The Move America Forward charitable organization offers America a novel idea: whether you support the war or not, it is our duty as Americans to support our troops overseas.
The organization is leading an effort to create the largest-ever care package campaign for U.S. troops. They plan to ship over $500,000 worth of goods to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on the highly appropriate date, July 4th. The grand finale of the effort will occur this Thursday in an 8-hour internet telethon titled “From the Frontlines.” It will occur from 4:00pm till Midnight, Eastern Time.
“We decided to do something unique, something not done before,” said Cathrine Moy, Acting Executive Director of Move America Forward. “We have people from more traditional media coming together to help us put a spotlight on the good work our troops are doing overseas.”
Broadcast live online by UStream.tv, the event will be hosted by Melanie Morgan & Michelle Malkin. Live and taped reports of troops serving in Iraq & Afghanistan will be broadcast as well. While the organization has already collected over $200,000 in the last few weeks, they hope to receive additional donations during the telethon to raise the final amount for the care packages.
“Right now, for this big push, we’re doing personal care items including deodorant, little battery operated fans, lip balm, and other great summery personal care items,” said Ryan Gill, Operations Director for Move America Forward. “We get a lot of thank you notes from the soldiers often asking for the products they might need.”
The care packages will include a personal message from donators to be given to the soldiers. Often these letters create pen pals and correspondence between American citizens at home and the troops abroad.
Move America Forward has received a lot of support for this effort. Ronald Reagan’s favorite candy maker, The Jelly Belly Candy Company, has donated 100,000 bags of their gourmet jelly beans for the care packages. Military members have been using the candy as a sort of “Candy Diplomacy” program as gifts to Iraqi and Afghani children. Each bag is printed with the message: “A gift from the American people in hope that your country will one day enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States.”
Big conservative political celebrities such as Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Lt. Col. Oliver North, Sean Hannity and HUMAN EVENT’s own Jed Babbin support the program. Supporters from the other side of the political spectrum, however, are few and far between.
“It is more difficult for people who are not conservative to do this, perhaps because of the political election. They do not want to be seen with Limbaugh or Hannity,” said Moy.
“The sad fact is I believe people who are not conservative are not taking advantage of these programs and they should – everyone should support our troops.
We have ingrates in this country who spit, protest, and call the troops murderers rather than realize these men and women are putting their lives on the line for our country.”
Move America Forward has worked with other care package programs, such as Operation Care and Comfort, to optimize the effort. Soldier’s Angels, another similar program, has also offered additional soldier’s names and support for the program. If you are interested in participating with Move America Forward’s program, please click here.
“All troops in Iraq and Afghanistan – whether they are Republican or Democrat or none of the above – need to know that we Americans know, love, and support them,” said Moy.