I’m wondering if you could help me out. I could use some honest feedback on something I have been rolling around in my noggin.
Please don’t think you will hurt my feelings if you have a criticism and please share this post with others.
Has This Ever Happened to You?
Have you ever been in a Subway or a gas station and seen a guy or girl there in uniform and thought, I would like to buy them that lunch they are ordering, or I wonder if he would let me buy him that fountain drink? Sometimes maybe you did, other times not, for whatever reason. Every situation is different. The point is; you thought about it.
Seemingly Insignificant Events Can Make a Big Impact
As a soldier I have had this happen to me a number of times. Walking through the airport while in uniform I had a man approach me and give me coupons for free drinks saying, “I just wanted to buy you a drink to thank you for serving. Will you give some of these to your buddies too?” I’ve even had a woman approach me in Texas and hand me a hotdog whistle saying, “I just wanted to give you something, but this is all I have on me. Thank you for your service!” (I thought, “This is something you carry around with you?”) I still have the whistle because it stands for something important to me. The drink coupons went to some buddies of mine as requested. I’ve had a fountain drink paid for by the guy in front of me more at a convenience store. He turned around and said, “I got your drink covered brother, thanks for serving.” The clerk at a store close to my house has told me a couple of times, “This one’s on me, hon. Thank you”
This is all great and at the risk of speaking for my brothers and sisters-in-arms, these small acts of kindness are appreciated. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s nice to hear, “Thank you,” even though a lot of the time I feel a tad embarrassed, I know people want to say it and it is nice to know people are thinking about you.
A New Way to Say, “Thank You.”
Here’s the idea: I want to provide both sides of these kinds of opportunities to people. I want to create a place where you can go and buy a soldier lunch, or a movie, or even buy them tickets to a Broadway show if you have the resources and the inclination to do so. But more than that, I want you to be able to contribute toward anything you feel like contributing to. Maybe you love a specific book that you really want to share with a soldier. You can do it here. Maybe you love a particular kind of music that you want share, nothing is too insignificant or to grandiose.
What You Want to Give.
As a person who wants to thank a soldier, you tell me what you want to do for them. Let’s say you want to take a soldiers family out to a movie. You go to the website and choose movie tickets as a gift. You can select a specific soldier, (it could even be one that hasn’t registered to the site) or we’ll select one for you that has registered for that gift. If you can’t pay for the entire gift, we put your money towards that gift and when others have given enough to cover the cost, we will get it to the soldier. If you just want to give something, but don’t much care what it is, we put your donation into a general fund that can go to anything that needs funding.
Everyone Enrolls for Free
As a soldier, if you want to sign up for these gifts from generous people, register. For those contributing, understand that I’ll confirm people are who they say they are through DD214’s (it might be as easy as registering with a “mail.mil” email address now that they are all CAC protected.) You can sign up for specific gifts or make a request for something and let people contribute to that request. If you want to take your family to a nice dinner or a hotel stay in St. George, make the request. It can’t hurt and you may find someone who wants to help because they appreciate what you and your family sacrifice!