Guest Author - Gary King
Bob is a member of the National Guard. He joined the Guard to help keep America free, and yes, that little extra money he receives helps the family, especially now that gas costs so much. But Bob had no idea that when he joined the Guard, he would actually be sent to Iraq, to help bring about freedom and preserve the very things we all know and love in America--FREEDOM! But Bob, like many other soldiers, may not come back. We have already lost many troops in Iraq and unfortunately, we will probably lose more.
You probably do not like it and the fact we are in Iraq. I am a veteran and I don't like it and I wish we could bring all of them home. But, we cannot just pull out of Iraq because if we do, everything those who lost their life have served for will be for naught. We must stay the course and see this through and BELIEVE. We WILL win this war, believe it or not. WHY? Because we are Americans and we fight for what we believe and to help make this a better world to live in. We have always done this and we always will because FREEDOM is worth it.
Bob can be any soldier in any town in America who serves in the National Guard. He can be a soldier from any family living next door to you, or on the same street you live on. But many soldiers like Bob have lost their lives in Iraq and we must face facts. Bob had a good job and he was making good money. He wife and two children were struggling, but getting by well. Things were going well for them and improving. Then, disaster struck and Bob was sent to Iraq. He did not make it back. Now his wife must find a way to bring in some income to support her remaining family. She has no job and no means of income, so what does she do? THINK ABOUT IT!
We all care for those who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq and for their courage and valor in putting their lives on the line for us. We all want to show our support and let them know we do care for them and believe in what they are doing. But, thanks to an Internet company based in San Diego, California, I came to the realization that while I am concerned for the troops in Iraq and want to let them know I care for them, I have not focused enough attention on the children and the families of injured and fallen troops.
GI-Bracelet.org was founded by Dreamissary, Inc. Since launch, they have formed a California non-profit corporation as their philanthropy arm -- Dreamissary Foundation. They have applied for 501(c)(3) status. All military charity foundations receiving the donations for the bracelets from GI Bracelets are 501(c)(3) organizations. And 100% of the purchase price of the GI Bracelets goe to these organizations.
The ENTIRE purchase price of all GI Bracelets are donated to these funds because of their open transparent accounting, which shows every single purchase, how much money has been raised, and when and how much has been donated to each charity fund. This ensures integrity, legitimacy and credibility.
This organization is surrounded by all the military bases in the San Diego area and they realize how much hardship and sacrifice has been made by the troops and their families and it really hits home! Many families have fallen into financial hardship when the bread winner is injured or killed. This organization became a reality, partially because of the many heartbreaking stories about the sacrifices made by the troops and their families. These stories inspired Gi-Bracelet.org to begin their quest to do more to show the troops and their families that we do care in America.
They originally set out to raise money to set up a college scholarship fund for the children of the fallen, and to help out the families of the injured and fallen troops. But after doing some research, they found many great organizations dedicated to take care of the children and families of injured and fallen troops.
So, instead of duplicating the efforts, they started focusing on raising money and to give 100% of that money to these great organizations.
I have visited their site numerous times and ask that you do the same. You can go to their site via the related link for this article or type it in the bar on your browser: http://www.gi-bracelet.org.
You can also find a link on their site that will answer questions you have about their operation, such as:
Are my donations tax deductible?
Yes. Your donations will be tax deductible for the tax year 2005. We are in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. The tax deductible status is retroactive once we become a 501(c)(3) organization. So, you will be able to deduct your donations now.
Where does the money go?
100% of the purchase price goes to the fund of your choice. They list these funds on their site and you can designate which funds go to which organization.
How can the entire purchase price (for a bracelet(s) be given away?
Expenses are covered by the price of shipping. Expenses include: manufacturing the bracelets, Web site design, programming, maintenance, web hosting, credit card charges, processing fees, shipping, and labor.
How do I know that the money is actually given to the various funds?
Open transparent accounting.
For each fund, they list all orders that contribute money to that fund and a running total of contributions made to each fund through GI-Bracelet.org on your behalf.
Weekly donation amounts are also listed on the Web site. Home For Our Troops has put up donation verification on their site. They are working with the other charity organizations to do the same.
All the coming and goings of the money raised is posted on the Web site for the world to see.
What if I don't support the war in Iraq?
The issue is not about whether you support the war or not. The GI Bracelet is about support our troops and their families. The children and the families of the injured and fallen need more financial help than most of us realize. Let's support them in their time of need.
Are GI Bracelets sold anywhere else other than on their Web site?
No. Because the entire purchase price is donated to the various funds, genuine GI-BRACELETS are sold only at GI-Bracelet.org.
Can I resell my GI Bracelets?
We urge you not to resell your GI Bracelets. Instead, refer your friend to GI-Bracelet.org. As they have found out with the Armstrong Bracelets, a lot of counterfeits are sold on auction sites and other places.
They want to make sure that the entire purchase price is given ONLY to the funds that support our troops and their families.
How long does it take?
Bracelets will ship within 48 hours of receipt of your order. All orders are shipped via USPS First Class. Shipping takes approximately 5-14 days.
Who is GI-Bracelet.org?
GI-Bracelet.org was started by Dreamissary, Inc. They are an Internet company based in San Diego, California. Their other Web sites include USCharms.com, Funny.com, and BearGear.com. For more information, go to their site at http://www.gi-bracelet.org and click on "About Us."
Why was GI-Bracelet.org. started?
Many families fall into financial hardship when the bread winner is injured or killed. Please listen to some of the heartbreaking stories on NPR.org that inspired them to start this project. Just listen to one story, and you'll understand why they want to do this.
These are brave people who make unimaginable sacrifices for us. Let's give back to them.
Is GI-Bracelet.org a non-profit organization?
Not yet. They have incorporated Dreamissary Foundation, a non-profit California corporation. They are currently in the process of applying for non-profit 501(c)(3) status.
However, all the funds for purchase price of the GI Bracelets are turned over to non-profit charitable organizations.
Do you give my personal information to other organizations?
Can I donate to GI-Bracelet.org or help others purchase GI Bracelets?
Not yet. In the near future, they will take donations in the forms of matching funds.
If you would like to donate in the form of matching fund, either as individuals or as a corporation, please contact them.
In the meantime, buy the bracelet(s), wear the bracelet, and spread the word!
I listed many of the questions they are asked. If you have more or want to know anything about their operation, click on the related link to go to their site and contact them with any questions.
By the way, if you may be thinking the cost may be high, think again. The price for these donations or purchase price for a bracelet, runs from $1.00 to $5.00. That, in my opinion, is what makes this such a great organization and cause. Think of it. You can buy a bracelet or two or three to support our troops at a cost you can easily afford. And what a cause. I wish someone would have come up with something like this during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. What a way to show your support. And believe me, the families of those who really need the support will be grateful it will help perhaps to minimize some of the pain.
I served and I care for those now serving. And because of GI-Bracelet.org, I can think about that family living down the street, who had everything going for them and each day was sheer joy for all of them as they celebrated the good in this life. And then their son, who was serving in the National Guard, was sent to Iraq. A suicide bomber took him out, along with several others and they paid the supreme price.
That family living down the street has to live with a missing piece of their life--a spark that helped to brighten their days. Somehow, someway, they must find a way to go on without the smile and the joy of something that made every rock in the road seem to be a little smaller.
They want to question the war, the reason why we are there, yet they know why we are there. And they want to scream that we should bring all of them home, but they know deep down that we cannot do that because it will probably happen again.
The question is not whether we should be there or not! The issue is that we ARE THERE, so we must do what we can to help those who are there so that they know we CARE!
God Bless all our troops and may we all learn what it means to KNOW that we SHARE their sacrifices, their service, and their dedication to help keep America free and this world a better place to live.
Thank God for organizations like GI-Bracelet.org. They help to make America a better place to live and you know what else, they help to make the flame on the Statue of Liberty to burn a little brighter.