View Full Version : G.I. Uke

03-09-2011, 05:48 AM
Hi Everyone,
Recently a buddy of mine was deployed to Iraq. Right before he left he was borrowing my extra uke a lot and learning to play. Later, his wife mentioned that it was his birthday and we sent him my extra uke. Well, not surprisingly, he plays it on the base all the time and everywhere he goes people ask him to play something and they all jump in with a song. He told his wife that a lot of soldiers there wanted to learn to play the Ukulele.

This got me thinking, what if I got the UU involved and we tried to donate old ukes and/or buy entry level ukes for these soldiers? So that's what I'm proposing, if you've got a playable uke that is just collecting dust or you've got $30ish bucks lying around somewhere, wouldn't it be cool to brighten up a soldier's tour?

My buddy is in the reserves and was called up for 18 months, leaving behind his cute little wife and two boys. This is a tough situation for them, but I like to think that our little Uke gift has helped a little. His boys often ask to play my uke when their around because I think that there is a little connection to Dad that way.

Anywho, this is pretty long rambling post, but I guess I'm wondering if there is any interest out there? I have no idea how many we'd need at this point, but I'm gathering info from the base of guys who would want one. We all have UAS and many of us have a uke or two that we haven't picked up in a while, wouldn't it be cool to use those ukes to spread the Aloha to those who've left their families to serve their country?

What I'm Looking For:
1. People who will commit to donate a Uke
2. People who will commit to donate money to buy and ship a uke (I'll set up a paypal donation thing and do a big bulk buy somewhere)

What you'll get:
1. A photo in this post of the soldier with your Uke (maybe I can talk them into doing a video or something!)
2. The opportunity to give back to some soldiers
2. Awesome karma vibes and a warm fuzzy feeling

03-09-2011, 07:45 PM
Wow, this is rad. I knew that this was a generous community, but I've gotta be honest, I'm pretty overwhelmed by three pages of responses in just a few hours. I really think that this will brighten up a lot of troops. I'm very excited. Thanks again everyone, I know that these small gestures will makes a huge impact. It was cool reading some comments with experiences that you've had regarding the impact that stuff like this has.

Nuts and Bolts Stuff:

Name: I'm thinking G.I. Uke for a name. Somehow it didn't feel right to use Ukes for Troops since that wasn't mine to begin with.
Nonprofit: After talking with a few friends today, I've ascertained that I've gotta run this through a nonprofit so that none of the donations get taxed as income. That way ALL of the money will go to stuff for the troops. Give me a week or so on this one and I'll work something out.
Facebook: As suggested, I've started a Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/GI-Uke-Donate-Ukes-for-the-Troops/172222272824906) for this. Currently there isn't anything on it, but it would be cool if a few people could "like" that page because some features are not available until you have a certain number of fans. So if you have a Facebook account, jump over there real quick and "like" that page.
Paypal: they have a very simple donation button set up that will work really well for this, but I want to make sure we have our ducks in a row before we start collecting anything.
Shipping: There have been several questions about whether to ship stuff to me or directly to them or what. Honestly, I'm not really sure what the best thing to do, but I have a buddy at UPS that I'm going to talk to. I'll have more information on that later. So for right now, hold onto everything until I can figure out the best course of action for logistics.

It has also occurred to me that this thing is much bigger than I can handle alone. If I do it alone, it will be quite limited, but I think that there are probably some of you out there that have skill sets that might be helpful. Here's a short list of things that could be useful (once we get those ducks to line up right)

Writers: Every good enterprise needs to be explained well if it is to grow. If you have a mind for writing, I'd like you to join up on the P.R. team. I noticed that the Ukes for Troops got some great press online and on the air mostly due to people getting the word out.
Graphics: We may want some stuff designed at some point
Callers: We may want to contact Uke and music companies for donations. They get great exposure and our troops get more ukes. It is very likely that many of you have contacts that are closely connected to these companies.
Smarter People Than Me: We'll definitely continue to need great ideas. Already we've seen some very good advice in the this thread.

The Most Important Thing...
Please be patient with me as I get things set up, I kinda got ahead of myself and posted right as I had this idea without thinking everything through. So I'm going to get a lot ready this weekend and get in touch with Seth (my deployed buddy I mentioned earlier) and iron out some details.

Thank you all so much, this really means a lot.

03-13-2011, 06:39 AM
Please keep this one on-topic, thanks.

03-13-2011, 09:18 AM
Thanks for sorting Seeso

03-13-2011, 09:28 AM
Thank you mods for restarting this thread. :D

03-13-2011, 01:24 PM
Thanks seeso. I'll post here with details later this week.

03-14-2011, 01:27 PM
I've been so fortunate in my ukulele journey, I'd like to give back what I can. I can make a pledge for a donation, as for any help I can give, YGPM!

04-09-2011, 03:54 AM
Anymore on this project?

04-15-2011, 05:09 AM
Anymore on this project?
Unfortunately, I'm having trouble getting people to respond to me. I'll post this weekend with a solution.

04-15-2011, 11:08 PM
One thing I would recommend is plastic ukes or inexpensive laminates. Conditions will be harsh. Fleas would be perfect but Dolphins meet the price point and fun factor. Mine has travelled but not been overly hot or abused and now has finish cracks, no big deal, but now I see the bridge is lifting at the bottom, so will shoot some glue under it. If you had a Dolphin fund it would be easier to gain momentum. You could probably go right to Kala, so they could ship in bigger boxes direct?

Just a few thoughts.