NFTT: You Will Never Know How Much It Means…

(6:15PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

It’s Monday, and that means everybody supports the troops! Here at NFTT (Netroots For The Troops), we’re we’re preparing care packages to ship to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It warms my heart to know that people take the time, money, and effort to pack and ship a box 8000 miles across barren land with only the hope that it bring a smile to someone’s face. You will never know how much your support means to all of us, how a bite into your favorite candy bar can bring you home.

That’s from a letter a soldier sent to a perfect stranger who shipped him a care package.  A little comfort can go a long way.  You know you want to be a part of that comfort, so give us a little time and/or a little money.

And speaking of money, I’ll put some where my mouth is. I’ll match the first $500 donated today from here and from dailykos. That’s right. I made this challenge and posted this over at the GOS, too.  When you chip in, I’ll make it double.

Please join me below for the details.  

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NFTT is an outgrowth of the work of the IGTNT and Mojo Friday folks to provide a little comfort and assistance to the troops.  Gearing up for our goal of preparing and shipping 101 car packages from NN08 to the troops, we’re diarying, hat-in-hand, asking you to join us.  Friends, Dharmans, countrypersons, give us your time, your effort, and your money.

Here’s the link for you to chip in.   And here’s what you’ll be doing for some brave soul on the other side of the world and smack in harm’s way.

we appreciate your support. not all soldiers get letters or packages. and as an infantry men, and having seen what I have seen…death feels so close that sometimes you think its knocking at your door. and its a relief to know that people like you support us. Vietnam never had the love and support from there country that we get today. and packages, and letters go a long way. theres nothing like a little slice of home…..when on some days you feel that all hope is lost. and people die over here….every day…..every day. it may not be in the this city that imp working in. but it happens. and while we go out there….scared….and hoping to just make it through the current mission…and soon be back home…..its good to know that….hey, you all are behind us. maybe the president makes sense….maybe he doesn’t. as far as where this war is going ….we don’t know. all we know is that we wish to get home…and if we get the chance…we would love to thank you all ….personally. have you ever had a bad day….and came home to your dog or your loved ones, or wife, or husband…all that stress seems to just simmer out? thats whats its like for as when it comes to letters or packages. I may never meet you. but I wanted you to know that we appreciate it. and we cant go on without the support of the people that live in the U.S

Not many of us here know what this young fellow’s life is like, but we do know that we can make it a little better.

6072thermo NFTT is offering a “Care Packages for the Troops” seminar at Netroots Nation 08.  The goal is to put together and ship 101 care packages to American soldiers curently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, supplying them with everyday sundries — including work gloves, phone cards, underwear and protein bars — that the government refuses to provide them, despite spending billions of dollars a week.  To get 101 of each of the items on our final list (see Item 4 below) to Austin on July 19 is going to take money. We’ve set a goal of $10000 to cover the cost of buying the items and any packing supplies, and ship the boxes. The sooner we reach our goal the better because we’d like some lead time to make decisions about what specific items we will purchase, and to order them and have them shipped to Austin.

Will you help us?  To donate online, go to this donation page. There you can donate either by using your credit card (under “Don’t have a PayPal account?” at the bottom left of the page) or through PayPal if you have an account. Whether you can donate a little or a lot, every donation will make a difference in what we’re able to send to the troops.

The bulk of this money will be used to buy the new, larger USPS Flat Rate APO boxes, which cost $10.95 each to mail. These roomy boxes can hold a lot, and we want to fill them to the brim with items that our troops really need and that they often specifically request. We’re still honing our shopping list, and some choices — including a number of relatively-high-ticket items listed below — will depend on the amount of funds we raise.  

Not everyone has the money to donate. We understand that.  But everyone can participate in the NFTT effort in other ways, so please consider thefollowing alternatives — and feel free to do these even if you have already donated as well!

 Last week, Timroff gave us a list of six very-low-cost things you can do for the troops.  Below, entirely ripped off from him, are those things.

1. Recommend this essay.

There’s nothing better than knowing this essay is reaching as many folks as possible, So please, take five seconds to look to the right side of your browser window for a little gray button with the word “Recommend” on it, and just click it! Simple, easy, and even fun!

2. Recommend a soldier.

Do you have a friend or family member who is currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan? If so, send his or her name, rank, unit and APO address to katroshp a† bellsouth (that’s a dot net domain). Also, we need their shoe size, glove size and their underwear sizes because we’re planning to send 101 care packages, but we’d prefer them to go to people that are related to the Netroots first, and we want the items we send to fit.  

3. Write a Letter

While jlms_qkw has written an excellent diary on what exactly to write, let me just add that what is more important is that you just write anything that is supportive and hopeful. This isn’t an opportunity to take shots at the administration, but rather to lend your emotional support to Americans who are going their best in a bad situation, as Jonathon Norrell, an Army medic suffering from PTSD recently wrote, “The best part about the letters is, no matter how crummy your day may have been, getting off of patrol, getting your mail and getting back to your quarters, was finding letters from folks telling you they care. After 18 hour patrols that makes a big difference.”

4. Activate a Corporate Sponsor

Do you know someone who owns a CD or video store, small book store, clothing store, hardware store or other retail operation? Why not see if they’d be willing to donate 100 used CDs or DVDs, novels, pairs of underwear, or small flashlights to include in the care packages?

While we’re determined to having these highly desired but relatively costly items go into every package…

… we’re also looking for donations of many other simple sundry items that we take for granted but that are impossible to get in the field:

Cotton socks Men’s and women’s cotton underwear
CDs and DVDs Tampons and sanitary napkins
Foot powder Crossword / puzzle / sudoku books
Q-tips Paperback books
Shampoo Sketchbooks and pencils
Conditioner Paper and envelopes
Tissues Individually packaged sports drink mixes
Body wash Microwave popcorn
Lotion Licorice
Lip balm / Chapstick Gum and mints
Disposable razors Meat jerky

Rather than needing to commit the funds we’re raising to these items, see if a local shopkeeper can donate them. (more on getting the items to us in #5)

Another thought is to do a spare change drive or challenge match at your office or workplace. Send a note to your coworkers explaining what we’re doing here, and ask them to donate their lunch money for the day toward the project. Once you’ve collected the funds, use the contribution link to get the money to the project.

5. Bring Stuff Yourself

Are you coming to Netroots Nation? Why not pack a few recently released DVDs, CDs, paperbacks or protein bars in your luggage and bring the items to our table in the Exhibit Hall? Get your coworkers to bring stuff listed in idea #4 and pack your carryon luggae with those items. The thought here is that you’ll be bringing home a bunch of stuff from the congference, so why not create space on the trip home in your luggage by filling it with stuff you’re bringing to the conference for the care package-wrapping seminar on Saturday afternoon? Another thought is to bring your own soap and shampoo from home, then collect the wrapped soap, shampoo and conditioner bottles from your hotel room and bring them down each morning. That’s three care packages-worth by Saturday morning, and more importantly, three packages we won’t need to buy items for.

Not attending NN’08? Leave us a note in the comments (or send Timroff an email at the address in Timroff’s profile) and we’ll give you an address you can ship your donations to in Austin so we can include them in the care packages.  

6. Help Spread The Word!

Would you be willing to post a diary like this or this or this both here and at another blog that you frequent? The whole idea behind Netroots For The Troops is that we all work together, regardless of what community we belong to, to help our soldiers in the field. The progressive/Democrat movement is not just on dailykos — so why limit participation to dailykos?

The deal is this: we’re aiming for 101 of each of the items on our list in idea #4 to Austin on July 19, and it’s going to take a lot of participation, and a lot of money. Will you help us? To donate online, go to this donation page. There you can donate either by using your credit card (under “Don’t have a PayPal account?” at the bottom left of the page) or through PayPal if you have an account. Whether you can donate a little or a lot, every donation will make a difference in what we’re able to send to the troops. As an additional fundraiser, we might also have an official limited-edition Netroots For The Troops shirt available at Netroots Nation for a mere $25 suggested donation – with all profits from T-shirt sales going directly toward filling and shipping our troop care packages.

Oh, and one last reminder.  Today’s diarist for NFTT will match up to the first $500 donations today.  C’mon, make me sweat.  You’re across the intertubes, and you won’t even smell it.

19 comments

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  1. for posting both here and over at the Big O.

    I pitched in $20 today… will anyone else join me?

    • Alma on June 23, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I hope you all get tons of stuff to send.  🙂

    • Viet71 on June 24, 2008 at 1:26 am
    • Viet71 on June 24, 2008 at 1:26 am
  2. what are they doing, why are they doing this, all swirl in my head. I have empathy for their situation and it’s aftermath, but none for the concept of warrior as automatic hero. I don’t support the troops so troll rate me to oblivion I know that they are victims but they have CHOSEN at this point to be part of a nasty corporate empirical force that for only the sake of so called geopolitical corporate interests kill, torture and enslave people for what? America? A Dream or the nightmare of fascism. no bundles from me. Education of what these poor deluded fools are volunteering for I for I suport. Why in the hell support the troops the front line for fascism. I appreciate the why and how these people join and serve? but cannot in good conscience support them via word war two causes , the fascists in this case are us. The troops while I empathize with the reasons they join are nothing more then the enforcers of a power run amok, it’s intent is killing and the oppression of people who will not bend over. Me I am rooting  for the enemy the people we kill the ones who live on any resource we want.

    The troops have my empathy, my sorrow, but not my support. This is not WW11 it’s a systematic screwing of anyone who does not bend over. I will not cannot support the troops, any more then history allows me to support the stormtroopers of any nation that sends out warriors to kill and reek havoc for nothing but Empire. There is no threat just pillage and conquer, why would I support this? From individual to politician I’m not a good German so forget the care packages and count me out.

           

  3. pathetic that our troops can’t get necessities but Blackwater

    gets any/everything they want…  Wonder why no one has ever

    asked this question in any of the ‘hearings’ that have been

    held in DC.  Maybe if we weren’t spending zillions of dollars

    paying Blackwater et al we’d actually have the money to support

    our own troops, who could then finish the job and get

    the hell out of Iraq.  Oh wait, didn’t I see a “Mission Accomplished”

    sign hanging on a ship a few years ago?

    rat bastards

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