Todd Melet, president of B-Linked in Chapel Hill, is working with a variety of restaurants and with Fort Bragg to offer a way of saying “thanks” to members of the armed forces.
The program, ThankOurTroops.com, offers individuals a chance to purchase meal gift cards from Pizza Hut and Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze). The cards are $10 for Pizza Hut, and $25, $50 or $100 for Darden participants, plus a $2.95 charge for shipping and handling.
The cards will be distributed to Fort Bragg personnel at a “Party in the Park” in Fayetteville on June 13. ThankOurTroops.com is the sponsor.
Orders are processed by GiftCertificates.com.
Melet says the ThankOurTroops.com effort does not charge any service fees or share in an overhead costs of the effort.
“What makes ThankOurTroops.cdom unique is that 100 percent of purchases go towards gift cards,” Melet said in a statement.
The web site for the effort points out that, “We are not a charity. We simply facilitate your thank you gift which is made directly by you, to the carefully pre-screened active military person we select on your behalf.”
The cost of sponsorship of the park event is paid to Fort Bragg’s Installation Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund.
“When researching how to give something back to military people, my goal was to be direct. I give a dollar, they get a dollar! That is what is accomplished at ThankOurTroops.com,” Melet pointed out on the web site. “Our site, event sponsorship, and promotional overhead is partially covered by small commissions we receive from the sales of gift cards, from the sale of T-Shirts, and other gift items. We will never turn a profit, and we will cover all overhead ourselves – never reducing your gift purchase!
“I believe that showing your appreciation to an active military person is not a political statement, but something that all of us must do. Too many people forgot this after Vietnam, and my goal is to be sure this never happens again. Today our troops are being thanked by the people of Iraq. Let’s be sure they get the same respect upon returning home.”
B-Linked offers a variety of services, such as online advertising delivery for more than 30 newspapers.