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Soldier Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up

All Posts  October 01 2008
 — By CJ Grisham

Booksforsoldiers.com has sent thousands of care
packages to our troops deployed outside the US since March 2003. But Booksforsoldiers.com 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 survive.”

“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 http://www.booksforsoldiers.com. The site is secure; we restrict access to those who’ve been approved to send packages.”

“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 ( http://booksforsoldiers.com/donate.php ), 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 at http://booksforsoldiers.com/forum/index.php or by writing info@booksforsoldiers.com

(6) Readers Comments

  1. Will spread the word on this one…thank you..

  2. Pingback: Knee Deep in the Hooah! » Soldier Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up

  3. I have been involved in this for so long, I can’t imagine not having this resource to get books, music, movies, and whatever they need around personally to them, one on one. That’s what makes this charity different, we can connect with a person, not just send a check out and hope someone does something right with it. I’ve got promos on my forums in Netscape, and have emailed all the friends I’ve made through BfS reminding them that the charity helped them, it’s time to help back. The word is out to over 300 people by email tonight.

  4. I can’t imagine this charity not being around. It’s special in that you can form one on one relationships with service members, and get them specifically what whey want, the book, music, movie, clothing, anything that they specifically need. It’s different than just giving an organization a donation and hoping someone does something right with it. I’ve got ads on Netscape and tonight about 300 people I helped out were reminded that maybe it’s time to give back to the organization that got their name to me. This is one worth saving. Really folks, spread it around.

  5. I’ll spread the word, too.

  6. A lot of charities are going through this as well, and I know personally I wish I could do more. I want to share with you guys what I found, because it helps earn money for charities in need, but it doesn’t cost you anything. It is an online toolbar that you download to your computer and anytime you use it to search and shop online, it earns money for whatever nonprofit your toolbar is registered to. So in addition to finding a little extra in my budget to donate, I can also give back by doing something I already do at work all the time, look things up online, and order office supplies online. You can download the toolbar from give2network.com, and then link it to the nonprofit you want to support. If we get enough people to all start supporting BFS it can really make a difference!

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