Yes, with today being Veteran's Day, it marks the kickoff of the fundraising season for my favorite charity. You can see the little thermometer over on the right-hand side there. This, from the Project Valour-IT webpage, tells you what it's all about.
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Technology supplied includes:
- Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.
- Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions.
- Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to TBI and severe PTSD.
The experience of Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in
, illustrates how important these laptops and other technologies can be to a wounded service member's recovery. Iraq
Every cent raised for Project Valour-IT goes directly to the purchase and shipment of laptops and other technology for severely wounded service members. As of November 2008, Valour-IT has distributed over 2700 laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines across the country, and is now expanding its mission to include other technology that supports physical and psychological recovery.
Valour-IT accepts donations in any amount to support our mission, but also offers a sponsorship option for laptops. An individual or organization may sponsor a wounded soldier by completely funding the cost of a laptop and continuing to provide that soldier with personal support and encouragement throughout recovery. This has proved to be an excellent project for churches, groups of coworkers or friends, and members of community organizations such Boy Scouts.
Originally Valour-IT provided the voice-controlled software that accompanies the laptops, but now works closely with the Department of Defense Computer/electronic Accommodations Program (CAP): CAP supplies the adaptive software and Valour-IT provides the laptop. In addition, DoD caseworkers serve as Valour-IT’s "eyes and ears" at several medical centers, identifying patients in need of laptops and other technological support for their recovery. Wounded military personnel can also directly request a laptop through the sign-up form or through the Valour-IT/Soldiers' Angels representatives at the following medical centers:
* Balboa Naval Hospital
* Brooke Army Medical Center
* Madigan Regional Medical Center
* National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda Naval Hospital)
* Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton
* Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital (29 Palms)
* Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Thanks to the efforts of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Valour-IT is also able to reach patients in VA hospitals who would benefit from a Valour-IT laptop or other technology to support their recovery and independence.
This really is a great cause, ladies and gentlemen. I've met some of the folks that have received this equipment before, and words can't even begin to express how grateful they are for it. It really gives them back their independence, and after what they've been through, that's absolutely huge.
So, if you feel compelled to donate. . .and I'm not going to try to force you to or anything like that. . .feel free to click on the little button over there. Each service has their own button, but that's all for the purposes of a little friendly, inter-service competition. In the end, all of the money ends up in exactly the same fund. But, since I'm biased on this front. . .go team Air Force!!
Thank you for your time and your donations, should you choose to make one.