Client Spotlight July 2021 – Special Forces Support Fund

July 1, 2021

hey there, it's Caroline!

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The Special Forces Support Fund (SFSF) is one of our newest clients, and we knew immediately that we wanted to support its mission as much as we can.  The organization is currently raising money to buy gear that directly supports our Special Forces before an upcoming deployment.  Read more to learn about the organization and find out how you can help!

Special Forces Support Fund

The SFSF was founded in 2018 and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to support actively deployed United States Special Forces soldiers. In other words, they send the equipment they need for each particular deployment, including everything from boots and socks, to body armor.

Every dime of the money raised goes towards buying things that directly support the soldiers.  All of the founders of the SFSF work entirely pro bono, from donor relations, fundraising and development, legal, marketing, operations, and more.  When we say “every dime”, we mean it.  The founders even purchase merchandise from Coastal Connections Marketing out of their own pockets, so that the entire purchase price you see online goes to soldiers, not just the profit.

Caroline spoke with Paige Hulse, an attorney and one of the founders of the SFSF, to learn more!

Caroline: I’m a little embarrassed to say that I’m not very fluent in military vocabulary.  Will you tell me what the Special Forces is?  

Paige: The term “special forces” is used a bit loosely by civilians (we usually mean “special operations forces”), but in military terminology, Special Forces soldiers are Green Berets. In the same way the Navy has “Navy SEALS”, Green Berets are the United States Army Special Forces.

Operationally, Green Berets soldiers operate in very elite and unique ways. These are unconventional soldiers who are trained to work with the community in their area of deployment. In laymen’s terms, rather than quick extractions from active zones, Green Berets typically stay, building up the communities.

Green Berets are the “silent professionals”, so many non-military civilians are unfamiliar with their work. For helpful context, Green Berets are featured in the movie “12 Strong”, which tells the story of the first soldiers deployed to Afghanistan following 9/11. The film showcases the declassified story of the “Horse Soldiers”- an event where that first group of soldiers worked with the local community in Afghanistan to execute one of the most high-level counter-terrorist actions after 9/11. Today, a statue of the “horse soldiers” can be found at the September 11 Museum in NYC.

The photos below show just a few pictures that Paige is allowed to share of the actual soldiers during previous deployments using equipment provided by the SFSF

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Caroline: That helps a lot!  So how do you serve these soldiers, and how do you get the donations to them?

Paige: Great question-the logistical difficulties of getting supplies to some of the nation’s most elite soldiers while on deployment is no easy feat. Currently, we are supporting two teams. We are in direct contact with members of each team, so that we can directly respond to their own unique team needs, without a middleman. 

Getting the supplies and equipment to the teams is the most difficult part. After all, when deployed, these soldiers are performing some of the most dangerous and covert missions of any of our deployed soldiers, and aren’t reachable. For this reason, we work directly with our teams before they are deployed, so that they have all of the equipment needed before their deployment even begins. This is also why we host large fundraising efforts at specific times of the year, such as now (updates can be found on Instagram at @specialforcessupportfund).

The guys on this deployment are receiving the items below including shirts, body armour/back panels, holsters, a medical cooler for transporting blood, and artillery storage equipment.

These are items that are necessary for their deployments, and they would have to purchase out of pocket. For context, many of these items are gear provided for policemen (funded by cities). To be clear, we (the SFSF) are not saying that the federal government does not equip our men. However, these special forces soldiers do not always get the top-tier gear they need. For example, they might receive holsters, yet these holsters do not carry enough magazines of ammunition that a special forces soldier needs to be prepared if an unexpected ambush occurred off base. Similarly, they also receive boots; however, they’re severely lacking in padding, and sometimes, waterproof material. Special forces soldiers ruck for miles upon miles, and rely heavily on their footwear.

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Caroline: The Special Forces Support Fund is a fairly new organization.  What kind of traction have you been able to make?

Paige: We have provided equipment for (actively deployed) troops in three continents, and have a 100% fulfillment rate per requests received!  We can always do more, and we are excited about future fundraising and growth.

Caroline: As you know, I am in Eastern North Carolina, which has a large military population.  What do you tell people who want to get involved in supporting the Special Forces Support Fund or the troops in general?  For people who aren’t directly linked to the military, like me, it can sometimes feel mysterious.

Paige: The SFSF is unique in a few ways.  

  1. At this time, we only respond to the needs of special forces soldiers with whom our founders know personally. This ensures we are able to raise specific amounts of donations in response to specific team needs. What this means: we provide equipment to deployed Green Beret teams with whom we speak to regularly.

  2. Because of our ability to communicate with our supported teams, we are able to send donations directly to the teams. This is typically handled before deployments, to ensure that the proper gear gets to the proper people. As a government-sanctioned 501(c)(3) foundation, all donations are tax deductible.

  3. Our goal is to fully outfit the teams with necessities, which means that we operate very lean: for example, we’d rather raise the money for one set of medical equipment, or body armor, rather than a care package of miscellaneous items for a team.

  4. Our donees are not anonymous: they are men that we (the SFSF founders) know personally. We know exactly what they need, when they need it. Spreading the word about our foundation is the most helpful way to support the SFSF.

Above all else, we hope that our foundation serves as a reminder that soldiers of every kind need support by means of military equipment. While it seems unbelievable, our soldiers don’t have all of the equipment they need. We hope that this encourages you to seek out other verified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; and sharing the SFSF with at least one person you may know.

SFSF & CCM

Caroline: Wow, you have taught me so much, and I’m really excited to share this information with others!  Now, it’s time to put a promotional products slant on this conversation!  What is your most-used or favorite promotional product, and what is the logo/organization on it? It absolutely does not have to be anything you purchased from us!  It’s always fascinating to see what products get incorporated into our daily lives!  There are more than we think!

Paige:  I love pens! I get a handful of CCM pens every time I see you! I also love the CCM tumbler and use it almost every day!

Caroline: I love those tumblers too! I have two I keep in rotation! We’ve worked together in the past both with you helping me with business legal things, and me helping you with gifts for your law practice.  I’m so excited to be able to help you with this now too!  The Special Forces Support Fund has just recently purchased products to sell on its website to raise money.  Tell me more about those efforts!  What are the other ways you raise money?

Paige: We couldn’t have done it without Coastal Connections Marketing™! We’ve been strictly word of mouth from 2018 until now, and other than the current merchandise on our site, we are still operating almost solely off of independent donations. Currently, we are operating as lean and mean as possible, so that every possible penny goes to our deployed soldiers.

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Caroline: Did you have an immediate best-seller on the website?  It’s always interesting to see what pulls people in!

Paige: Golf balls, hats and shirts! I think it’s a tie: people have loved buying these both for themselves and as gifts (an important selling point for any nonprofit!).  So far, we’ve also barely been able to keep the t-shirts from Coastal Connections Marketing™ in stock- everyone loves how soft they are! 

Caroline: What are your personal favorite products that you’ve done so far?

Paige: Aside from our CCM products, we’ve seen great interest in our dog bandanas from PrideBidtes. Personally, I’ve enjoyed being able to use our logo and domain on golf balls- they tend to get shared around the golf course, and have sparked conversations with other golfers about what the Special Forces Support Fund is that likely typically wouldn’t have happened otherwise!  Susan Kubes Designs did our logos for us, and we’ve enjoyed using the various designs on different products!

Caroline: What are you looking forward to the most in the second half of 2021?  Professionally and/or personally.

Paige: Personally, my husband and I are building a home and hope to move in before the year is up!

Professionally, I am continuously excited to see the SFSF’s growth. On a more “personal” professional side, I’ve spent years developing my law firm (Paige Hulse Law) into the position that it is today: providing trademark law services to business owners worldwide; entrepreneurial support to business owners in the realm of estate planning, contract, and corporate law nation-wide.

For More Information

As you all can tell, Paige Hulse is smart as a whip and has a heart of gold.  It is such a joy to support her and the founders as they grow the Special Forces Support Fund.

For more information on the Special Forces Support Fund, go to https://www.specialforcessupportfund.com/ and follow them on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/specialforcessupportfund/

For more information on Paige Hulse Law, go to https://paigehulse.com/.

For more information on how Coastal Connections Marketing can help your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts, email us atinfo@coastal-connections.com.

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hey there, it's Caroline!

Categories

We love working with our clients 1:1 to find the perfect products for their projects.  In our posts, you'll find lots of examples of previous projects, our favorite products, our process, and small business tips.  We look forward to working with you!

Client Spotlight

Products

Process

Small Business

Project

Start A

Click here to contact us to get your project started!

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