Friday, July 4, 2008

Special Announcement on Independence Day

Many of the RVs and campsites where we're staying this week are bedecked with red, white & blue decorations and American flags, in celebration of Independence Day today. The enticing aromas of grilling burgers for lunch, and sizzling bacon, sausage & eggs from late campsite breakfasts, are wafting my way when the warm breeze blows. No doubt there will be lots of celebrating this Fourth of July, with special fun family events at the campground (funnel cakes, the annual "campers Olympics", a hayride, etc.). Later today, Greg and I plan on grilling some venison burgers with a steak sauce we're evaluating as a potential new product at Carolina Sauce Company, snacking on boiled peanuts (for those of you unfamiliar with boiled peanuts, it's a southern delicacy of sorts that should only ever be enjoyed fresh, never canned - and only made with raw peanuts, never roasted), tossed green salad with Mama T's Olive Oil Vinaigrette, grilled summer squash with butter and a sampling of sauces and seasonings under consideration, and farm-fresh, locally grown cantaloupe for dessert (I wanted watermelon, but couldn't find one small enough to fit in our RV fridge).

During this week while on my working vacation, I've spent some time thinking about our troops who are currently serving overseas, away from family and friends, placing their lives on the line in the service of our country and protecting our freedom. My brother in law, who has served 3 tours in Iraq, is one of the lucky ones, presently stationed in Germany with his family. As you may know if you've been reading my blog since its early days, he was my main inspiration for Operation Sauce Drop, the Carolina Sauce Company's nonprofit effort to send free BBQ sauce and hot sauce to deployed troops. Lately I've been quite disheartened at how donations have trickled down to almost nothing, while the list of troops signed up for a free box of sauce continues to grow. It breaks my heart that there are soldiers who have been on our waiting list for months, while Operation Sauce Drop has run out of money and is running in the red. This is a really tough economy for fundraising, but I haven't lost all hope. In fact, while out on my morning run earlier today, I had an idea to help ship out more gift boxes to our servicemen and women overseas. Admittedly this is a risky plan, especially in this economy, but I have faith that it just might work. Here goes:

Beginning today, Independence Day, and for as long as we can afford to do so, Carolina Sauce Company will MATCH ALL DONATIONS made to Operation Sauce Drop. When you donate $5, $20, $100 or even more, Carolina Sauce Company will donate the same amount, thereby doubling your generosity. The average cost for us to purchase and ship a gift box of sauce is about $20, and most folks tend to donate that amount. With this new matching program, your $20 donation will enable us to send gift boxes to TWO deployed troops, not just one. And if you can afford to give $100, the net result is that ten servicemen, not just five, will receive their requested gift boxes. And a $5 donation will now go twice as far, covering half of the cost of a gift box (so get a friend to also donate $5 and the end result is you'll fully fund a gift box because we will match both donations). If you have any doubts as to whether receiving some free hot sauce or barbecue sauce matters to our troops, I encourage you to see the photos and read the thank-you notes on our Operation Sauce Drop Feedback & Photos page.

Carolina Sauce Company is stepping up to the plate to help add some zesty flavors to our deployed service personnel's plates. We'll match ALL donations made to Operation Sauce Drop. Now it's up to you: Can you spare a little dough to help send a free gift box of sauce to a deployed soldier? If so, please donate to Operation Sauce Drop -- and feel free to include a note for us to send to the recipient soldier, if you'd like! I have faith that with your help we'll be able to fulfill the gift box requests from the over 90 troops on our waiting list, and then continue fulfilling future requests as they come in.

Here's wishing all my readers and Carolina Sauce Company customers and Operation Sauce Drop donors a zest-filled, happy & safe Independence Day. And if any of you are or were members of our Armed Forces, here's a heartfelt THANK YOU for your service.

Zestfully yours,

PS: I'll update the Operation Sauce Drop pages on the Carolina Sauce Company site to announce this matching program later today, assuming my wireless internet connection doesn't flake out again.

PPS: Please help spread the word about Operation Sauce Drop to anyone who you think would be interested in supporting this program: There are banner links posted earlier in this blog, or you're welcome to forward a text link, or forward any information that might help. And please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

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