Radio PSA For kids and parents (13.5 min)
brainblast.mp3 For kids and teachers (7.5 min)
Listen to The Ballad of ThanksUSA by Nashville's own David Ball
Listen to US Marine vet Stephen Cochran who is now making his name as a country-western artist!
What is ThanksUSA's mission?
ThanksUSA is a non-partisan, charitable effort to mobilize Americans of all ages to "thank" the men and women of the United States armed forces. We're doing that by providing need-based college, technical and vocational school scholarships for their children and spouses.
How did the idea of ThanksUSA evolve?
While two sisters, Rachel (10) and Kelsi (8), were on a family vacation in August 2005, they became fascinated with the appeal of treasure hunts. They were trying to locate the treasures hidden by Michael Stadther in his book, A Treasure's Trove, and they asked their parents about the historical basis for the clues in the movie, National Treasure.
The girls wondered whether you could use the appeal of treasure hunts to get kids and their parents to support a national goal. Asked what that goal should be, the girls said they wanted to help the families of military troops. They were inspired by their neighbor, U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Lanier Ward, who had been severely injured in Iraq. Although the girls had already sent care packages from school and church and they had written letters to the soldiers, but they wanted to do something more.
The family discussion turned into the idea of creating a national treasure hunt game, based on American history and American values, which could encourage Americans to "thank" the troops through contributions and activities. After researching what programs are available to troops and their families, they decided to establish a scholarship program for the children and spouses of American troops using private, corporate and federal funding. Ultimately, both the treasure hunt and the scholarship program were grouped under the moniker of ThanksUSA, short for "Treasure Hunt Aiding Needs of Kids and Spouses of those serving the United States of America."
What programs does ThanksUSA offer?
ThanksUSA offers two interconnected programs: The national treasure hunt and the military family scholarship program. The treasure hunt raises awareness, excitement and funds for the scholarship program in an educational, family-friendly way. And the scholarships are an invaluable way to "thank" our troops with the gift of education.
Learn more about the Scholarship program.
The seventh treasure hunt runs from November 24, 2011 through August 15, 2012.
Why is this scholarship important?
ThanksUSA serves a crucial purpose by assisting family members of military personnel who risk their lives for our country. Further, ThanksUSA's mission is part of a national movement because millions of Americans have the opportunity to participate in the treasure hunt, make a donation and/or take action in other ways to thank the troops.
ThanksUSA complements -- and in some cases might supplement -- a variety of additional scholarship opportunities, including the G.I. Bill (direct educational aid for the troops) and other scholarships for military children and spouses that are offered by other organizations.
Finally, we feel that ThanksUSA is uniquely special because two sisters, Rachel and Kelsi, conceived of the idea and it combines their concept of using a treasure hunt based on American history and values to help raise awareness for the scholarship.
Who supports ThanksUSA?
ThanksUSA is a non-partisan effort that has federal support and, we believe, the support of the hearts and minds of most Americans. ThanksUSA is funded by federal, cash and in-kind corporate donations and private contributions.
Is ThanksUSA a non-profit organization?
ThanksUSA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington D.C. in 2005. As a result, donations are tax-deductible to the extent permissible by law.