Monday, October 6, 2008

A Plea from Books for Soldiers

(The following was forward to me through one of my other blogs)

Soldier Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up

North Carolina – has sent thousands of care
packages to our troops deployed outside the US since March 2003. But is in dire financial need now, and may close.
The site must raise $22,000 by October 31 or it will stop taking new
requests on December 1, finish filling remaining care package requests
for the holidays, and cease operations December 31.

"It's a bad economy," says Storm Williams, the founder and webmaster.
"Times are tough for all non profits." Williams says they had an
aggressive fundraising campaign that started the first of 2008.
Corporations they had previously relied upon have been unable to
repeat their support this year. "By April, we received a stack of
letters that began with, 'we deeply regret not being able to donate
this year.'"

Starting in May, they tried again, managing to shrink a $53,000
deficit to $22,000 by September's end. They also asked for help from
deployed troops, sending them US flags to fly in Iraq and Afghanistan
to give as thank-you gifts for the more generous donors. "We are so
grateful," said David, one of the site's moderators trying to drum up
fundraising. "Soldiers and Marines have flown flags for us, sending
them back with certificates signed by their Commanders. It's an
activity we used to arrange for the members. It was a lot of fun, 2-3
times a year and most importantly, for free. Now it's just to

"Right now, we are just looking to get donations. The regular members
have been awesomely generous, but can only do so much." Williams
jokes, "BFS has always been in survival mode."

"We use our website. Soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast
Guard make requests at The site is
secure; we restrict access to those who've been approved to send

"With our financial difficulties, we've not been able to upgrade. The
member-approval process is still by hand from snail-mail applications.
We had hoped to hire a programmer to make the site more responsive.
We are pursuing a number of avenues for fundraising, looking forward
to 2009 and beyond, but there is the very real possibility we will
close in 2008." Williams concluded, "We're broke. Our parent
organization gave us an ultimatum to stand on our own in 2008. We
have not been able to do that yet."

Donations are gratefully accepted, either through PayPal on the site's
donation page ( ), or by check
payable and mailed to

Books For Soldiers
2008 Fund Drive
116 Lowes Food Drive #123
Lewisville, NC 27023

More details can be found here, or by sending an email here.

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