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FindTape.com Gives $7,100 to Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront

I'm very excited to announce the results of our Memorial Day campaign for Operation Homefront. Thanks to your support, we are donating $7,102.30 to help our soldiers and their families.

They are the ones who bear the brunt of war: More than 50,000 men and women come home wounded and many of their families struggle financially. Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization that does a lot of good for those who serve our country. It provides emergency financial assistance, caregiver support, and access to permanent, mortgage-free homes for our veterans.

As I've mentioned before, FindTape.com has strong connections to the military. Many U.S. military divisions are our customers, and the owner of our primary tape converter, Robert Valley, is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne and both Operation Just Cause in Panama and the Gulf War in Iraq. Also one of my grandfathers served in combat in World War I and the other in World War II.

But beyond all of this, we are passionate about military families and all they do to protect and serve our nation, and we are so grateful to all of our customers who joined us in supporting this cause.

With this donation to Operation Homefront, we say a big "THANK YOU" to all of our service men, women and families.

About Operation Homefront

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 2,500 volunteers with nationwide presence who provide emergency and other financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Operation Homefront has provided assistance to thousands of military families since its inception in 2002. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity watchdog groups, nationally, 92 percent of Operation Homefront's expenditures go directly to programs that provide support to our military families. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.

Genevieve’s Crutches Creates Magic with Tape for Veterans

FindTape.com has many crafty customers, many of whom use pressure-sensitive adhesive tape in artistic ways. Our colored tape is often used to decorate scrapbooks, hula hoops, and phone cases.

But one of my favorite uses for our tape is both artistic and charitable: Decorating crutches for wounded warriors and military veterans who are amputees.

The genius behind this activity is Genevieve Finn, who founded Genevieve’s Crutches along with her mother, Regina. Genevieve and her mother are regular customers of FindTape.com, and their story is very uplifting.

When Genevieve was 15 years old, she spent a lot of time on crutches. An active kid and an athlete, she began experiencing pain from hip problems. She had to use crutches for several months before and after two separate surgeries that led to her recovery.

As a creative person, she quickly found a solution to the boring look of her silver crutches. In preparation for attending a Mets game, she used tape to decorate her crutches in the team's colors.

This seemingly simple action completely changed Genevieve's perspective on her injury. People commented on her crutches, and suddenly, her injury wasn't front and center. She discovered the decorated crutches made a positive difference in her recovery. That's when she and her mother recognized the therapeutic value of crutches as art. They set out to help others feel this way too.

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FindTape.com Celebrates National Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month, and perhaps it's not so surprising that this is the month we've chosen to honor the men, women, and their families who have or are serving our country. After all, May includes some important observances: Loyalty Day (May 1), VE Day (May 8), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 8), Armed Forces Day (May 16), and Memorial Day (May 25).

At FindTape.com, this month is important to us because of our strong connections to military personnel and veterans. As I've mentioned before, I have both family and friends who are veterans, and many military divisions are customers of FindTape.com.

National Military Association Month gives all Americans an opportunity "to honor, remember, recognize, and appreciate those who serve and have served.... It recognizes those on active duty in all branches of the services, the National Guard and Reserves plus retirees, veterans, and all of their families - well over 90 million Americans and more than 230 years of our nation’s history."

Note the inclusion of the word, families. We often forget how much military families contribute to the cause of freedom. When a spouse or parent is deployed, it's the spouse and the children who are left behind and who must manage the tasks of daily life on their own. They're the ones with an empty chair at the dinner table, or only one set of hands to tuck the kids into bed.

But it's not just the absence of a conversation or a helping hand that they miss. Many military families also experience financial struggles. Whether a spouse is deployed or returned home injured, military spouses may have a difficult time paying the water bill or the mortgage. These families shouldn't have to bear the burden of war alone. This is why, at FindTape.com, we've made a commitment to help military families.

Operation Homefront Recently, we announced our support of Operation Homefront, which provides assistance to make the lives of military families better. We've partnered with this organization because of the tremendous impact it has had on military families.

Here's just a small sample of how successful some of Operation Homefront's programs are:

  • The Emergency Assistance Program provided grants to more than 2,700 military families, totaling $4.8 million in 2014. With these grants, families were able to buy food, pay water bills, and keep their homes.
  • The Homes on the Homefront program, in partnership with major banks and a homebuilder, moved 138 military families into permanent, mortgage-free homes in 2014. And another 
89 families successfully completed their transition plans and received the deeds to their homes.
  • The Hearts of Valor™ program, which provides support to caregivers of wounded warriors, welcomed 836 new members in 2014, for a total membership of 2,369. The program includes 50 support groups across the country.

Operation Homefront operates very efficiently – with 92% of its expenditures going directly to programs for military families. This type of stewardship shows great dedication to making a difference in the lives of military families. Yet, the work of this organization wouldn't be possible without financial support.

And we believe we can help. From May 22 to May 28, 2015, for each purchase a customer makes on FindTape.com, FindTape.com will donate 10% of the total merchandise price to Operation Homefront. We plan to donate up to $10,000 to the nonprofit over the week of the Memorial Day holiday this year.

It's our way to give back to this great community, and to say thank you to the men, women, and families who serve our country.

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Tape Tips for Your Easter Production

event gaffers tapeEaster is just a few short weeks away, and church production managers and media ministry are well underway with planning some of the year's biggest productions and events.

Churches with memberships of several thousand or more already put together events of significant size. But holidays like Easter and Christmas put big demands on their creative and production teams. The holidays draw far more attendees than regular weekly services, requiring most houses of worship to hold additional services on Saturday to accommodate the larger crowds.

But it's not just the crowds that are bigger. Easter services are usually more elaborate productions as well.

Liquid Church, a contemporary Christian church in Mountainside, NJ, aims to put on a bigger, more elaborate show for Easter, along with adding Saturday services. The ministry is a multi-site church with 3,500 attendees across all sites each week. With three portable locations and one permanent in Mountainside, the church sets up three stages every week.

Technical Director Joel Freeman, who oversees all the audio/visual systems and gear, says they'll bring in a lot more lighting for the weekend Easter services. And because the productions are more elaborate, they'll require bigger props.

At Easter, as he does throughout the year, Freeman will work with members of the creative team to understand what they need to put together the production and whether a new staging or video element is required.

His biggest challenge is time and complexity, something that is more challenging at Easter. "We want to do the best show we possibly can," he says.

That's especially challenging at Easter - a time to focus on families. That means fewer volunteers than usual, and Freeman needs to lean more on regular staff to get sets, lighting, and props in place in a short amount of time - and on multiple stages.

With about three hours to get ready for each production, set up needs to go smoothly and quickly. At Easter, the ramped up complexity includes more doorways to cross and more lines to prep. Freeman uses Scapa 425 gaffers tape in 2- and 3-inch widths to hold down wires, trussing, and cables, and to hold carpets together so that no seams are showing. His teams use it to mark off the stage for props and performers, as well as to hold back drapes.

Scapa 425 is one of the most adhesive gaffers tapes we sell. It adheres longer and more securely than other gaffer tapes, and also has high tack, high tensile strength, and an easy unwind. It has an extremely low gloss finish which causes it to reflect the least amount of light. This makes it a good choice for stage production.

Every Easter production is slightly different, although all are likely to require lighting, audio, and video. The choice of tape will vary depending upon the type of set up and individual preferences. Here are a few tips and suggestions for helping your Easter service run smoothly by choosing the right tape for your needs.

Start planning early

A great way to begin is to ask what worked and what didn't in your last production, according to Shaun Miller in Church Production Magazine. This applies to the type of pressure-sensitive adhesive tape you used. Did you have enough for what you needed? Did you have the right type of tape for each job?

For example, a gaffers tape like Pro Tapes Pro-Gaff Gaffers Tape is ideal for holding down wires and carpet, removes cleanly from most surfaces, and is available in a wide array of colors. Because it's very dependable, it’s used throughout the entertainment industry and is a good choice for large productions.

Map Your Lighting

Creating a visual for your stage production will help you better understand the types of lighting supplies and materials you'll need.

"If you are doing a dramatic production that will have different lighting requirements from a normal service, consider working up a lighting plot. A lighting plot is a drawing of your stage area along with each light and its location," suggests Mike Sessler at ChurchTechArts.org.

Setting the Stage

Keeping performers safe as they move on and off the stage is a priority. Shurtape P-661 Glow-In-The-Dark Gaffers Tape can be used to mark stairs and exits. It's hand tearable, so it's easy to use and quick to apply. An added benefit is that is photoluminescent after the tape is activated by an artificial or natural light source.

Plan Your Media Production

Video producers will also map out their camera angles and shots ahead of time. Once you've created your shot list, you can work out the path of wires and have a better understanding of what needs to be marked and what needs to be invisible. Commonly referred to as AV cord tape, JVCC J90 Low-Gloss Duct Tape is a good economical choice.

Budgeting For Your Needs

Once you've settled on the type of tape needed for your production, you can visit FindTape.com to order the right sizes and amounts. If you need help, contact us at questions@findtape.com, and we'll work with you to place your order.