Friday, August 04, 2006

 

HOW TO HELP OUR SOLDIERS, THE IRAQI AND AFGHANISTAN PEOPLE

Following are NUMEROUS sites with information how we can give aid to our troops and to the civilians in war torn Iraq and afghanistan. Sites showing how people at home can give help and support to members of the military.

Many members of our military aid these citizens themselves in groups and singly. Help them to continue their good work.

HOW TO GIVE HUMANITARIAN AID, DIRECTLYTO PEOPLE OF IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, and to OUR MILITARY.As more and more official aid organizations pull out of Iraq, the best way to help Iraqi children and civilizians seems to be through soldiers' projects. They individually distribute stuff sent we send to them. Sometimes one soldier tells of a need and his family sends stuff, then it grows into a church project, etc. http://www.operationiraqichildren.org/Soldiers found that the school children had no books, school supplies. This very simple project gives you a list of simple school supplies to buy and how to package it. You send it to a location in the US...Fed Ex has volunteered to send the packages to Iraq for free. This is a great project for churches, classrooms, scouts, or community groups. This organization was founded by actor Gary Senise. They have streamlined what to include so customs is simplified.
http://www.iraqkids.org/American Aid for Children of Nineveh, IraqThey are trying to aid orphanages in the area. Lots of interesting links on this site, too.
http://operationgive.org/Soldier's toy drive for Iraqi children. only parts of page loaded on my machine. Again, Fed Ex is offering free shipping from their US hub to Iraq. Here's a page where they brought a little girl to Utah for surgery of her facial tumors...photo where father's face is blurred out (situation in Oakland where a father brought his severly injured son to US and the insurgents went after the remaining family for collaborating with enemy.) http://operationgive.org/tabby.html
http://www.afsc.org/iraq/relief/default.shtml [site moved-check archives] American Friends Service Committee giving assistance to homeless camps, orphanages, hospitals, etc.
http://www.laurasimms.com/KeysHeartBook.htmlStoryteller Laura Simms often makes things happen quickly. She worked with a group called Chocolate Sauce to publish A Key to the Heart, a hardcover book of Afghan stories printed in both English and Dari, illustrated by public school children in New York City and students from the School of Hope in Afghanistan. The books are given to soldiers to give to Afghan students. See slide show of project here.
TO LEARN DIRECTLY ABOUT IRAQ FROM THE FIELD:http://wordsfromiraq.blogspot.com/http://www.iraqkids.blogspot.com/Direct from Iraq, blogs by soldiers (Buffbabe220 from Mosul is an Army journalist gal), Iraqis, people working in hospitals, etc. Some are from school children, who love to have people comment. I saw one Iraqis who was trying to buy medical supplies himself, and he gives bank transfer information. Who knows if this sort of thing is legit, but it's the most direct way to help.
HOW TO HELP SOLDIERS:http://booksforsoldiers.com/
http://www.anysoldier.com/Provides solid contacts, guidelines about how to send things to soldiers.
http://www.operationuplink.org/Donate to buy phone cards for soldiers in the field, familes, the wounded, etc.
http://booksforsoldiers.com/Just what it says...connect with a real soldier who wants books, dvds, etc. They all seem to be hungry for junk food. Large Request page, some requesting items like clothing and shoes for children of Iraq or Afghanistan. There's a section for "The Forgotten Soldier." Here's a tidbit I found. You know how they all want Wet&Dry wipes...someone shared that the Baby Wipes are not good because they contain lanolin, which makes sand stick to the skin. Get wipes like Lever 2000. Long pipecleaners are also appreciated, to clean out rifles and equipment.
http://www.watersorb.com/Good crafts project...make coolties for the troops...these neckties are filled with 2 tsp ONLY of polymer plastic crystals (medium size), which absorb a LOT of water. Buy the crystals at watersorb.com . There are a few different patterns for this on the net, so check around. TIP: Use only patriotic or camo material for the ties. It's not hot all year...these things work best in hot dry climate, not in tropics.Baghdad, Iraq, Weather on cnn.comKabul Afghanistan, Weather on cnn.comEmail correx or suggestions.v

#2- Some repetition of list above:

How to support the American soldiers and help the people of Iraq
AnySoldier.com
AnySoldier.com provides soldier contacts, and you read through the names and select the ones you wish to support based on their lists of what they need and want. AnySoldier even has a search capability so you can easily identify specific needs and requests.
The soldiers are volunteers for this effort, they see the "ATTN: Any Soldier" line and put your letters and packages into the hands of soldiers who don't get much or any mail.
AnySoldier also has guides for "What to Send and How to Send" to help you properly send letters and packages, and a FAQ page. This effort is 110% voluntary. You send your support, and maybe some stuff, directly to whatever unit or units you want.

Iraq Veterans Against the WarIraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) is a group of veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We are committed to saving lives and ending the violence in Iraq by an immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces. We also believe that the governments that sponsored these wars are indebted to the men and women that were forced to fight them and must give their Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen the benefits that are owed to them upon their return home.

Operation Iraqi Children
Operation Iraqi Children is a grassroots organization co-founded by actor Gary Sinise and best-selling author of "Seabiscuit: An American Legend," Laura Hillenbrand. Operation Iraqi Children was inspired by conversations with Operation Iraqi Freedom soldiers as well as by Sinise’s recent tour of Iraq. OiC encourages ordinary citizens to send school supplies and Arabic translations of Seabiscuit to Iraqi children.

Mother Speak
Mother Speak started with one scared and isolated mom worrying about her son, an Army Ranger and Sergeant with the 82nd Airborne. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.
That one scared and isolated mom traveled to Iraq, visited her son on a military base in the Sunni Triangle, wrote a daily travel journal, met Iraqis, and interviewed Iraqi mothers. Now she shares mothers voices from all over the United States and the world.
She is honoring her son’s efforts and the efforts of all soldiers by creating a book featuring mothers with children engaged in The War on Terror.
The scope of this book, tentatively titled, Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak about War and Terror, includes interviews with multi-generation American mothers, naturalized American mothers, mothers of non-US citizen military combatants, Iraqi mothers, and Iraqi émigré mothers.
Mother Speak seeks a range of worldviews and opinions. Interviews will not exceed 1,200 words. Photos of mothers and children are included when possible. If you are interested in volunteering for an interview, or if you know others mothers who may be interested, contact Mother Speak.

Veterans Against the Iraq War
"Veterans Against Iraq War is a coalition of American veterans who support our troops but oppose war with Iraq or any other nation that does not pose a clear and present danger to our people and nation."
"Until and unless the current U.S. Administration provides evidence which clearly demonstrates that Iraq or any other nation poses a clear, direct and immediate danger to our country, we oppose all of this Administration's pre-emptive and unilateral military activities in Iraq. Furthermore, we cannot support any war that is initiated without a formal Declaration of War by Congress, as our Constitution requires."

Military Families Speak Out
"Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.
"As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians."

The Fisher House
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Department of Defense. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time -- during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.
There are currently 31 houses located on the grounds of every major military medical center and several VA medical centers. These houses play a key role and are a vital asset to our military by allowing them to care for casualties, and their families, from Operation Enduring Freedom and will play a critical role in caring for casualties from Operation Iraqi Freedom as well.
It is our goal to create "a home away from home" that allows guest families the opportunity to address any challenge they must face during a time of crisis with dignity, and to give them a sense that there really are those who care about them in their time of need.
You can donate to the Fisher House here. This money will go to the upkeep of existing Fisher House locations, to a fund for families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father or mother, and also to building a new Fisher House at Walter Reed Hospital where many of those injured in Iraq are now being treated.

Wounded Heroes Tribute PageLeave a message in tribute and support for the men and women injured in the war.

Operation UplinkYou can donate calling cards so military families can stay in touch during their extended separations.

Operation Hero MilesThrough Operation Hero Miles you can donate your airline miles to American soldiers so they can get home to visit with their families. go here.

Armed Forces Emergency Relief Funds
Each branch of the Armed Services has an emergency relief fund. Their money goes to help the soldiers and families with paying for food and rent, medical and dental expenses, personal needs when pay is delayed, and funeral expenses.

Army Emergency Relief supports the families in the United States Army, as well as the members of the US National Guard and the Army Reserve.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society accepts donations at any of their locations across the country, which you can find here.

The Air Force Aid Society helps to relieve financial distress of Air Force members and their families and to assist them in financing their higher education goals. They can be found here
Red Cross: Helping Military FamiliesContact your local Red Cross chapter and find out how you can help the military families in your area who are struggling in this time of war.

Books for SoldiersAt Books For Soldiers you will find a forum where active duty soldiers have posted requests for books and dvds from back home which you can purchase and send to them. Check it out and help keep these men and women entertained.

If you know of another good organization that is helping the soldiers and their families as well as ones helping the people of Iraq, please send the link and a brief description to the Web Editor
Check out these links...
Alternative MediaCommunityForeign Policy and World PoliticsHow to support the American soldiers and help the people of IraqOrganizationsPolitical ActionResearchUnions, Unionizing and Worker's RightsVoting Links

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Comments:
These are some great resources. Thanks for putting this up. Another good organization helping the troops is "Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran's of America" (IAVA), formerly "Operation Truth". While they are not necessarily anti-war, they do a lot for the troops and I support their efforts.

I "tagged" you on my blog yesterday.
 
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