19 June, 2006

Valour-IT Blogburst Wrap-up

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in the impromptu, low-pressure fundraiser to help Valour-IT get through our tight spot. Here are some of the good things happening because of it:

  • Total raised: $18, 265--That's 2.5 times more than the goal!
  • Even better, that total does not include at least one new sponsor and six additional laptops that have been donated.
  • Laptops distributed since August 2005: 500.
  • Because of the exposure for Valour-IT the blogburst created, we have prospects both for much wider press coverage in the near future and for gaining the attention of some people who have expressed an interest in offering Valour-IT significant assistance.
  • People in a position to help with a Fall fundraiser are already offering their assistance.
Thank yous are hard for me--not because it's hard to be grateful, but because it's hard to express the depths of my appreciation and amazement at the way people keep coming through for Valour-IT. We sounded the alarm in hopes of getting 7 to 10 thousand, but ended up with over $18,000! And when I was laid low with illness, John Donovan and others stepped right up to the plate to lead (thank you so much!!).

Patti Bader, Founder of Soldiers' Angels, says it better in her commet at The Castle (and I second her):
You cannot see me but I am giving each and every one of you the BIGGEST hug in the world. Thank you so much; this is HUGE. Many a hero will heal just a little bit better, a little bit faster because of your caring.

You have my heart and, eternal gratitude of a wounded hero. You might not know their name but I bet you know their smile. I am honored to stand with each and everyone of you.
And to have reached our 500th laptop in the middle of this... I'm still amazed at the thought! That is 500 laptops due entirely to the dedication of Valour-IT's bloggers, fundraisers, donors, and volunteers. I keep trying to imagine 500 of the boxes the laptops are shipped in, or even just 500 little black laptops stacked atop each other... I can only "see" it when I think of it as some corporate warehouse or something. But it's not; it's 500 names, 500 stories, 500 people who were wounded because they serve, 500 lives that are a little bit easier to live because we all did what we could to serve them.

Money, science, technology and media have come together to make something both beautiful and functional--Heroes who have sacrificed are lovingly embraced and welcomed back into the world they have helped protect. I honestly can't think of anything I could desire to be a part of more than this.

Thank you so much for all you have done. It's been a wild ride. But the need continues, and I'm looking forward to what happens next with Valour-IT.

As Patti alludes to, you all who got us here are my heroes.