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2008 Archive of Blog posts


Holiday Campaign A Success!

Dear 72-Hour Holiday Campaign Participants:

Congratulations are in order! The Spirit of America family has shown its support and resolve in these tough economic times by matching the $20,000 pool in less than 72 hours. Please don't stop there-we are still taking year-end donations and will do so until 2008 is no more. But as of today, and thanks to you, we will end our calendar year with at least an additional $40,000 to be used for important troop-generated projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa.

Thanks so much to our initial anonymous donor who got the ball rolling, the other generous donors who matched his challenge, and also to the many, many individuals who contributed over the past few days to meet the challenge and raise the additional $20,000.

The strength of Spirit of America is you, our donors, who recognize the innovative qualities of our mission and support our troops in their efforts to bring peace, stability and freedom to Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa. They contact us frequently to let us know how your gifts translated into life-changing projects. Their messages overflow with praise and gratitude. So, on their behalf, we at Spirit of America thank each and every one of you for your ongoing generosity.

SFC Albrecht-Aid to Iraq Bedouins

Thanks to a request from Army Sergeant First Class (SFC) Kevin Albrecht serving at Camp Adder Tallil base in Iraq, we have a new project opportunity to help Iraq Bedouins disenfranchised during Saddam's reign.  SFC Albrecht has a strong commitment to leaving behind a legacy of hope for the Iraqi people, but we need your support to make that happen.

SFC Albrecht and friends

Please visit his project page, SFC Kevin Albrecht-Supplies for Iraqi Bedouins, to read more about the plight of the Bedouins in his area.  Your contributions to SFC Albrecht's project will go towards purchasing critically needed supplies such as tarps, shoes and baby clothes.

72-Hour Holiday Matching Campaign

Thank you for your interest in our 72-Hour Holiday Matching Fund Campaign!

Several very generous Spirit of America donors have joined forces to create a pool of $20,000 to match your donations. Our goal is to raise at least $40,000 within 72 hours. In our 72-Hour Holiday Matching Fund Campaign, which runs from December 17th through the 19th, every dollar donated will be matched with a dollar from the $20,000 pool until we reach the $40,000 goal.

Wouldn't it send a terrific message of support to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Think of the many things we could accomplish to start the New Year with an additional $40,000 to assist their efforts on behalf of those in need in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.

You may click here to make your donation online, or you may send us a check. Checks dated during the match period will be applied to the campaign. You are welcome to designate your donation to a certain project, or simply make it unrestricted so that we can apply the funds where they are needed most. Let us know how you would like your donation applied and we'll make sure it happens.

If you have any questions please call me. I have found that there is nothing I like more than conversing with Spirit of America donors. Each one has an inspirational story about why they're connected to us, and it typically involves a lost patriot, a currently-deployed friend or family member, a longing to support our troops, or simply a great love for our country. Please, never hesitate to call me to ask questions, make comments or suggestions, or simply to talk about the great work in which we are all involved.

Let's see if we can once again exhaust the entire matching grant. This past Memorial Day we started with a $10,000 match and within 4 hours met the goal of $20,000. We went on to raise $61,000 in only three days, and we are hoping for a comparable effort this time around. We realize the economy has weakened considerably since the spring, and wish to thank in advance all of those who can participate. Thanks also to those of you who choose not to participate at this time, but give to us in other ways throughout the year. On behalf of the brave American men and women fighting for freedom and democracy on foreign soil, a heartfelt thanks and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and prosperous New Year!

Dennis Norris
Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(317) 518-8825

School supplies bring smiles in Djibouti, Africa

With over 40% illiteracy rates and exposure to formal education limited to roughly one-third of school age children, providing the necessary tools to make school accessible and viable is critical to the future of Djibouti,a front-line state in the war on global terrorism.

Spirit of America is pleased to support LCDR Lya Theodoratos' outreach to children in Djibouti. Thanks to the contributions to SoA's Unrestricted Fund, 100 school kits have already been distributed and 200 more are on the way to LCDR Theodoratos and those serving with her.

The LCDR provided this update on the distribution of the initial school kits:

Visit to Douda Elementary School, Djibouti, Africa

On November 23, 2008, Navy military personnel from Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, Africa visited the Douda Elementary School which is a small town on the outskirts of Djibouti City, approximately 30 km from the Somalia border. We distributed school supplies that were donated by Spirit of America.

This elementary school has approximately 250 students.

LCDR Lya Theodoratos is the point of contact for Spirit of America and is very supportive of providing support to the local community. LCDR Theodoratos is the Facilities Engineer and Acquisition Division Director in the Public Works Department of Camp Lemonier, the Navy's only expeditionary base. Accompanying her on this humanitarian outreach mission were LT Antoine Thornton, Camp Security Officer, LTjg Stephanie Lastinger, Camp Financial Officer, and MAC Luis Arboleda, Master at Arms Chief.

The children were very excited and waited in anticipation to get the much needed school supplies. The children started to congregate around us as we began to stage and open the boxes, but their teachers were quick to order them back to their classrooms. The children were then brought out by class and received the supplies in an orderly fashion.

This visit was made possible by Mr. Mohammed Waberi who works for LCDR Theodoratos as a translator. His support was crucial in arranging this visit and to communicate with the school director and teachers during out visit.

LCDR Lya Theodoratos and friends at school drop
LCDR Lya Theordoratos hands out school kits in Djibouti

All smiles in Djibouti after school kit distribution

Supplies to Special Operations Task Force in Iraq

As part of your contributions to the Unrestricted Fund, Spirit of America sent 200 school kits, hygiene kits and soccer balls at the request of LCDR Jon Lindsay serving with Special Operations Task Force West in al-Anbar Province, Iraq.  Though LCDR Lindsay has returned home, Jim Conway serving with the Task Force confirmed for us that the donations have been distributed to the delight of Iraqi children in the area.

Boys in Anbar receive soccer balls from Special Ops

Mr. Conway writes, "Thanks again for your support, we have actually already distributed a very large amount of everything you had sent us.  I was out with some Marines yesterday and we handed out a ton of soccer balls and school kits, the kids loved them and we actually didn't have enough for the amount of kids there were.  Then tonight we also handed out an entire bag of soccer balls.  I have pictures from both I will get together and send your way.  We passed out the materials to our other detachments throughout the region and they have been handing everything out as well.  We would love for you to continue supporting us here with anything you can send, the soccer balls and school kits are definitely the most popular items.  Thanks again."

Jim Conway

With your continued support of SoA's Unrestricted Fund, we will provide for additional item for the Special Operations Task Force and other projects in need.

More photos of the distribution of supplies:

Sharing Supplies in Anbar
Handing out supplies in Anbar Province, Iraq

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense or its personnel is intended or implied.