For the last two years, Operation Supply Drop has been toiling away, sending out care packages to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The charity has cleared $60,000 in donations since then, which is certainly nothing to sniff at.
However, for our two-year birthday and on the anniversary of September 11th, we wanted to do something to really blow the doors off their hinges in support of the men and women who defend this country.
The “8-Bit Salute to Veterans” is what happens when a charity “goes loud”. Operation Supply Drop, in conjunction with a team of dedicated allied websites and supporters, is throwing a nationwide Veteran’s Day weekend party on November 10th with events in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York City with two more cities currently in the works to join forces to raise money to build a series of absurdly large video game care packages for multiple units stationed in Afghanistan…as well as a possible stateside surprise or two.
I’ll let the press release do the heavy lifting here (thanks to Penny Arcade’s PR team, the Bohle Company, for donating their time and energy to getting the word out):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gamers Nationwide to Collect Consoles, Video Games for U.S. Troops
Events Across the U.S. Will Raise Funds to Distribute on Veterans Day
LOS ANGELES – Sept. 11, 2012 – Parties organized by gamers across America this fall will raise funds to send video games and consoles to U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan. The events, part of Operation Supply Drop’s national Veteran’s Day “8-Bit Salute to Veterans,” will be held in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Gamers everywhere are invited to participate.
Captain Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga, a former Army Airborne Ranger, founded Operation Supply Drop in Nov. 2010, after serving for eight years with the US Army, including 13 months in Iraq. An avid video game player himself, Machuga realized that many soldiers who are gamers don’t have access to their favorite form of entertainment, one of the few types of leisure activity permitted in high threat areas of deployment.
“When soldiers aren’t outside the wire on patrol, they’re playing video games,” explains Machuga. “Our packages are an immeasurable morale booster for the soldiers; troops are accustomed to getting care packages from strangers full of baby wipes and socks. Our care packages are designed to blow their socks off.”
Since the charity’s establishment, Operation Supply Drop has raised more than $60,000 in games and gear each with an average value of $2,000 to units deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
With the help of a variety of allied gaming organizations, Operation Supply Drop’s “8-Bit Salute to Veterans” will be one of the country’s largest efforts undertaken in support of Veteran’s Day. Join one of these groups on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.
2011 63rd St.
Downers Grove, Ill. 60516 (West Suburb of Chicago)
Live music, many game stations throughout the area, game challenges with prizes, raffles as well as a full bar and kitchen. Raffle ticket purchases and donations via ChipIn will go towards Operation Supply Drop. Organizer: Konas Korner and Off Duty Gamers. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Mark ‘ODG6Actual’ Christianson
Shawn “Kona” Warbiany
The Den & Rumor Lounge
2710 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75204
Red Carpet entrance with photo ops, 20 different game stations on 55” TVs, three DJs, geek-speed dating, nerf weapon battles, an online-only QuakeLive tournament and a full bar. Play games with special guests, the Charisma+2 models, Mike McFarland (director and voice-over actor for Dragonball Z, One piece and Full Metal Alchemist), Alexander Rossi (Formula 1 racer) and executives from id Software, Gearbox Software, Robot Entertainment, Terminal Reality, GameStop and a dozen soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lockbox will accept monetary contributions and a box for donated games and hardware on site. Organizer: Charisma +2 . 1 to 9 p.m.
The owner of Las Vegas’ unique “Insert Coin(s)” gaming-oriented nightclub, Chris LaPorte, has graciously allowed our city team to occupy his club for our event! The nightclub doubles as an arcade, complete with the latest and greatest PS3 and Xbox 360 games being played across 14 large screen HDTVs, an arcade with 60 vintage game cabinets, and a dance floor with guest and resident DJs spinning. The event is open to the general public, with a variety of swag raffles, charity auctions to help raise donations for the troops for Veteran’s Day (I’ve never had bottle service at a stand-up arcade, but it warms my heart to know that there is a place where it exists)!
Los Angeles Film School
6363 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, Calif. 90028
In association with the Los Angeles Film School, and Hollywood production company Shifted2U Productions, Operation Supply Drop will be holding a single elimination Medal of Honor: Warfighter tournament in the Game Lab of the Los Angeles Film School to celebrate student and alumni veterans. The event augments the school’s 3rd Annual Salute, a yearly Veterans Day event held at the campus in Hollywood.
Veteran students and alum from the school will shoot it out for a chance to win a variety of prizes as well as to play side by side with veteran Celebrity Battle Buddies Scott Levy and Michael Broderick (voice and motion-cap actors “Stump” in addition to “Tick” from Medal of Honor: Warfighter), Tyler Grey (military technical advisor for EA Games) as well as Derrick Dockery of the Dallas Cowboys in celebration of Veteran’s Day. Additional celebrity battle buddies for this event will be announced shortly. Organizer: Shifted2U
Tony “Money” Hulse
702 Union St.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215
Multiple game stations, live Music, party photos, raffles and with proceeds of the door going towards Operation Supple Drop. This event will be MCed by MC Death Bear, feature a Hip hop music performance by Modern Shark recording artists Junk Science which will be followed by a chip-tune dance party headlined by Dj Cutman. Organizer: Sick Damage
Microsoft Stores in Bridgewater, N.J.; The Fashion Centre, Pentagon City, Arlington, Va. and Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va. are partnering with Operation Supply Drop to collect current generation games and consoles for troops from Labor Day through Veteran’s Day.
If you would like to make a contribution to Operation Supply Drop, but cannot attend one of the events, there are still several ways to get involved:
- Make a monetary contribution via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contribute new games or consoles to:
Operation Supply Drop (OSD)
9301 Alvyn Lake Cir.
Bristow, VA 20136
- Anyone interested in creating an event of their own in a different city on Nov. 10, 2012, can contact Stephen Machuga at email@example.com.