Health & Medical Adolescent Health

Madelyn McGlynn

Significance isn't measured by how big you're achievements are.
Your efforts, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to you, do their part in in changing the world.
This is the story of Madelyn McGlynn, a young woman from Belleville, Illinois, whose life is a wonderful inspiration of service and charity.
Madelyn McGlynn is a young philanthropist and social entrepreneur that is well-known for being a co-founder and leader of NETwork Against Malaria, a worldwide organization that helps families in areas of the world that are affected by Malaria by providing them with bed nets in order to help prevent the spread of this deadly yet preventable disease.
Since its inception, NETwork Against Malaria has grown to a network of over thirty five thousand volunteers, raised over seventy eight thousand dollars, provided around twelve thousand bed nets, potentially saving over thirty five thousand lives.
Through the successes of the organization that Madelyn helped found, she has become widely known and has been a recipient of a number of awards and recognitions.
Madelyn has been a recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award as well as the Discus Award, and more recently, has been included in the list of the 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World by Youth Service America.
These awards, among all others that Madelyn has been given, simply prove just how much of an inspiration and encouragement she has been to a lot of people.
Everyone who has had the opportunity of working with Madelyn admire her amazing passion, courage and dedication to help others.
Madelyn's leadership abilities inspire everyone around her to do their best in serving the cause of their organization, and her extraordinary passion empowers her fellow workers to keep on promoting the cause of NETwork Against Malaria.
Even people from outside the organization who spends time with Madelyn recognize the aura of encouragement that she carries everywhere she goes.
An example of this is Jill Saunders, the spokeswoman of the Build-a-Bear Foundation, who says of Madelyn in an interview: "Madelyn really kind of amazed us because she identified a very important need in third world countries and a problem that exists, which is malaria.
She came up with a very creative and fundamentally simple idea -- I think that the best ideas often are these simple solutions -- and then she made that happen.
Not only did she make that happen, but she shared that information and how she did that with thousands of other volunteers.
" Madelyn's dedication in the work of NETwork Against Malaria comes from her realizing how easily this disease can be prevented, and yet there are still millions dying from it.
From the first time she learned of Malaria, Madelyn became very eager to help prevent the spread of this disease so that lives can be spared from something that can easily be prevented.
Madelyn said in a blog she wrote many years later: "We learned that malaria kills one child every 30 seconds.
It was a terrible realization that children were suffering and dying from a preventable disease.
So we decided to help...
I have flown all across the country teaching people about malaria and how easy it is to prevent it.
" Another thing that empowered Madelyn in being passionate about her philanthropic work is the genuine desire that she saw in every person to contribute something productive to their community and help their fellow citizens.
But while these people have this longing to be of a significant help to their society, most of them do not know where to start and as time goes by the fire cools down.
This is why Madelyn is so extraordinary.
Like everyone else, she had a desire to help people, but she was able to pinpoint the need and fill it with whatever she can.
In an interview made with her, Madelyn stated: "Through my years of working with individuals of all ages and backgrounds, I have learned that most people genuinely want to help.
Most people want to reach out to those in need and make a difference in our world.
Often, people just do not know how to begin.
" Whenever Madelyn sees a net being delivered, she always gets reminded of the change that it will make in the life of whoever receives it.
Most of us today who live in places where we are safe from Malaria would see this as something peripheral, but to those who live in areas where Malaria is a huge risk, having a bed net is a life changing event.
Madelyn often says in her speeches: "Each net that was distributed will have a story because the child who receives it will take it home and live their life protected by it.
Each net will become an important part of the Ugandans' lives.
The children who sleep under them will grow up and one day tell stories of their homes and undoubtedly, the nets will be a part of this.
" But aside from the stories of the lives of those who have received the bed nets, the changed lives of people who have supported the cause of NETwork inspire Madelyn as well.
She has learned that through NETwork, many people have found something that would help them become responsible members of the community.
The organization did not just make a difference in the physical plane - it also sparked a change in the mindsets of the people.
Madelyn wrote in her blog: "Just as each net has a story, each dollar raised has a story.
One of my volunteers loves to tell the story of the first dollar she made for NETwork.
A stand was set up at a local carnival for the city's grade schools.
The first dollar she made was just that: $1.
She sold two baked goods to a little boy who was more than happy to buy them.
She says it touched her in a way nothing else has.
" With all her and her organization's achievements in helping to prevent the spread of Malaria, Madelyn knows that there is still much that has to be done - and with this knowledge, Madelyn and her team never stops in devoting their time, energy and effort to ensure that more people can be reached and saved by something as simple as a bed net.
In an interview, Madelyn said: "Our ultimate goal is to eradicate malaria from the world, so 11,900 bed nets is a huge deal but we have a long way to go.
" Up to this day, Madelyn is still amazed by how much her and her sisters' efforts have made an impact in the world.
Her accomplishments have kept her humble by helping her realize that NETwork Against Malaria would not have become what it is today had it not been for the support of the people whom she was able to inspire.
The stories of the lives that have been changed through NETwork keep Madelyn inspired and empowered to continue doing what she is doing.
"When I was 12, I never imagined the affects NETwork would have on people.
I never imagined that we would have provided 11,500 bed nets, saving 34,500 lives.
I never imagined we would inspire people to start their own organizations.
I never imagined that five girls from a small town could change people's lives across the world.
That is why when a package from Uganda comes in the mail, I run, not walk, to see the faces of the children we have helped to save.
" - Madelyn McGlynn

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