06 December, 2006

The Valour-IT Story

Mark Glaser, freelance writer and author of PBS blog MediaShift, has once again spotlighted Valour-IT. This time he has written an in-depth post. Here's how he introduces it, via email:

Hi all,
Just a note to let you know that my latest in-depth post just went up at PBS MediaShift, this time a look at Valour-IT, an ad hoc charity organization that has given out hundreds of laptops with voice-recognition software to injured soldiers. It started last year when Army Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss injured both his hands and wanted to get back to blogging. His blog readers pitched in for Dragon Naturally Speaking software, and he and another blogger, FbL, put together Valour-IT and have raised more than $330,000 with two online Veteran's Day fundraisers fueled by milbloggers.

Key quote:
"We made our goal [to raise] $24,000 for the 10 days leading up to Veteran's Day [in 2005]. To my utter shock, we raised $100,000. I thought, 'Holy cow, what did I get myself involved in?' The VA [Veterans Affairs] and Military Order of the Purple Heart heard about us and the Undersecretary of the VA invited us to come out to visit one of the trauma units and deliver the laptops there...This year, we raised almost $230,000 in the two weeks leading up to Veteran's Day. We've delivered almost 700 laptops now. I figured this time around, with more media connections, I decided to think big and shoot for $180,000 and we blew right through that to $230,000." -- FbL, co-founder of Valour-IT

It's a real old fashioned holiday story, refashioned for the new media age...


Mark has a very interesting blog, and he did a wonderful job telling the whole story of Valour-IT in a post born of thorough research and multiple interviews. It's definitely among the best media coverage Valour-IT has received so far. Check it out at MediaShift.

[Cross-posted at Valour-IT's project blog]