As of this post, the Navy/Coast Guard Team is a tad behind. Heck, even the Air Force team is beating us!
You can do your part to help Project VALOUR-IT. On June 3, 2007, at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital the 1,000th laptop was given:
Valour-IT stands for Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops. It was inspired by a soldier, Captain (now Major) Chuck Ziegenfuss, who two years ago was exactly where you are today and who remains in the Army--he was a tank company commander whose hands were severely damaged by an IED. He had been writing a blog during his deployment and used his two functional fingers to ask for help getting voice-to-text software after he was wounded. The response was huge and we realized there was both a need and a desire to fill that need. We've now given out nearly 1,000 laptops in the last 20 months.
This program did not develop because a big donor dropped a lot of money that made all this possible. Rather, it came from individual donations of thousands and thousands of people--from literally five dollars to 5,000, adding up to over a million dollars in twenty months... all because they love and appreciate you and want to help you during this difficult time. They want to make sure that if you have injuries that prevent you from using a keyboard, you can still stay connected to your deployed buddies and the family members who couldn't come here to be with you, so you can use the computer just like anyone else does. And if you will be transitioning out, we want to be sure you have the opportunity to take classes and develop the skills that you will need to be successful in your new career.
So each laptop is more than just a computer. It's a physical representation of the incredible amounts of love, support and gratitude people have for all you have done. Please remember that whenever you see it. Thank you for everything.
At the post Little Green Footballs did on Project VALOUR-IT, a couple of com mentors shared very easy and doable ways to help out:
A very practical way to help out:
Every Halloween I put out a coin toss bucket and Project Valor poster on my porch. Then I donate the proceeds the next day. Last year I raised a little over $200.00 from my neighbors. Y'all should try it!
A way for kids to get involved:
This is a great program! Last year my daughter organized a fund raiser at her middle school and the 7th and 8th graders raised enough for two laptops. I would encourage others to do the same.