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Supporting the Troops

Newman's Own Awards

March 26, 2009
By Rita Boland

The Fisher House Foundation, in concert with Newman's Own and the Military Times Media Group, is sponsoring the 2009 Newman's Own Awards. The program awards grants to organizations with ideas to improve the quality of life for military and veterans' families. A total of $75,000 is available. The top prize is $15,000, with the other $60,000 being distributed at the judges' discretion. The deadline to apply is May 1, 2009, and winners will be announced in September 2009. Application guidelines and more information are available online. The programs listed on these pages are not affiliated with our publication or association. We highlight these independent efforts as a service to our military and our readers. For more information about these programs, please contact the organizations directly.

My Soldier

March 25, 2009
By Rita Boland

By enrolling in My Soldier, participants adopt deployed service members provided by the program and agree to send them periodic upbeat letters or e-mail messages. Care packages also can be sent but are not required. After enrolling, participants can download a My Soldier Starter Kit that contains instructions on how to begin the process as well as letter-writing guidelines.

Operation: Birthday Cake

March 24, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Want to do something sweet for deployed service members? How about sending them a gourmet cake from Bake Me A Wish! In partnership with Soldiers' Angels, Bake Me A Wish offers two ways for folks stateside to send a special treat to troops in combat areas. The first is by purchasing The Freedom Cake, which features a layer of chocolate brownie covered with fudge frosting and topped with sprinkles and bittersweet chocolate shavings.

Pro vs. GI Joe

March 20, 2009
By Rita Boland

Doin' a little for those who do a lot, this atypical nonprofit offers troops a chance to battle professional athletes and celebrities in head-to-head video game competitions via the Internet. Pro vs. GI Joe sets up real-time video game competitions among celebrities, high-ranking military officials and politicians stateside and troops overseas using Web-connected technologies such as PlayStation, Xbox Live and Nintendo Wii. The group also attempts to reunite warfighters with family members via webcam during the events.

Face of America 2009

March 4, 2009
By Rita Boland

Dust off those bikes, take them out of the garage and get rolling for a great cause! Face of America 2009 begins April 25 in Bethesda, Maryland, to raise awareness of service members injured in the line of duty. The 110-mile bike ride, which ends April 26 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, also raises funds for World TEAM (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) Sports, an organization that strives to increase awareness, acceptance and integration of people with disabilities through sports.

G.I. Woodshop Inc.

February 23, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

G.I. Woodshop helps bring a little bit of home to troops overseas by shipping hobby and woodshop items to deployed service members. These tools are difficult to obtain in combat zones, and for troops to do something as simple as hanging a picture they have to search for a nail and a hammer (frequently a combat boot!).

Face of America 2009

February 19, 2009
By Rita Boland

Dust off those bikes, take them out of the garage and get rolling for a great cause! Face of America 2009 begins April 25 in Bethesda, Maryland, to raise awareness of service members injured in the line of duty. The 110-mile bike ride, which ends April 26 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, also raises funds for World TEAM (The Exceptional Athlete Matters) Sports, an organization that strives to increase awareness, acceptance and integration of people with disabilities through sports.

Operation Support Our Troops

December 29, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Like so many troop support organizations, Operation Support Our Troops grew out of a family's effort to be there for their soldier as well as all others serving their country, and when these people got started, there was no stopping them. What began with rallies has grown to a full-fledged support mechanism that involves the provision of packages at holidays, fundraisers, and visits and supplies for those injured in combat as well as tributes to those who paid the ultimate price for home and country. The mission of Operation Support Our Troops is to offer opportunities for all Americans to demonstrate to members of the armed forces and their commander in chief that they are supported and appreciated for their service. According to the organization, the goal is to ensure that troops know that "united we stand and divided we fall are not empty words, but words to which we subscribe."

Most recently, Operation Support Our Troops adopted 10,000 deployed service members and sent them packages for Christmas. The organization collects items for these types of mailings. In addition, it also accepts cash donations and sells merchandise to raise funds for various efforts. Items can be purchased and donations can be made online. Also online are photo albums and links to various resources for the military and general public.

Anyone interested in receiving regular information about the organization and its activities can subscribe to the e-mail distribution list by following the "OSOT Sign-Up" link. People interested in learning more about Operation Support Our Troops and its various programs should click the "Contact OSOT" link and find the correct point of contact for their query.

From the Front Lines

June 25, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

Tomorrow, June 26, 2008, Move America Forward is putting on an 8-hour telethon in support of the troops, with the goal of collecting at least $500,000 in sponsorships for "the largest single shipment of care packages in U.S. history." The program, "From the Front Lines," will be available on the web at www.HotAir.com or via UStreamTV.

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