No, Carrie Underwood and Simon Cowell are not holding up their giant paychecks. They are holding up checks worth $64 million dollars for charities across the globe! Idol Gives Back, an event launched in 2007, asked viewers and sponsors to donate to charities around the globe. They raised $75 million that year alone! Talk about star power. The event has grown into a full-blown charity, Idol Gives Back. While they're taking a break this year, the event will be blown out again in 2010.
One of the amazing charities that benefit from Idol Gives Back is Malaria No More, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that seeks to end the malaria crisis in Africa. They see it as a solvable problem with small measures like mosquito nets, effective medicine and targeted spraying. Every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria. Because malaria kills more children than any other disease, it is imperative to provide protection, prevention, and treatment and the Malaria No More cause should be the forefront of humanitarian efforts in the country.
Another American Idol, six season winner Jordin Sparks is also involved with Malaria No More. The singer, songwriter, fashion designer and plus-size model seems to do it all! "But I have another dream," Jordin tells us in her Malaria No More video, "wiping out malaria." Jordin has teamed up with Malaria No More and National Geographic to campaign for saving children in Africa. With the new campaign, "Be a Star, Save a Life," Jordin is encouraging young people to help raise money for bed nets. For every bed net donated, "Be a Star, Save a Life," promises to donate one more. "That means for every life you save, we'll help you save another," says Jordin. The Idol star has visited Africa to help distribute and set up the nets.
Young people are already joining the fight! It is easy to raise money for $10 mosquito nets. Allyson Brown, a high school student started dedicating school dances to the cause. She called it "Stayin' Alive" and was able to raise malaria awareness and funds for nets in a fun, social way. At Buckingham Brown & Nichols, kids have gotten together for the past five years to hold an art auction dedicated to the cause. For other ideas on raising funds for mosquito nets in your school, go here.