Monday, July 10, 2006

Give till it Feels Good

In my last couple of years of blogging, I've been asked one question more than any other.*

"How can we support the troops?"

This question is usually asked after a blog friend has assured me that although he strongly opposes any war, he completely supports the troops.

There have been many occasions when people have asked me about the best military charity. And I always had to answer that I didn't really know. My sacrifice to the troops starts right here at home. I reserve most of my monetary giving for AIDS charities and the kids' school.

But now I finally have an answer.

On Saturday, July 29th, I will be participating in the annual Blogathon with six truly admirable Military Wives over at Stale Betty. Together we will blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund foundation originally began in 2001 as an effort to provide financial support to the families of fallen soldiers. Back then, the death gratuity and life insurance was meager so the IFHF stepped up to offer their support.

In 2005, Congress made changes to both the death gratuity and life insurance to better aid the families left behind. This change also changed the IFHF's mission. Since the families were now being cared for, the IFHF refocused it's energies on the men and women returning from war with severe medical problems such as brain injuries, limb loss, burns, etc. They contacted the VA and the military and asked what they could do to help and from there they decided to build a 65,000 square foot rehabilitation and advanced training center on the grounds of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

"The Center for the Intrepid is for traumatic amputee patients, burn patients requiring advanced rehabilitation, and service members undergoing limb salvage techniques."

Construction has begun and is scheduled for completion in January of 2007 but the IFHF still needs donations to purchase medical equipment and supplies and to provide facilities for patients' children.

"One hundred percent of the contributions will continue to go to these services, with nothing taken out for the Fund's administrative costs."

Personally, I can't think of a better way to support our troops. By aiding the IFHF, you are showing your support of military members in their most critical hour. In fact, according to the foundation:

"The land for the center has been set aside by the Army, and the armed services will maintain the Center after it is opened. However, it was critical to us at the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund that our troops and their families see that the American people, not the government, funded building the Center so that everyone in the armed services would understand that we the people never waiver in supporting our men and women in uniform serving this country."

How can you help? Simple. Visit the Blogathon website and sign up to sponsor us. Our team name is Betty and the Mil Wives. Any dollar amount is appreciated. Come back on July 29th to be entertained and play along in the mystery game we have planned. You might even win something!

After the event, you will receive an email from Blogathon with the link to the donation page on the IFHF website. You will be asked to donate directly to the IFHF either through their online form or via snail mail. It doesn't get much easier than that!

The Mil Wives have raised $380 so far. My personal goal is to double that amount by the end of the week and raise at least $1000 over all.

I know that my readership here is composed of a slightly different demographic that most of the other wives on my Blogathon team. And I think that this is an excellent opportunity to show how much my guys care about their fellow man. Besides, I really, really, really don't want to be the slacker on the team.

Please give what you can, no matter what the amount. And spread the word, if you can. I can't tell you how much I'd appreciate it.

And while you're in the giving mood, spread the love over to Mark who is participating in the AIDS Arms Life Walk in memory of a dear friend of his, and Jake who is training to run the AIDS marathon this year.

Can't you just feel the love?

*That's not really true. The number one question asked of me is, "Why did you call you blog Tuna Girl?" But I can only tell you that if I meet you in person.

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