Six weeks ago, at midnight, I found myself awake but wiped out from jet lag. I was in a lumpy bed, in the dark, in an obscure, $20 a night, John-Waters'-esque former country club. I was in Kitale, Kenya, near the Ugandan border.
A mosquito was buzzing in my ear. (Why do they buzz in your ear?). I had meds, of course, but what if I didn't? What if, like so many who live here, I had kids and no money for medicine?
Try to imagine that for a second before you click onto the next thing you've got on your agenda for today.
Today is End Malaria Day.
Right this minute, right now, please do three things:
1.Buy two copies of End Malaria, an astonishing new book by more than sixty of your favorite authors. In a minute, I will explain why this might be the most important book you buy this year (not the best book, of course, just the most important one). You should buy one in paperback too so you can evangelize a copy to a colleague.
2.Tweet or like this post, or email it to ten friends (It only takes a second.)
3.And, visit the End Malaria Day website and share it as well.
What would happen if you did that? What would happen if you stepped up and spent a few dollars?
Here's what would happen: someone wouldn't die.
A child wouldn't die from malaria, a disease that causes more childhood death than HIV/AIDS.
It's that direct. Malaria bednets are simple nets that hang over a window or a bed. They're treated with a chemical that mosquitos hate. The mosquitos fly away, they don't bite, people don't get malaria.
Every single penny spent on the Kindle edition goes to Malaria No More, giving them enough money to buy one or two bednets and to deliver them and be sure they're used properly. Low overhead, no graft, no waste. Just effectiveness. And if you buy the beautiful paperback edition, you can easily give it away when you're done and the same $20 donation gets made. None of the authors or anyone at the Domino Project sees your money, there's no ulterior motive, just the fact that a kid won't die.
Wait, there is one ulterior motive: You might be inspired. One of the sixty plus contributors might share a gem or spark an idea.
And I guess there's a second motive: Stepping up feels right. It's a few clicks to buy a book, one you might be able to afford. And for the rest of the day, or even a week, you'll remember how it felt to save someone's life.