K4K Launched to Provide Kindles for Troops

Yesterday I launched a project to provide free Kindles for U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.  I chose Kandahar because of the letter K, but also because it’s the general region where Army Sgt. Andre B. Corbin will serve when he deploys later this month.  He will be toting a new 6-inch Global Wireless Kindle and accessories, all donated by M-Edge Accessories in a sponsorship for which I gained quick and enthusiastic support from Patrick Mish, CEO of M-Edge.  You can listen to the interviews I did with Sgt. Corbin and Patrick Mish in Episode 84 of The Kindle Chronicles.

It was during those interviews that the idea of Kindles for Kandahar arrived, and I’ll be working with Andre and Patrick to develop the project. Andre this morning left the following message on my Reading Edge Facebook page:

“As the Kindles become available, I will provide to you a name and address of one of the Kandahar soldiers who will find great pleasure in receiving a Kindle. I will donate the money required to cover the postage.”

I appreciate that donation, Andre!  I realized yesterday, when the first contribution arrived, that PayPal is charging a small transaction fee, so I will donate that money back to K4K, so that we can assure donors that every dollar contributed will go toward a Kindle for the troops.  I haven’t had a chance to talk with Patrick Mish yet about M-Edge’s involvement in this next phase, but I’m hoping he will consider contributing a protective cover and an E-luminator 2 light for each of the Kindles we ship to Kandahar.

Andre has another idea we’ll pursue, which is to figure out a way to donate Amazon gift certificates for purchasing content on the K4K units.  I loved his signoff on the Facebook entry today:

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.”

I hope you’ll consider becoming one of the first contributors to Kindles for Kandahar. To do so, simply click here or on the logo above or the PayPal button.  If you have your own PayPal account, you will be able to use it for the contribution.  If not, there will be credit card buttons available. I don’t have nonprofit status set up for this yet, so for the moment your contribution will not be tax-deductible.

This project is a terrific use case for eReader technology.  I realized that when Andre described how small the bag is that he will carry for his personal effects when he deploys.  Instead of taking one or two print books, he will be able to bring more than a thousand titles on his 10-ounce Kindle.  His reading list for the year he will be stationed at a remote base in Tarin Kowt includes recreational fare, as well as elucidating tomes such as In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation (Kindle, hardcover) by David Loyn and Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (Kindle, paperback) by Steve Coll.

Another book I’d recommend is Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Kindle, hardcover) by Seth Godin.  It’s about making yourself indispensable by overcoming lizard-brain resistance to your true mission.  I happened to have read it in preparation for an interview with Seth just before talking with Andre, and it helped me overcome reasons to procrastinate the launch of Kindles for Kandahar.  Andre and his fellow soldiers are taking the art of being indispensable to the 11th power.

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11 Responses to K4K Launched to Provide Kindles for Troops

  1. Edie S. says:

    How is Amazon involved with this? Are they offering a better price for the Kindles purchased? If they aren’t, why not?

  2. Chris Salvatore says:

    Will there be somewhere we can go to see how the campaign is going on a day to day basis? Also, will the Kindle remain with the soldier when they go home, or in Kandahar for the next soldier coming in?

    I think this is great. Thank you for thinking of it!

  3. Jonathan Bickel says:

    I clicked on “Donate” went to Paypal but there is no information on paypal showing who the donation is going to?

  4. Len says:

    Edie S., I have asked Amazon if they might be able to provide Kindles at a discount for the program, and I’ve heard back that they are looking into it.

    Chris, I spoke with Sgt. Corbin about your question of whether the soldier will keep the Kindle when he or she returns home. We decided it would be good for them to keep it, because it would have their reading material on it, and in general it just seems right for them to be able to keep it, as a kind of thank you for serving. We might also at some point make Kindles available for general use at military bases, like a library sometimes does.

    Jonathan, we’re working to create a more robust site for K4K. At this point, I’ve simply set up the payment button for the email I use for the Kindle Chronicles podcast, PodChronicles@gmail.com – that’s the address name you’ll see when you click the PayPal button . The money is going through my personal checking account until we can set up or affiliate with a nonprofit. I am keeping track of every penny as it comes in, and I’m going to donate the PayPal processing fees myself to K4K so everyone else’s donations will go entirely to buy Kindles for the troops.

  5. Dave says:


    I just blogged about your efforts here. I went to donate myself but your PayPal link is not working correctly. It just goes to the PayPal login page but no donation info. You may want to recreate that donate button so our readers can make a donation. Thanks for your great efforts.


  6. lp says:

    You might consider posting a physical address for folks who would prefer to send a check.

  7. free paypal says:

    Amazon should without a doubt subsidise this, and it’s a great idea! You’ve got my support!

  8. Alison says:

    How would I go about getting one of these for my husband? He is currently in the Patkika province in Afganistan with 4th BCT, 101st ABN.


  9. Jerry says:

    I would like to know how I could register to receive a kindle or two for my Airmen. They could really use a morale boost.

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