Friends, I hope this finds you well and getting ready to celebrate the birthday of the second oldest US military. Tomorrow our Corps celebrates its 243rd birthday. I find it difficult for me to comprehend that my first birthday I was able to celebrate as a US Marine was the 183rd, That was 60 years ago, Nah, can’t be, but I’m afraid it is. UGH!
Today I am looking out my office window at that white stuff on the ground! What happened to Fall?
Anyway, now to my point of this post. I have finally figured out to develop a GoFundMe account for my Young Marines. The problem has been every time I tried it always ended up with the donations going to National’s account instead of ours. Well, being the Marine I am, I war-gamed the system and finagled my way into it in a different way and by golly it worked. So, I am posting it on my blog.
For those unfamiliar with the Young Marines, we are a national 501c3 non-profit youth organization for boys and girls ages 8-18, or HS graduation whichever comes last. You can go to national’s site and check it out (www.youngmarines.com), or go to our website to learn more about us (/www.foxvalley-youngmarines.com/).
We garner no funds from anyone, the only way we get donations is for the kids to stand in front of stores like Wal-Mart in uniform with buckets. That’s a tough way to try andÂ raise enough funds for educational trips, fixed costs, uniforms, etc. We have developed a few corporate sponsors, mostly through our Marine brothers. But, I have some kids from some very low (poverty level) families so subsidizing their costs in the unit is a must. And it’s amazing how these kids have developed over the past two years. I am so proud of them, it humbles me to see the transformation. We are making a difference, albeit a small number. We currently have twenty in the unit, average age is 12.5.
I have decided that I am going to “attempt” to take them all to our nation’s capital next summer. I know it is a monumental undertaking, but damn it I am going to try. Some of them will never get the chance to visit our nation’s capital and see first-hand some of the historical sites that are part of our country’s birth and history.
There is no way we can afford fly, so my plan is to board Amtrak in Chicago one evening and wake up in D.C the next morning. Spend 4-5 days touring such places as the capital, white house, Tomb of the Unknowns, war memorials, and maybe even a side trip to Gettysburg. And, I certainly want to take them to a Friday night parade at MB 8th & !.
My local Marine Corps League, which is where I came up with the idea, did some research to see about making this sort of a trip for its members. They determined to stay for 4-5 days with meals, billeting, van/bus transportation, etc., it would cost about $1000/each. I think we can do it for less by staying at a college dorm that’s closed for the summer, and working with some local Marine contacts in the city. But we’ll see?
So, that’s what the GoFundMe account is all about. If you can see fit to give, please understand it is for a great cause — kids!
The link to the GoFundMe account is: /www.gofundme.com/manage/fox-valley-young-marines/donations#
Remember, we are a 501c3 non-profit organization, so all donations are 100% tax-deductible. And if you need a copy of our IRS letter, please reach out to me and I will gladly provide it. Thanks guys, and remember every donation, regardless of size is greatly appreciated.
Jim Bathurst,Â Unit Commander