Operation: Quiet Comfort launched the Sea to Shining Sea Competition to help send care packages for soldiers. The goal of the contest is to collect as many empty printer ink cartridges. The collected cartridges will then be sold and the money will go towards the cost of shipping care packages.
These packages are for injured soldiers who are being treated in medical facilities overseas. The invitation for the contest was posted online in April 13 and lasts until Dec. 31, 2008. It is a national contest that is open to current and non-members. All brands of empty ink cartridges can be sent such as Apple, Canon, Compaq, HP, Dell, Xerox, Apple, Brother, Xerox, Samsung, Sharp and Lexmark. Those who wish to join can do so either as an individual or as a part of the Operation: Quiet Comfort organization.
Those who wish to donate used cartridges can send it directly to the Funding Factory with the correct shipping label and the contributions are credited to the group. Once the cartridges are sent, the participants will receive a post card, which they can send to the organization so that the contribution will be tallied to their state. Participants can also send the cartridges to the Operation: Quiet Comfort offices directly so that the group will receive more funding from the Funding Factory. All fifty states are grouped into 4 regions for the competition. Every contribution from each state will be credited to the total contributions of that state.
While there is no actual prize or reward for the region which sends in the most contributions, the aim of the Sea to Shining Sea Competition is to raise a large number of cartridges to increase the funding for Operation: Quiet Comfort projects. Operation: Quiet Comfort is a non-profit organization made up mostly of volunteers. It is classified as a tax-exempt charitable institution; meaning donations to the group are often tax-deductible. The aim of the group is to provide support and aid to American soldiers and military men that are stationed overseas particularly in Iraq. The groups mostly seek to fulfill the medical and health needs of wounded or recuperating soldiers.
The group specializes in creating care packages called "Go Bags". These kits are meant to help soldiers when they are first transported to a medical facility and do not have access to their own personal belongings. The packages contain quilts, personal hygiene products as well as other items to help them pass the time or relax. The contents of the "Go Bags" rely on the experience and knowledge of Pastoral Care Services.
Most of the supplies shipped by the organization may be found with medic teams or at Troop Medical Clinics and U.S. Combat Support Hospitals.
Barbara Ross is a writer for Private Military Companies, Tactical Calendar and the Liberty Library.