DETROIT — After a successful inaugural venture in December 2011 that resulted in multiple shipments of boxes containing iPods and other asked-for items to soldiers from Michigan based in Afghanistan,, a networking group for IT  professionals in metro Detroit, will hold their second “Support the Troops” event on Thursday, Dec. 13 at Rochester Mills in Rochester Hills.

The event will gather electronics like iPods and other asked-for items to be shipped to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from Michigan. One featured unit is a troop of 25 National Guard troops from Michigan who just arrived overseas (more information about their location will be disclosed at the event).

More about the effort at And more about the people helped last year at

At the Dec. 13 event, participants can bring cash checks or other items as follows:
* Candy, gum and jerky. (No chocolate — it melts in transit.)
* Small (emphasis on small) containers of baby wipes (it’s a dusty country and it can be a while between showers).
* iTunes gift cards.
* Toothbrushes and small (emphasis on small) containers of toothpaste.
* Crossword puzzle books small enough to fit in the pockets of cargo pants
* Ear buds — apparently they break, get destroyed and clogged up constantly, and are hard to find in Afghanistan.
* Computer headphones — the kind you’d use for Skype chats, with a microphone. Also apparently hard to find in Afghanistan.

Also sought are any old (but still functional) iPods. Again, they tend to break, get destroyed, and get clogged up with sand. Also again — hard to find in Afghanistan.

Do not bring anything gift-wrapped or wrapped in any other fashion, because anything going to the troops has to be inspected first.

Full details and other FAQs may be found at

Founded in 2001 by a group of IT professionals in Metro Detroit, was at the time, the ‘anti-group.’ They simply wanted to attend networking functions where they were surrounded by like-minded people. They didn’t want to wake up at 7 a.m. to give leads to florists. They didn’t want to pay $20 for a $7 lunch. They didn’t want to pay $15 to watch someone promote their company. And most importantly, they didn’t want to be hounded by MLM people. Thus, was born.

A CBS Detroit story about an earlier effort can be found at


Leave a Reply