I normally don't blog solely about our needs in terms of funds, however, time is running out and we are far from meeting the funding needs of this project. To update those of you who might have been away for a bit or for the benefit of our newest fans, I will briefly explain the state of affairs.
As you know, we are traveling to Kuwait and Iraq this summer after attending the GI Film Festival in Washington D.C. in early May. We will be leaving in the last few days of May and we are not planning on returning until late July or early August at the latest. Since we will be embedding with US troops our costs are minimal when you consider what we are accomplishing which is basically a tour of the bases of Kuwait and Iraq, courtesy of CIPC. Most media organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to achieve this goal; we are doing it on merely $6,000 to $7,000. This includes air travel, equipment costs, insurance premiums for 60 days, miscellaneous costs associated with the travel to include hotels while we are still in the states preparing for travel, meals not included during our embed process, other incidental costs that may arise while we are conducting our missions. The lion share of the costs comes in the form of our airfare. Four one-way tickets to Kuwait City, Kuwait are anything but cheap. The reason they have to be one-way is due to our need for date flexibility on our return flight, in case we are delayed in our departure out of country. We also cannot opt for discount fares due to that same required flexibility.
We are exploring options to include contacting airlines such as United, American and Emirates to discuss whether they would like to provide these tickets at no-cost for publicity and to help a good cause. As much as I would like to rely on this, it is irresponsible for me to not have contingency plans and several of them at that. If any of our fans/supporters believe they may be able to help in our negotiations with these airlines, or other airline companies, please let us know, we are all ears.
As far as equipment is concerned, there are certain requirements that we must comply to, such as body armor, helmets, etc. We are working on borrowing some of these items from our personal contacts and we also would offer this as a solution that our fans might be able to help with. WVU, my university, has offered the use of their camera for our trip and we are considering this offer, if the terms are right and we are held harmless to any and all damage that may arise for such an expedition. If they agree to the terms, this will slash our funding needs by at least 10%. However, we must prepare contingency plans in the event it falls through.
Insurance costs are something we cannot get around and basically just have to pay it. On average, we are looking at $500 for 60 days of coverage, which is multiplied by two for our intern/travel partner. We also will be providing all the equipment and required safety attire for our intern/travel partner, which also raises the costs of travel.
So, as you can see, we are not by any means being paid for one day of travel to Kuwait and Iraq. The entire budget of $7,000 will be devoted to what I detailed above and more. None of which involves payment to myself, our partners, intern/travel partner or staff. We just want to ensure this is made clear and that we will be submitting our expenses upon our return for our supporters to view, to remain transparent in our activities.
We have 19 days left on the Kickstarter campaign, and we have raised $2,187 in total funds. We also have raised almost $700 through our raffle campaign taking place in the Boston area. In addition to all of that, we have $620 in the foundation bank account, with $500 of that being a single donation by one of our dedicated supporters, Greg Love. It is through individuals such as Justin Pierce and RangerBoy ADC who both increased their original pledges as well as Greg and DJ Slipstream who have donated a large amount, to those such as Kitty Owens who pledged $5, we appreciate any amount, large or small, because it shows us that we are not the only ones who believe in this project and it encourages us to continue to struggle forward and never give up. We are asking you, I am asking you personally, to help us raise the funds we need to complete this trip. I assure you I will NOT give up and if it takes me covering the costs and coughing up $4,000, I will. I hope I won't have to, I believe we have the support we need to achieve this goal. I believe that our fans and supporters will dig deep and show their support either by helping to spread the word of our needs, or by giving from their heart, whether it is $2 or $200, we appreciate any support, any amount or any type you, our generous fans, are willing to provide.
We are asking for your help, your support in funding this project. We need your pledges to ensure the success of this project. Travis, SSG D., Mel and I can only do so much, we are only capable of so much, and we need your help in covering down on what is needed to complete this culturally significant project. Please, there is only so much time left, 19 days, we need your help, your willingness to pledge that support, whether in monetary terms or through exposure, we need, desperately need your help. Will you join us? Will you stand with us and pledge with us?
The Graffiti of War Project Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign:
Jaeson "Doc" Parsons