Abide Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Newnan, Georgia, hosted Brew for the Blue on Saturday February 25 and helped us raise $2,000!
Much of the funding was generated from the sale of $1, $2, and $5 raffle tickets for items that had been donated by local businesses. Prizes included multiple gift cards to local restaurants, range passes to Atlanta Range and Ordnance, Falcons merchandise, Bluetooth Speakers, a Yeti Cooler, and a custom knife from Southern Grind.
Abide kicked in an additional $700 from entry fees.
This was our first fundraiser event of its kind and we're proud of the outcome. With a little luck, it will become an annual event for us!
We thank everyone who came out in support of our cause!
Thanks to the generosity of JP Baker Construction, American Armor has secured a sponsorship of the Karl Remy Band's performance at Chase Elliot's Chase U pre-race party at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday March 5th!
This is going to be a large event and the American Armor brand is going to be all over it, placing our cause in front of thousands of potential supporters!
Our sponsorship includes display ads during the event, social media exposure, and a mention by Karl and Chase on 92.5 The Bear during their interview on Friday March 3.
I was told very early on in the process of starting American Armor that fundraising is both the most important aspect of running a nonprofit and the most difficult. I quickly found this input to be true.
The same people, however, warned me not to fall for offers from "professional" fundraisers - especially telemarketing firms - who might approach me with offers that sound too good to be true. That advice got to the inquisitive side of me so I did a little research. It turns out that I could have very easily "hired" several firms who would charge the Foundation nothing up front, do all the work, and send us a check every month. Minus an exorbitant fee, of course.
Needled to say, I saw how such an arrangement could be bad news and swore to never go down that road. Instead, every donation we receive here is "organic", meaning that we earn them by reaching out to our personal contacts, through social media activity, and via word of mouth. This process isn't as lucrative as using telemarketers, but I get to sleep at night.
Why am I writing about this?
I was flipping through Facebook last tonight and I saw this headline: Georgia Police Fundraiser: Where did the money go? The headline was accompanied by an image of police officers holding body armor, so I was absolutely compelled to read it.
Basically, the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is using a telemarketing firm to generate donations that help them do important work on behalf of police officers...like buying body armor. The most recent campaign generated $556,220 in revenue, but the telemarketing firm (legally) kept 81.5% of it as a reward for all of its hard work.
Do you know how much body armor we could purchase with $556,220? That's about 1,240 vests!
Someone seriously asked me not too long ago, "why American Armor? Aren't there already other charities, like the FOP, that provide body armor?" I answered, "yes, but they must not being doing a good job because there are still officers going without it and many agencies have no idea they offer body armor grants." The article that prompted this post gives a great deal of credence to my assessment.
I want this organization to keep growing and to be the one that finally makes a lasting difference in our area of focus, but we won't do it dishonestly or by using tactics that make someone else rich off the generosity of the people who believe in our cause.
It's important to know where your donation is going. Our donors can rest assured that most of their money is buying body armor and that none of it is being squandered.
The Board of Directors is excited to announce that Chief Brandon Perkins, the Founder & Executive Director of American Armor, has been selected by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as one of its inaugural 40 Under 40 award recipients!
Each of the recipients are featured in the September 2016 issue of The Police Chief, the official monthly print publication of the IACP. According to the article's introduction, "The IACP’s 40 Under 40 Award was developed to recognize 40 law enforcement professionals under the age of 40 from around the world who demonstrate leadership and exemplify commitment to their profession."
Perkins' section of the article states,
"CHIEF BRANDON PERKINS grew up surrounded by law enforcement because his father, a former police officer, had many friends in the profession. Because of this, Chief Perkins grew up knowing what it means to wear the uniform and the badge. As the chief of the Tyrone Police Department since 2007, he maintains that level of dedication and service he grew up seeing as a child. He is constantly looking for ways to make the department, his officers, and the community better. As a result, Tyrone, Georgia, has ranked in the top eight safest cities in Georgia for three years straight and has experienced a 50 percent reduction in violent crime rates. In 2015, Chief Perkins founded the nonprofit American Armor Foundation, Inc., which assists smaller law enforcement agencies across the United States afford body armor for officers. Chief Perkins strives to make well-informed decisions that have a positive impact on the community every day. He is driven by the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies the implementation of a successful process that gets positive results.
Those around him describe Chief Perkins as passionate and highly skilled in areas such as community policing, public relations, organizational leadership, staff training, and policy development. He knows what it takes to lead a successful police department and works hard each day to make that a reality in his own community."
Our official press release is available for download below. The full text of the 40 Under 40 article from The Police Chief magazine is available for download in PDF format here.
The American Armor Foundation
Brandon Perkins, Executive Director
Contact: Brandon Perkins | Phone: 404-994-0978 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release
The American Armor Foundation Provides Officers in Woodbury, Georgia with New Body Armor
Woodbury, Ga. - The leadership of the American Armor Foundation, a Georgia-based 501c3 public charity tasked with a mission to provide body armor to law enforcement officers working in underfunded agencies, is pleased to announce that the Woodbury Police Department has been selected as the recipient of its first large agency grant.
American Armor's founder, Brandon Perkins, and members of the Board of Directors were on hand at the Woodbury Police Department on Wednesday September 14, 2016 to present seven of the agency's officers with brand new body armor. Notably, this isn't replacement body armor. These officers, like thousands of others across the United States, had been performing their duties without it due to a lack of funding.
Perkins, a Police Chief himself, took note of this issue approximately 2 years ago after reading in a RAND study that as many as 200,000 American law enforcement officers work without body armor. "Having always worked for agencies that provided body armor and not actually knowing any officers who didn't have it, I found that estimate hard to believe, so I conducted my own research. While I cannot substantiate the claim that 200,000 are working without it, I can conservatively affirm that tens of thousands of my fellow officers are, in fact, working without body armor due to a lack of funding."
Perkins found this unacceptable and decided to make it his mission to do something about it and The American Armor Foundation was born in March 2015. "It takes time to complete all of the legal requirements to form a nonprofit, to develop a solid Board of Directors, and raise the initial funding necessary to get such an organization off the ground. Woodbury PD is the culmination of 18 months of hard work getting this important organization started and we are proud to have them as an important part of our story," stated Perkins.
American Armor is funded by tax-deductible private and corporate financial donations as well as by participation in several additional fundraising initiatives to include a vehicle donation program. The Foundation's flagship funding source is its "Monthly Heroes" program in which individuals can automatically donate as little as $3.00 per month to help them purchase body armor. As explained by Perkins, "There is power in numbers, so if we can get 1000 people from across the country to donate $3 a month, we could provide about 80 vests a year. We'd love to see 1000 people commit to $10 a month or more, but we wanted to give supporters an option to fit any budget."
Visit www.americanarmor.org to learn more.
Six of Woodbury PD's seven vest grant recipients.