Thursday, January 20, 2005

Thank you 

As you might remember, in the first half of December last year, this blog - together with many others - participated in the fundraising drive by Spirit of America. I thought I might let the Spirit's Jim Hake let you all know the results:
"I want to thank you for participating in the Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge. The Challenge raised $93,869 for Spirit of America and projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is OUTSTANDING, just wonderful. I know the benefits of your efforts extend well beyond the direct funds contributed via the Challenge. Overall, in December we received $409,133 in donations. I'm sure many of those donors learned about us and were inspired to give because of you and your fellow bloggers...

"I know it's a bit of a cliché but it's true: the point of this was getting a group of us working together toward a common aim and to have some fun doing it. The 'winners' are not the point. That said, we've allowed a month for checks to come in and be processed. Here are the official, final results:

Northern Alliance: $12,293
Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers for Freedom: $7,305
Team Pajamahadeen - Operation Viral Freedom: $5,060
TTLB EcoTeam: $1,837
Lizardoid Nation: $1,180

Iraq the Model: $17,240
Little Green Footballs: $16,706
Roger Simon: $11,192
Adventures of Chester: $2,163
Chrenkoff: $1,485 (go Aussies!)"
These are Jim's words, by the way, not mine. On my behalf, I would once again like to thank all of you who kindly donated through Chrenkoff for your generosity and support. These are some of the great programs that your and everyone else's money is going to:
"We've been helping the team at Friends of Democracy with their project to provide countrywide, ground-level news and information on Iraq's upcoming elections. The goal is to provide a more complete picture of Iraq's elections from the perspective of the Iraqi people. This effort is a direct result of the funds you helped raise in December. Your support made this possible.

"Friends of Democracy is creating a grassroots correspondent network that they expect will provide information about the elections from Iraq's 18 provinces. Friends of Democracy is also seeking information from the people of Iraq via blogs and email. This part of the project is described here.

"The information coming from Iraq will be gathered and published in Arabic using the Arabic blogging tool Spirit of America developed and provided to Friends of Democracy. More on that here.

"The election information from Iraq - reports, photos and hopefully some video - will be available on the Web and will be presented at the National Press Club in Washington on Sunday, January 30 after the polls close in Iraq. We hope C-SPAN will cover the conference. This part of the project is described here.

"We all expect that the major newspapers and networks in the U.S. and elsewhere will focus on the expected violence in certain areas of the country. Friends of Democracy seeks to provide more complete picture. The elections are an historic event. Many Iraqis, Americans, Brits, Aussies and others have died to make them a reality. We think that people deserve more than the standard 'if it bleeds it leads' approach."
But this is but one - albeit the most topical - of great programs that Spirit of America is running on the grass-roots level in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping local people there to help themselves. So thank you once again for your assistance in making a difference.


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