As noted by the title of this post, today is Giving Tuesday — the nobler offspring of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Among the many worthy options that will reach your inbox today, I hope you’ll consider supporting the work of the TD Foundation.

I’ve been a board member with TD (named for good friend, digital pioneer and purple heart recipient Tom Deierlein) since its work began 13 years ago. Briefly, the foundation is often the safety net for the families of wounded veterans and Gold Star families – those whose husband, wife, father or mother has made the ultimate sacrifice. You would think and hope that our government would have the backs of our service members, but in practice it doesn’t always work that way.

Working as a connector and a source of funds to other veteran assistance groups, the TD Foundation will write the checks that keep a car from being repossessed; that provide needed medical equipment; that prevent a veteran’s family from slipping into homelessness; that allow a child to attend summer camp or pay the fees to compete in a sport. No red tape. Zero overhead. Just immediate help that sustains the often-fragile lives and support systems of our veterans… one check at a time.

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What can you do? One or more of three things.

Attend the TD Foundation Annual holiday gathering in New York next week. $200 buys you some great networking with scores of the best people in the New York digital ad community. Wednesday December 11th, 6-9 PM at Xandr HQ, 28 West 23rd Street. It is seriously the best night of the year. Buy that ticket now. In fact, buy two and make someone else’s night as well.

Make a direct donation to the TD Foundation. We’re a 501 (c)(3) organization, so tax exempt. Aside from a credit card transaction fee, 100 percent of what you give will go to veteran families in crisis. 100 percent.

Forward this post. Whether you’re seeing this in your inbox, on Linked In, on Facebook or somewhere else, spread the word.

There’s nothing wrong with saying Thank you for your service to a veteran. But wouldn’t it mean more to say How can I help you? This is how.

Thank you for your thoughtful generosity to TD Foundation, and for your comments and social support as well. Happy holidays.

Don’t Just Say Thanks.

Veterans Day 2018 brought familiar reminders to those of us in the general public – non-veterans – of the service of others.  Who can miss those Camo’/faux-military hats and warm up jackets on the sideline of NFL games?  And then there are the military themed TV ad campaigns and the reminders that this retail chain or this coffee company proudly hire veterans.  And all over social media and – sometimes – in person, we say Thank you for your service.

Nothing particularly wrong with any of that.  Except that quite often saying thank you is all we end up doing.  I recently saw an interview with Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, former helicopter pilot who lost both legs in a crash in Iraq.  She said near the end of the segment that what veterans like her really want to hear — far more than Thank you for your service — is the simple phrase Never forget.

Never forget is more than a feel-good catch phrase. It’s a challenge. Far too many veterans do feel forgotten for much of the year.  And those who probably feel it most are our wounded warriors and their families and the kids and spouses of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice – Gold Star families.

As we all break for Thanksgiving, I’d like to appeal to those of you who read The Drift to not only Never forget, but to act on that value right now.  For the past 12 years I’ve been involved with The TD Foundation, a 100% volunteer group that gives 100% of the funds we collect to the families of those veterans who can least afford to be forgotten. We help make mortgage payments, have car engines rebuilt, send children to camp, buy soccer equipment. Sometimes these small acts of support are enough to keep a family from losing their home;  other times they just make a kid with a wounded or missing parent feel like – a kid.

On Thursday evening December 6th, near the World Trade Center site in New York, we’ll be hosting our annual fundraising event.  Click here to go on our website and buy your ticket.  Even if you can’t attend, go ahead and make the donation.  You can do it on the same page.

Yes, there are many people in the world and in our own country who need our help.  But I’m asking your help for a particular group of Americans that should never be forgotten but who too often are.

I thank you for your generosity and wish you and your families a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

Never forget.

Say Thanks.

Thanks...If you’re reading this post you probably have a job that’s connected to digital marketing and advertising.  And whether your company had a wonderful year or a terrible one, whether you’re the right or wrong side of the best new technology, statistically you are very lucky.  You’re in an industry that’s still growing and your skills will be in demand for a long time to come.  Relatively speaking, we are all lottery winners.

Thanksgiving week is as good a time as any for a reality check….to take stock of what we have and perhaps to make a deposit in the Karma bank.  You don’t have to act on what I’m proposing below, but I respectfully ask that you read and carefully consider it.

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Over the past 15 years our country has minted a lot of veterans, and a great many struggle physically, psychologically or both.  Thousands more have made the ultimate sacrifice.  Connected to almost all of these stories are a families with day-to-day needs…families that fall through the safety net every day.

When the safety net breaks, the TD Foundation helps these families.  No bureaucracy, no delay, just help.  Fast.  Whether it’s a car payment or rent situation that now seems hopeless; money to keep a child playing soccer or basketball for another season;  funds to acquire a handicap-accessible van; or just about anything else.  It’s not always dramatic, but it’s always crucial.  It’s life.

So if you feel lucky – as I do – here are three things you can do.

  • If you’re in the New York area – or can be – next Thursday night December 1st, buy a ticket for $150 to the annual TD Foundation fundraiser in Manhattan. Besides helping the families of wounded warriors and fallen heroes, you’ll spend the evening with scores of great digital industry people.
  • Make a donation – of any size – to the Foundation.
  • Forward this post on to a friend.

I’m grateful to have all of you as readers, customers and friends.  You are the blessings I count.  And thank you for considering this great cause.  Happy Thanksgiving.