Awareness-raising part of INM effort, says Camden pastor

“We got some strange looks,” the Rev. Deanna McCormack said about the Christmas float Timothy United Methodist Church entered in the annual Camden, Ark. Christmas parade. 

The float, put together by members of Timothy UMC Camden, featured a malaria net over several children sitting on a pallet. “Mosquitoes” made of plastic foam balls and pipe cleaners clung to the outside of the net. 

Entitled, “Away in the Manger,” the float declared the church’s Christmas Wish (the theme of the parade) to be, “All Children Everywhere Safe From Malaria.” It included the initiative’s web address,

The float was voted “Best Religious Theme” by parade organizers. 

“We chose INM for our float because of all the information we’ve received about how malaria affects children,” McCormack said. “And we had seen the banner on Imagine No Malaria Arkansas Facebook page which reads, “One child forever changed our world. Will you change one child’s life?”  McCormack admits that the fight against malaria probably isn’t well-known in Camden, outside of local United Methodists.

“But if even one person along the parade route saw the float and went home and looked up Imagine No Malaria on the web, it was worth it.”