Spirit of America
After the attacks of 9/11, many Americans wanted to find some way to contribute. People wanted to reach out and improve relations abroad. Many wanted to help troubled regions achieve freedom and peace. Now you can.
Spirit of America (SoA) helps Americans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan assist people in need. Some donors see Spirit of America as a way to help people who have suffered from repression, terrorism, and war. Others see it as a way to support our troops by helping them succeed with their mission. Still others see Spirit of America as a way to contribute to the war on terror and advance freedom, progress, and peace. Spirit of America is all those things.
In response to requests from U.S. personnel, Spirit of America has provided construction tools, irrigation equipment, musical instruments, school and medical supplies, clothing, soccer gear, toys, and books for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. One SoA project provides sewing machines to women's centers in Iraq, enabling women to earn a better living and provide clothes for the poor. Spirit of America sent water barrels to U.S. Army personnel so Baghdad's poor could have drinking water during the hot summer months. American soldiers have said that Spirit of America's work "literally saves lives."
The Wall Street Journal calls Spirit of America "a coalition of the can-do" because it provides rapid assistance where it is needed most -- on the front lines. In April, the U.S. Marines asked SoA to provide equipment for Iraqi-owned and operated television stations to establish a better alternative to Al Jazeera. In only 21 days, Spirit of America raised the funds, procured the gear, and shipped them to Iraq.
Maj. Gen. James Mattis of the U.S. Marines said, "The initiative and focused support provided by Spirit of America is beyond anything we have experienced. You have significantly impacted our ability to do good and, I fervently hope, reduce the potential for combat." Lt. Col. David Couvillon said, "They say there aren't any 'silver bullets' for improving things in Iraq. I don't know; Spirit of America just might be a silver bullet."
Spirit of America also supports Iraqis who are committed to their country's struggle for a better future. The Friends of Democracy project assists pro-democracy student and women's groups in Iraq as they work for the success of free elections. SoA is helping Iraq's Ministry of Women's Affairs produce programming that educates women about the coming elections and encourages them to vote.
Funds are also going to developing an Arabic "blogging" tool, which will allow those in Iraq and the Arab world to create online journals. This free tool will encourage open expression and give voice to those working for freedom and democracy in the region.
Donors to Spirit of America choose the project to which they donate and 100% of their donation goes to that project's direct expenses; administrative expenses are funded separately. If more money is raised for a project than is needed, donors are offered a refund. Spirit of America is efficient; administrative expenses are 5.6% of total expenses. Financials detailing project expenses, down to the check level, are posted on SoA's web site every month.
"Americans want to help our troops and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who are working hard to rebuild their countries through freedom and democracy," said Sen. John McCain. "Spirit of America offers excellent opportunities for personal involvement. The name says it all -- Spirit of America -- they are providing ways to give support that make a difference."
Spirit of America's mission is to extend the goodwill of the American people to assist those advancing freedom and peace abroad. Please extend your goodwill. Let's help Spirit of America and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.