Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Troops Need You

I was listening to a radio show on XM this weekend (sorry, can't remember which one), and the mother of a soldier serving in Afghanistan called in during a segment about the diplomats that are refusing to serve in Iraq. Her comment was along the lines of our troops know what real suffering is. They go out and they're in danger every day. They get shot at, they sleep outside, and all they've got to eat are these terrible tasting MREs. My son has lost 10 pounds in the last two months.

Wow, just like a mother. I heard that story, and then reread some of the comments on the Operation Sauce Drop Feedback page and it warmed my heart that we're able to send over a little taste of heaven to some people that really appreciate it. If you haven't done so, now would be a good time to support Operation Sauce Drop.

Then Gloria told me that donations have basically dried up and while we've sent out over 50 gift boxes, we've got 60 service people in the queue that are in danger of spending Christmas without their sauces. Remember, it takes a long time to send something over to the sandbox, so the time is now if you'd like to do something for the holidays for them. This isn't a box with just a few sample sized bottles in them -- it's the real deal, a holiday gift pack of hot sauces, barbeque sauces, and zesty snacks of their choice.

We've been brainstorming on what we can do to raise some more funds for this effort. Carolina Sauce is already offering a 10% discount coupon to newsletter readers that make a $5 donation -- that's a pretty good deal: on an order of $50 Carolina Sauce made your donation for you. There are not that many businesses that will take a slice of 10% of their revenue off the top during the holiday season to support the troops, but this is really important to her.

Another thought was that we'd donate some meat and my talents and do a fund raiser, selling barbeque sandwiches for a $5 donation. If we could find a busy enough venue that would allow us to set up we could probably bring in the money we'll need in an afternoon. Anybody out there know somebody that would allow us to set up and do that? Those of you that have had my barbeque know what a good deal this would be.

The big thing we need is publicity. We've contacted all the "A" List bloggers we could think of that would be favorable to supporting the troops, and frankly I'm a bit disappointed that most of them just decided to ignore this important project. To those that did write about it, thank you. And to those that didn't, shame on you.

I understand that perhaps people are a little weary of the "Support the Troops" causes. I just finished reading House To House by David Bellavia. If you think you're a little weary, stand in the boots of the guys that were cleaning out that bad guys from Fallujah for a few minutes. I came away from reading that book absolutely humbled that I can do so little for our heroes.

I also understand that there are lots of programs sending over "stuff" for the troops. While those are all good, my feeling is that the military ought to be providing things like baby wipes and drink powder to our troops. The distinguishing thing about Operation Sauce Drop is that it lets them pick out something for themselves rather than getting a random box, and it's something that they wouldn't get even if our government had it together enough to supply them with everything they need. The letters of thanks we're getting really warm our hearts -- they really appreciate this.

I'm open for ideas if anyone can come up with more ways we can raise money to send boxes over to the troops. Please just email me at GrillingGreg at Gmail dot com or leave a comment.

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