Friday, November 10, 2006

VALOUR IT, get the word out on the streets!!


Is there any doubt who's team I am on? I had the great pleasure of spending last weekend with Mrs. Chuck Z. Who had this to say about PROJECT VALOUR IT over at SpouseBuzz!! She says...

What is Project Valour-IT, you ask? Well, I am here to tell you all about it so please read the entire post... you won't be sorry that you did!

Valour-IT means "Voice Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops." The project provides laptops and voice-activated software to wounded service-members who are unable to use "conventional" computers and keyboards. In other words, if a wounded service-member has wounded or amputated hand(s), he or she will be provided a laptop and voice-activated software from Valour-IT. But here's the kicker... these laptops and software can not be donated to our wounded service-members without the amazing generosity of the American people who have donated (and continue to donate)to this project. As of October 4, 2006, 650 laptops and software packages have been donated to our service-members!!!

The Evolution of Project Valour-IT:
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my husband was seriously wounded in Iraq last year. Both of his hands/arms were badly wounded and he was unable to use a computer. Using a computer was important to him because he wanted to continue writing on his blog, which he started while deployed, as well as keep in touch with family and friends. Although I was keeping his blog readers and our family and friends updated, it just wasn't the same. HE needed to reconnect with the world outside of Walter Reed.

Soldiers' Angels sent my husband a laptop, and one of his faithful blog readers sent him "Dragon Naturally Speaking," which is a voice-activated software program. All of a sudden, an idea was born (in collaboration with another one of his blog readers - THANK YOU, BETH!!!). My husband and Beth wanted to find a way for other wounded servicemembers to receive laptops and voice-activated software. Project Valour-IT was welcomed with open arms by Soldiers' Angels. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Project Valour-IT was created in honor of my husband's father, SFC (retired) William Van Ziegenfuss. My father-in-law died of cancer in 2000, two months after our son was born (his first grandchild). My husband wanted to honor his father's memory and life as a proud NCO in the United States Army. For more information about my husband's father, please click here.

Now is a great time for you to check out some more about Valour-IT by going to the website. Right now, Valour-IT is having it's second annual fundraiser "competition" in the two weeks prior to Veteran's Day. And it's a FUN fundraiser! The competition is between branches of service (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines). When a person donates to Valour-IT, he/she can choose which branch of service to "donate to" - and on Veteran's Day the winner will be announced! (Last year the Army won!) No matter how much money is raised in each branch of service, ALL OF THE MONEY RAISED goes toward the purchase of laptops and software for ANY WOUNDED SERVICEMEMBER who qualifies for the project - there is no branch discrimination in Project Valour-IT!!!

If you know someone who has been wounded and could use a laptop and voice-activated software (only if they are unable to use a conventional computer, as mentioned above), please click here to request a laptop for that wounded servicemember.

I want to personally thank Soldiers' Angels, Beth, and the many, many Americans who opened their hearts and embraced Project Valour-IT. Without you, this project would not be possible. THANK YOU and may God Bless our servicemembers and their families.

I am also going to make the suggestion, that we take this to the streets. I have enlisted people all over the country to pass out flyers, FLYERS that can be downloaded HERE!!!

Beth offers these suggestions:

Suggestions for Flyer Distribution

Be sure to get permission if necessary. But once you know it's okay, try the following places:

Grocery stores
Places of worship (church, synogogue, etc.)
VFW halls and other offices of veterans' organizations
The community bulletin board in your workplace lunchroom
Community events like Fall Festival, Halloween parties, etc.
Vehicles that display "Support the Troops" magnets/stickers
Any business that gives you permission
Share them with co-workers
Community organizations like Boy Scouts, Shriners, Business clubs, etc.

I'm sure the list could be much longer, as this is merely off the top of my head. These are general-purpose flyers and not exclusive to the fundraising competition, so go crazy and get the word out!

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