Chris Helfrich

Director, Nothing But Nets, United Nations Foundation

Chris Helfrich

Christopher Helfrich is the Director of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets, a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. Nothing But Nets provides individuals — from students CEOs — the opportunity to join the fight against malaria by sending a net to save a life. Since the UN Foundation launched the campaign in 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $35 million to distribute more than 4 million nets to families throughout Africa.

Before joining Nothing But Nets, Chris served as the Director of Development and Marketing at Public Citizen, a national, public interest advocacy organization. There, he managed all fundraising, including major giving and events, and helped lead the organization’s online fundraising and advocacy program. Prior to Public Citizen, Chris was Director of Development at public radio stations in San Antonio, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, and a fundraiser at Davidson College during their $270 million capital campaign, Let Learning Be Cherished.

Blog Posts by Chris Helfrich

Top 10 Reasons to Gift a Net This Season
In 2012, the World Health Organization estimates that there were more than 200 million cases of malaria. But there is also good news: We have effective tools to fight malaria. Insecticide-treated bed nets are a simple, inexpensive solution to protect families from this deadly disease.
December 16, 2013

Knocking out malaria one net at a time
As a father of two young boys, I look forward to life’s milestones. First steps, first words, first day of school – I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything in the world. Unfortunately, not all parents get the chance to celebrate such important milestones in their children’s lives.
July 30, 2013

A Critical Moment in the Fight Against Malaria
This World Malaria Day, we need your help more than ever...
April 25, 2013

What I Learned on a Hillside in Rwanda
My unforgettable visit today to Gihembe Refugee Camp in Rwanda with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign reinforced two things. One: Our collective work to fight malaria is paying off. Two: We still have a lot of work to do to end malaria deaths for good. More than 14,000 people live in Gihembe in northern Rwanda, although it’s difficult to call these mud houses perched on terraced hillsides home.
March 1, 2013

Families Helping Families
Yesterday I did what I almost always do on Sundays–play with my two young sons, go for a long run, and generally just enjoy being at home with my family. I also spent a considerable amount of time packing for my first trip to Rwanda. I'm headed there today with the Nothing But Nets campaign and our friends at WWE to visit refugee camps with our partners at the UN Refugee Agency.
February 26, 2013

South Sudanese Refugees Find Hope Amidst Chaos
The spot where we had stopped in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya wasn’t supposed to be anyone’s home. The open courtyard with shelters was intended for new arrivals to gather and aid workers to distribute water containers, blankets, and other supplies.
June 1, 2012

A Different View of Mother's Day
My wife Kate, the mother of our two young boys, understood immediately when I explained to her that I wasn’t going to be home on Mother's Day. Instead, I was traveling to Africa. She knew that my trip would help bring hope, awareness, and life-saving bed nets to refugees fleeing violence in South Sudan.
May 13, 2012

A Message From Nairobi
Chris Helfrich, director of the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign, reports on the South Sudanese humanitarian crisis from Nairobi, Kenya.
May 11, 2012

Hope and Resilience in Kakuma
Today we toured Kakuma Refugee Camp in the northern Kenya desert, home to nearly 95,000 refugees, about one-third of whom are from South Sudan. People there have walked days or weeks, or ridden buses, or flown in airplanes, to escape dangerous conditions in their home countries. They arrive exhausted, most with little or no belongings.
May 11, 2012

Nothing But Nets Launches Emergency Appeal for South Sudan
Today Nothing But Nets announced the launch of an emergency appeal to send 100,000 bed nets to refugees in the world’s newest country, South Sudan. Since last June, refugees have been fleeing into South Sudan and neighboring countries to escape fighting on the Sudan / South Sudan border, and are expected to continue doing so this year.
March 27, 2012

Send a net. Save a life. See a show!
Nothing But Nets is coming to Chicago and we want to see you there! Our great partners, Broadway In Chicago, are helping to send life-saving bed nets to protect families all over Africa from malaria. If you are in the Chicago area, we have a great opportunity for you to help us fight this deadly disease.
March 21, 2012