By Nyamah Dunbar*
During the 2011 East Ohio Annual Conference in picturesque Lakeside, Ohio, two surprise guest stars from the Imagine No Malaria documentary, “A Killer in the Dark”, appeared to be moonlighting as lemonade sellers right outside the auditorium. In fact, they were not moonlighting, but presenting a live display of their child-led initiative that has raised more than $11,000 for the Imagine No Malaria Campaign and landed them a world-debut slot in the documentary.
When Logan Martens was just about to turn 7 years old, his Mom asked him if he would be willing to ask guests at his birthday party to donate to Imagine No Malaria in lieu of gifts. He accepted without hesitation. Well, except one—he would not give up having his cake! Since that day, nearly four years ago, he found a partner in 9-year-old Molly Menamara, and the dynamic duo has been pitching up lemonade stands and selling cookies and any other donated goodies, with all proceeds going to the Imagine No Malaria Campaign.
As their initiative grew, their grandfathers, retired UMC pastors, Rev. Adriel Trasash and Rev. Don Lefler, were inspired by the selfless drive of their grandchildren and each offered to match the proceeds raised from each sale: they would triple the worth of each dollar given to the campaign. That’s saying a lot for some retired pastors on a pension plan! But Rev. Trasash was also motivated, he said, by “the good that the [Imagine No Malaria projects] are doing to save lives and…the ongoing need to save the lives of pregnant women and children.”
As I reflected on Molly and Logan’s venture, I asked the youngsters how they felt about the theme of this year’s East Ohio Conference, “IF WE ARE THE BODY….” Without hesitation, Molly responded, “People helping people shows that we ARE the BODY of Christ.” Wise words from a wise child.
*Nyamah Dunbar is UMCOR grants officer for Imagine No Malaria.