The Couch Potato's Guide to Giving Back
You might want to give back to...Nothing but Nets
In Ugly Betty's fourth season premiere, the fictional fashion magazine Mode does a shoot highlighting the real-life organization Nothing but Nets. In Betty's first act as an associate editor, the wide-eyed idealist pitches a story to raise awareness about the devastating effects of malaria. "She has this lightening bolt of an idea to have a high-profile fashion designer make clothes out of mosquito netting," says actor Eric Mabius, who plays Betty's boss Daniel. "It's kind of hard to tie something like saving African children into a campy show about the fashion world, but therein lies the struggle that Betty faces." And while the shoot may be filled with comic relief—nothing in Betty's career ever goes as planned, and this fashion shoot is no exception—the cause behind it is sobering. Every year, malaria kills more than a million people, 90 percent of whom are African children. In fact, a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds in Africa. According to Nothing but Nets, "Studies show that use of insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce transmission by as much as 90 percent in areas with high coverage rates." With a donation of only $10, you can buy a net big enough to protect an entire African family. "Everyone in America is strapped right now, but even for those people who are having trouble making ends meet, there is so little money and time required to make a direct impact in Africa," Mabius says. "That's what's so great about this organization in particular. Financially speaking, the commitment is very little but the effect is pretty major."