We are the Anime Military Association (find us on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/TKfBkY or Twitter at http://bit.ly/VK3k0F); Anime fans "giving back to the troops." This group started in 2011 and sponsored our first lunch at Oni-Con 2011.
What do we do?
We sponsor a lunch at conventions (usually anime cons) for active and veteran military service members. We accept sponsor donations ($20) from those who wish to assist. This donation pays for the meal and two challenge coins (one for the service member and one for the sponsor).
Why do we do this?
We want to help bring the connected interests together: military and anime. The challenge coin is a significant aspect in military culture. So, what better way to achieve this than by food and a challenge coin during an anime convention?
Contributions to Operation Ichiban will:
- Assist AMA in sponsoring lunches. This is important as we do often do not have enough individual sponsors to cover all the service members that attend.
- Help build an inventory of AMA merchandise that can be used for fundraising sales at conventions.
- Assist AMA to become a non-profit organization. While we currently run things on a non-profit basis, and often out of our own pockets, AMA is not currently registered as a 501c non-profit organization. We want to change this and could use your help.
- Assist AMA in attending more conventions where we can spread the word and feed the troops.
- Assist in getting an official AMA website up and running.
What We Need & What You Get
We are asking for $5,000 to get us started. The funds will go to paying for:
- The perks offered (plus shipping)
- Building inventory of AMA merchandise to sell at cons for further fundraising:
- Challenge coins for each of three AMA mascots: Raven, Suzu-chan, and Chase.
- AMA t-shirts
- AMA patches
- AMA bumper stickers
- AMA cell phone charms
- AMA magnets
- Provide a cushion fund for sponsored lunches. We often pay out of our own pockets to cover all the service members that attend the lunch and to cover the cost of challenge coins.
- Provide funding for con-specific challenge coins. Each new design requires a mold creation fee ($75 per side) and has a minimum order of 50 coins ($352.50).
- Help us get an official website up and running (domain name registration + hosting cost).
We chose to run a flexible funding campaign with a goal of $5,000. If we do not meet the entire goal, then we will still put what we get towards achieving our intended purpose (with the order above as our order of priority). Any amount helps, but $5,000 or more certainly puts us at a great starting point.
In the past, we held sponsored lunches at Oni-Con 2011, A-Kon 2012, & Ikkicon 2012. As we started in Texas, we have focused mostly on in-state conventions. The founder recently moved to Alabama and will attend Kami-Con. We are confirmed for lunches in 2013 at Comicpalooza, A-Kon, and Ikkicon. Other potential conventions are: San Japan, Anime Overload, AnimeFest, and Oni-Con. We hope to add more conventions out of state to the roster in the future.
The attendance at the sponsored lunches can vary. Some conventions get a hand full, while some, like A-Kon 2012, reach 30 service members. The challenge coins are always popular, and we ran out of the A-Kon specific coin during that convention.
Your contributions can help this happen at more conventions and with larger attendance.
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand if you cannot contribute, but you can still help by:
- Getting the word out about the Anime Military Association and Operation Ichiban.
- Tell active and veteran service members and their families about us. They don't have to enjoy anime to help the troops that do.
- Tell your local anime, manga, and comic stores about us. Flyers are available for download here via Dropbox.
- Share this campaign using the Indiegogo tools.