Friday, January 28, 2005

Lend a helping hand 

Many readers have been asking me about some projects and initiatives that they, their communities and their churches can get behind to help our troops as well as the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. As you can imagine, three years on, there are many such groups and actions which fit the bill and I wouldn't even try to mention them all, but here's a few, large and small, to get you started.

Spirit of America - is "a nonprofit, non-political public charity. Our mission is to extend the goodwill of the American people to assist those advancing freedom, democracy and peace abroad." It's probably also the largest organization of this kind currently working in Afghanistan and Iraq to help our soldiers help Iraqi and Afghans. The range of projects is quite impressive, from supporting schools and universities, through providing tools of trade for local men and women, to supporting Iraq's democratic institutions and new media.

Any Soldier - allows you to show your appreciation for the commitment and hard work of our men and women in uniform by sending them a gift package. "Sergeant Brian Horn from LaPlata, Maryland, an Army Infantry Soldier with the 173rd Airborne Brigade was in the Kirkuk area of Iraq when he started the idea of AnySoldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with 'Attn: Any Soldier' in his address to the soldiers who were not getting mail. Brian is no longer in Iraq but Any Soldier Inc. continues with your support."

Operation Dreamseed - "Operating within the values of freedom, democracy, education, and self-betterment, Operation Dreamseed will develop and support education initiatives in the schools and education systems of underdeveloped countries in order to foster and facilitate the access to and process of learning." This initiative links soldiers in Afghanistan with civilians back home who want to help improve education throughout Afghanistan. Here's an article about the Operation.

Khas Uruzgan Sports - "building Afghanistan one game at a time"; The mission: "Provide an organized volleyball and soccer league to the children of the Khas Uruzgun District of Afghanistan in order to promote a fun and safe activity, encourage tribal interaction, and develop future leaders of a democratic Afghanistan." This is a project of A-company, 2-5 Infantry.

Children of Baghdad - "Operation Kids For Kids is a charitable project created by Task Force Thunder to provide American schools and caring citizens a chance to help the children in the Baghdad area. Task Force Thunder is a National Guard Battalion with units from Louisiana, Wisconsin, and New York deployed near the Baghdad International Airport... Help fight the war on terrorism by giving a child in need a chance at a better life."

Angels for Afghanistan -"is a project organized by Utah Military Families whose husbands, wives, sons or daughters are serving in Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom. Hearing reports from their family members on what life is like for the people of Afghanistan and wanting to be a part of meeting the Afghani people's desperate need, these families organized a gathering project." You can read a newspaper report about the project here.

Mission Afghanistan - is a community relations website for volunteers stationed in Afghanistan. As the website explains, "Through the work the servicemen and women do as part of their military mission, many are seeing a need for humanitarian service and aid as part of the rebuilding of this war-torn country. Although they spend between 12 and 14 hours a day, six days a week in their military occupation, almost 100 volunteers (along with thousands of donors back in the states) are using the only day off they have to help children, schools, orphanages, and homeless nomads receive much needed education and school supplies, medical attention and clothing donated from Stateside family and friends, churches and companies and military units and other groups."

USA Cares - "exists to help servicemembers and their families deployed across America and around the globe. USA Cares provides support with relevant and direct assistance that improves challenging situations and betters the life and well-being of Americans who ask so little, yet give so very much."

Lastly, you can find a much larger list of links to groups and projects at
Iraq Files.

(Hat tip: Agnieszka in Denver for bringing many of these projects to my attention)


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?