27 October 2009

'New Media' Effort Fuels Laptops and More for Wounded Troops


Soldiers' Angels Conducts 4th Annual Online Valour-IT Fundraising Competition

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Divided among four "virtual teams," a wide variety of bloggers and other New Media mavens are competing on the Internet to see who can inspire the most donations to help wounded troops. Part of the Soldiers' Angels fifth annual online Valour-IT Veterans Day fundraising competition that runs through Veterans Day (November 11), the effort helps ensure America's wounded soldiers have access to voice-controlled laptops and other technology that supports their physical and psychological recovery.

In just over four years, Project Valour-IT has given 4,100 voice-controlled laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and has supplied additional items that may be a surprising fit in a recovery regimen -- Wii game systems and handheld GPS devices.

"This project changes lives," says Soldiers' Angels founder Patti Patton-Bader. "Wounded heroes say that being able to use a laptop helps them feel whole again. Physical therapists are actually designing therapy sessions around Wii Sports! And something as normal as a handheld GPS reduces stress and helps a hero cope. It's just amazing what this project does!"

Each of the devices Valour-IT supplies helps restore confidence and independence. Voice-activated laptops reconnect the wounded with the world and develop self-confidence by showing soldiers they can continue to be engaged and productive despite their injuries. Wounded servicemembers also use the laptops for education about their medical care or preparation for a post-military career. Physical therapists report Wii Sports and similar programs are extremely motivational and beneficial when used in physical therapy settings, though they are not standard equipment in military hospitals. And wounded personnel with short-term memory loss due to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and severe PTSD use GPS systems to keep from getting lost or disoriented when they move on to more independent living.

Donations for Valour-IT may be made online at Soldiers' Angels, or by sending checks or money orders to Soldiers' Angels, Valour-IT Fund, 1792 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91104. Details of the current fundraising competition are available at www.soldiersangels.org.

Established in 2003, Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) non-profit providing aid and comfort to members of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as veterans and military families. For more information, see www.soldiersangels.org or call 623-570-3903. Tax ID# 20-0583415 CFC #25131