Bunkers in Baghdad was named a 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit in 2014 (see here). Since that time, the Buffalo-based organization has continued on with its mission, by sending off golf balls and clubs to US troops based around the world. The measure has been so successful in fact, that the 7 millionth golf ball has just been delivered. 7 million! The herculean effort is certainly helping soldiers to pass the time when they have a moment to themselves. The act of hitting golf balls provides a sense of normalcy and is a great stress release for the soldiers.
“We’ve been gathering and sending golf equipment for close to eight years now, but the kindness and generosity of our donors and volunteers is as inspiring to me today as it was the day we started,” said Joseph M. Hanna, Bunkers’ founder and president. “At its heart, Bunkers operates with a single purpose: to make sure our troops don’t feel forgotten. That mission is alive and well thanks to the efforts of everyone who has worked to fulfill the promise we made back in 2008.”
At this point, Bunkers in Baghdad is shipping off 73,000 golf balls per month, and there are no signs of slowing. “We’re sending the message that Bunkers is in it for the long haul,” said Hanna, a partner in the law firm Goldberg Segalla.
Along with the crazy number of golf balls collected, the 500,000th golf club has also been delivered into the hands of an appreciative soldier. Most of the used equipment is raised through a program known as Bunkers Buddies. Bunker Buddies is made possible thanks to the collection efforts of students at over 300 schools in the US.
It’s interesting to note that the 7 millionth ball was shipped to Iraq – the same place the first shipment headed when the program was founded in 2008. “It’s fitting in many ways, but if anything our latest milestones just serve as a reminder that we’ve still got work to do,” Hanna said. “As long as we’ve got men and women deployed overseas and rehabbing here at home, we’ll keep going.”