NOTICE: Posting schedule is irregular. I hope to get back to a regular schedule as the day-job allows.

Friday, July 13, 2012

NEWS: Operation Baen Bulk [Full link to blog for email clients.]

This is a fundraising effort with which I am involved.  I have written before of my enjoyment of Science Fiction books by Baen as well as the support by Baen fans (The Barflies) of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is a new fundraising effort to send supplies to the unit of a fellow Baen fan currently deployed to an ammo supply dump in Afghanistan.

Here's what we are about:

WHAT  is Operation Baen Bulk ??

OBB is a different kind of support for the troops. Instead of focusing on individuals, we support entire UNITS, by finding what they need, or want, and can't easily or quickly get while deployed. . .and get it to them. In LARGE quantities. Think of it as the Warehouse Club approach to Soldier Support: we use the power of buying and shipping in bulk, to maximize the stuff delivered to our troops, out at the pointy end of the spear, and minimize things like waste, shipping costs, etc. And in the process, generally deliver a lot more to the individual soldier than normal "CARE Packages" do.

WHO is Operation Baen Bulk ?
Operation BAEN BULK started in the fall of 2009, when one of our founders got a 90-day layoff notice, and moved into the Layoff Pool.  With nothing to keep him busy, he corresponded with a few deployed GIs, and noticed that while they had individual requests, there were a number of things they mentioned their entire outfit needed or wanted.  And he needed a project to keep me sane while looking for a job with the economy going south.

And thus, was BAEN BULK born: a bunch of SF fans, all of whom read the military SF that Baen Books published, pooled our money and resources to insure the ZombieKillers (a training detachment somewhere in Afghanistan) could have some Christmas Trees and good coffee.  And him being kept busy and productive (and yes, he did find another job.  A BETTER job, in fact. . . )

Since then, we've provided for the oddball requests and creature comfort needs of several deployed units. . . and now, we're trying a bit of a crowd-sourced model for raising funds, with achievement tiers so as soon as a threshold is reached, items will be ordered and sent off to the Ammo Dawgs. . .

HOW do we do it ??

First, we get in touch with an individual at a given unit. We talk to them, and find out the specific needs and wants of the unit. Then we find the best buys we can find to deliver those wants. We then raise the funds, and when we get enough, we order the stuff, and send it to the troops. This year, Operation Baen Bulk has partnered with to host the campaign. 
So, you want to help. . .what do YOU do ???

This one's easy. You go to our campaign at You make a donation, using a major credit or debit card, or PayPal. We consider those pledges until we hit our tipover point of $1,000.  Once we pass the "tipover" point, we start shipping stuff to the troops.  We'll keep collecting donations until the scheduled end of campaign, or we reach our goal of $2,000.  If we exceed our goal by 25%, we'll close down the donations, because we want to be honest with where the money goes.  Don't worry, if we have that much support, we'll find another unit to support and do this all over again!

The next step. . .is up to you. We've been doing this for three years. We'd love to have you join us. . .

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