Letter: Churchwomen save 200 lives and help feed 1,500 families

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 11:32 PM


There’s an African proverb: “If you think that you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.” It’s this thought that propelled the United Methodist Women of First Methodist Church, Sevierville, to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria. Currently, one African child dies of malaria every 60 seconds. Through the Imagine No Malaria program, it takes only $10 to prevent the death of that child, so the churchwomen knew they were not too small to make a difference. But the women were also very aware of the needs of our own local children and the daunting task of the Sevier County Food Ministry to provide for them. To help meet both those needs, the UMW on Saturday, April 20, staged its Spring Bazaar.

Thanks to the generosity and support of this community, the bazaar, the first of its kind, exceeded everyone’s expectations. The churchwomen had already pledged the bazaar’s first thousand dollars to the malaria campaign, but immediately agreed to up that to $2,000. If you’re doing the math, that amount will save the lives of 200 children and will further support the United Methodist Church’s mission of eradicating malaria in Africa by the year 2015. Many folks are familiar with the need to provide mosquito nets (the mosquito that spreads malaria only feeds at night), but much more is required: medicines and medical care; drainage of standing water; and advocacy and education.

And to help serve those local children, the UMW pledged $1,000 to the Sevier County Food Ministry. The Food Ministry director, Jim Davis, says their thousand dollar donation will buy 6,000 pounds of potatoes: “enough to feed 1,500 families for a week.” Additional funds will be distributed to other global and local missions.

The Spring Bazaar showcased the artistry and crafts of church members as well as that of other artisans who donated their wares. A gourmet bake shop and luncheon rounded out the event. The joy and fellowship in preparing for the event and its overwhelming success has led the group to start planning for the “Second Annual.”

Our thanks to all who contributed to the success of our first Spring Bazaar.

Barbara T. O’Brien

President, United Methodist Women

First United Methodist Church