy Johnson of the Philadelphia Episcopal Area, where local congregations have raised in excess of a quarter of a million dollars for Imagine No Malaria through a variety of fundraising activities, also was on hand for the event.

The Camp Hill UMC Preschool and Children's Center sings for the Imagine No Malaria announcement event.

The Camp Hill UMC Preschool and Children’s Center sings for the Imagine No Malaria announcement event.

“We thank Bishop Park and United Methodists throughout Central Pennsylvania who have made this pledge. We also thank United Methodists throughout the world whose fundraising efforts have now raised $68 million in cash and pledges for Imagine No Malaria,” Bickerton said. “Today’s announcement is a celebration for all United Methodists, who serve as a testimony to what we can achieve when we unite for a shared vision of a world without malaria deaths.”

Bickerton also shared congratulatory remarks from Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer who heads the President’s Malaria Initiative in Washington, D.C., a leader in the global fight against malaria. Ziemer was unable to attend the event due to travel outside of the country.

“What a remarkable achievement! The United Methodist Church’s delivery on their commitment of $75 million in support of your Imagine No Malaria campaign is unprecedented and has set the bar very high for other faith-based partners,” Ziemer said. “Imagine the thousands of lives that have been saved and the families that have benefited from less malaria in their homes and communities. I recently visited Zimbabwe and saw firsthand the fantastic work that The United Methodist Church is doing.”

During the event, the Rev. Tom Willard, senior pastor at Camp Hill United Methodist Church where the event was held, shared his personal story of contracting malaria following a mission trip two years ago to Sierra Leone. Bishop Johnson also reflected on her conference’s fundraising experiences, which have ranged from 5K races to bake sales, with many engaging youth.

Since the campaign’s start in 2010, United Methodist youth have been vital to Imagine No Malaria’s fundraising efforts through innovative and generous means, including donating pennies from their piggy banks to hosting lemonade stands to requesting Imagine No Malaria donations for birthday gifts.

INM-Give10-Campaign-180x180The multi-year campaign, which has now raised $68 million in cash and pledges, has engaged United Methodists across the world, from local churches holding fundraisers to major donor gifts. Giving continues as the initiative nears its goal.

Today, Imagine No Malaria launched a social media campaign to kick off the final phase of fundraising with the #Give10 Challenge. By donating $10 or more, the people of The United Methodist Church will work together to reach the last 10 percent of the goal. Contributions can be made at ImagineNoMalaria.org.

UMReporter Staff

This story was posted by a staff member of The United Methodist Reporter. For over 160 years The United Methodist Reporter has been helping the people called Methodist to tell their stories. If you have stories that you think need to be told, please let us know at editor@circuitwritermedia.com

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