The long holiday weekend starts tonight after final formation and there will...
Soldiers Angels Project Valour – IT Fundraiser
Soldiers’ Angels is holding a special Project Valour-IT fundraiser through September 3! This spirited competition is working to raise $100,000 in just two months (donation button is in the top left-hand corner of the page).
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. Items supplied include
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.
Personal GPS – Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTS/PTSD.
Wii Video Game Systems – Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities)
The experience of Major Chuck Ziegenfuss (pictured, and also featured on The Rhino Den), a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in Iraq, led to the creation of this program that has used voice-controlled laptops to the support recovery and reintegration of thousands of wounded troops since 2005.
Why is there a competition? Why is it divided among service branches?
The Valour-IT Independence Day Fundraising “Competition” was developed as a fun way to raise money for a very serious project. Teams are purely for the sake of friendly competition, building on the natural inter-service rivalries of the U.S. Military. Competition winners get “bragging rights,” but the true winners are the wounded warriors who benefit from the results of the friendly competition.
Just like the service members themselves who tease each other with great enthusiasm but stand shoulder-to-shoulder in wartime, we’re all part of the same family even when we’re being competitive. All funds raised go into the same Valour-IT account and are used to assist any wounded service member in need of Valour-IT’s support, regardless of his or her service branch.
Some comments from past recipients and their families:
I will never forget the look on Alan’s face when the realization hit him that you guys were awarding him a laptop. You would be proud of his progress if you saw him texting, now. Granted, it takes a while and his upper body is a little wobbly b/c it takes both arms to hold his phone where he can best see the screen BUT, he’s texting!!! Thank you for being a part of his continued healing and recovery. – Rosie
Last night, during my weekly visits, I was greeted by…our latest laptop recipient, with a quick little dance. I think he even clicked his heels! He is so terribly happy to have received a laptop and is really looking forward to having Joe show him all the ins and outs. You made this Sergeant-Major, who has served faithfully for 40 years and is as crusty as they come, do a happy dance in the lobby – PRICELESS! – Soldiers’ Angel Monica, November 2009
“…It is comforting to know there are people who care so much. After a year of surgeries, treatment and therapy, it can be discouraging. Although I am a trained attorney, due to TBI, it is unclear what my future will be. The computer will help with my therapy and my transition back to civilian work.” – Captain V, U.S. Army Reserves
I work at the Men’s and Women’s Trauma Recovery Program at The Menlo Park VA. Our program’s mission is to serve military men and women who are suffering from the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. On behalf of our entire program, I want to personally thank you for donating the WII Fit. The Wii gaming system offers opportunities for our patients to actively interact with one another, which is different from other gaming systems. For example four people can actually play tennis or baseball, which helps them engage with one another, and reduce isolation. The Wii fit will allow our patients to actively exercise with others and gives them another avenue to engage in healthy habits. With your donation, you are working with us to help support each person’s recovery and building the foundation for a better quality of life for our veterans and active duty service members. – Melissa Puckett, Recreation Therapist/Supervisor, January 2009
He received it yesterday, fully loaded with a receipt from Best Buy. He was extremely pleased and could not believe that it is brand new with all the bells and whistles – he actually started crying and thanked us over and over. – Bobby Hayden, OEF/OIF Patient Services Advocate