The TD Foundation’s holiday cocktail party is December 15th at Admeld in New York. This is the sixth year of the event and it is open to all. We recently spoke to Tom Deierlein about the event and his foundation.
How did the TD Foundation get started?
TD: I was activated in late 2005 to active duty military service after 12 years in the inactive reserves. While deployed as a Civil Affairs Officer focused on reconstruction and economic development, I reviewed the terrible conditions in Sadr City a slum of 2.3 million people in East Baghdad Iraq. The goal was to help children affected in war torn East Baghdad with basic life needs from shoes and clothes to school supplies and vitamins. Initially it was just digital media industry folks shipping over stuff and I would hand the local needy families. After I was shot by a sniper and seriously wounded in September of 2006, Sean Finnegan, Bill Flately, and Paul Bremer took the lead and officially started the Foundation with a fund raising kick-off event at the Forbes Gallery in NYC in November 2006. Now in our fifth full year the important works continues and grows.
What is the purpose of the Foundation?
TD: Our purpose is to help needy families and children both nationally and internationally with their most basic living needs including medical care. We raise funds and then use them to arrange for medical treatment and/or purchase critical daily items such as clothes, food, water, school supplies, vitamins, as well as toys, etc. We partner with local organizations, institutions, and people to locate and distribute these goods and services to those in need. Our initial recipients are Iraqi and Afghan children affected by the current war.
To date we have shipped $100,000+ of school supplies, $50,000+ of medical supplies, $20,000+ in vitamins, hundreds of boxes of donated clothes and toys, and funded more than 30 life surgeries including severe burns, orthopedic reconstructions, and heart repairs.
What is the nature of the organization?
TD: It is a grassroots organization. All participants in this fund are volunteers, 100% of donated funds will go to those children and families in need. It goes back to my original statement about the incredible people in this industry. The TDF Board is all the people you see everyday and at every event – Paul Bremer, Sean Finnegan, Bill Flately, Rick Parkhill, Doug Weaver, Dave Morgan, Nick Johnson, Gary Strauss, John Murphy, Mark Naples, Jack Myers and our newest member Chris Hogan. Matt Wasserlauf put on a golf tournment this year called OVO – online video outing – that was unmatched and raised almost $35,000. Hulu and Vindico were the big sponsors there.
The organization is non-political. Regardless of how people feel about the war, one thing is true for all of us – we do not want to see innocent children suffer. The truly tragic thing about the current situation is that the most innocent and needy are suffering. With the mass exodus of the middle class in 2002-2006, there are precious few social institutions and places for these destitute families to seek medical care and obtain life’s basic necessities like clothes and vitamins or a simple notebook and pencil for school.
Many people frustrated with the war and the current economy want to find ways to make a difference, or do something – ANYTHING. TDF provides an extremely valuable opportunity for all of us to make a true difference – a direct, specific, and tangible difference – in the lives of young children effected by war.
The TDF Holiday Cocktail Party is Thursday, December 15th. How can media people get involved?
TD: A ticket is only $150 It kicks off at 6pm in NYC and it is an open invitation to everyone not just digital media. This year our generous host is Admeld and our sponsor is NBCU. Alan Chappell, Sean O’Neal and their band “Something Heavy” are providing the live entertainment.
For more details click here.
For a copy of the invitation and to RSVP click here (payment instructions will follow).
We are still soliciting items for the silent auction and looking for 3 more corporate sponsors. To contact me our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.