20 Years of Impact


For the past 20 years, Spirit of America has united citizens like you with our troops and diplomats in common cause: saving lives, defending freedom, helping people build free and better lives, and showing the world America at our best. Your support has had an extraordinary impact in the world’s most challenging places. United we can preserve the promise of a free and better life.

Spirit of America is Born


After the attacks of 9/11, Jim Hake wanted to do his part. He learned that, with donations from friends and family, US Army Special Forces Sergeant Jay Smith brought baseball gear to the Afghan village where he was stationed and taught them how to play a game. Because of the relationship our soldiers built with the villagers, they formed a night watch patrol to protect our soldiers from al-Qaida. The initiative and generosity of the American people inspired him to start Spirit of America.

Later Jim met with Major General Jim Mattis at Camp Pendleton to explain Spirit of America. The famously no-nonsense general said, “This will save lives.”

Spirit of America Assists Troops in Iraq


A Wall Street Journal article helped Spirit of America raise $2.5 million dollars from 3,000 donors to support US Marines restore seven local TV stations in Al Anbar province in Iraq, providing an alternative to vehemently anti-American programming that was costing lives.

Spirit of America Embeds Team in Afghanistan


After a Marine battalion supported by Spirit of America saw greater success in their counterinsurgency efforts than other units, a Marine commander suggested Spirit of America embed personnel with the Marines to better understand how private assistance could help.

A New Regulation


In November 2010, US Central Command issued CCR-27-14, a new regulation that enabled Spirit of America to work alongside US troops abroad. With Spirit of America’s legal status ensured, within weeks, we had two Army veterans in Helmand province.

Afghanistan and US Students Connect Virtually


Spirit of America hosted a video conference between students at the Windward School in LA and students at the Kodoala Drab School in Afghanistan, providing students on opposite sides of the world with an unfiltered cultural exchange and a small window into the outside world.

Field Operations Expand Outside of War Zones


Spirit of America sent project managers to Mali and Mauritania, an idea that came from Army soldiers who suggested that we could be even more helpful to US missions outside of war zones, working with State Department personnel and local partners in addition to US troops.

Reducing Extremism in West Africa


To help US Special Operations reduce the influence of extremism, we met livestock health and youth employment needs in Niger by funding a livestock vaccination campaign and veterinary scholarships.

Delivering Boots to Iraqi Children


Working with US troops, Spirit of America delivered boots to 40,000 vulnerable children in Iraqi Kurdistan who escaped ISIS. The project was featured on CBS News.

Countering Russian Propaganda in Ukraine


To meet the information needs of Ukrainian soldiers who were being bombarded by morale-crushing Russian propaganda, Spirit of America supported the launch of ArmyFM, a radio station that provides daily news, music, and reporting for Ukrainian troops and, today, civilians seeking accurate wartime information.

Spirit of America moves to Washington, DC


Spirit of America moves operations from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, to better align with our partners at the Department of Defense and apply our capabilities to move projects forward.

Partnership with the Department of Defense


Spirit of America was recognized by Congress and signed an agreement with the Department of Defense that allows the military to collaborate with, receive assistance from, and provide logistical support to Spirit of America. No one else has achieved this distinction.

We Still Show Up


To help root out the remnants of ISIS and clear northern Iraq of mines and unexploded bombs, Spirit of America partnered with US Army soldiers to outfit the Kurdish Peshmerga’s K-9 bomb disposal squad with protective equipment and metal detectors, plus vital food and medicine.

To help sustain critical security and stability missions 24 hours after an al-Shabaab terrorist attack on a US base in Somalia, Spirit of America supplied lifesaving trauma kits and medical supplies to local partners working alongside US Special Operations Forces.

To help restore basic services and build trust with a vulnerable community previously displaced by ISIS in the southern Philippines, Spirit of America worked with US Special Operations Forces and their Filipino partners to repair a water pump to provide clean, potable water to locals.

Saving Lives and Protecting Health During a Global Pandemic


Spirit of America responded quickly to urgent COVID-related needs that troops and diplomats identified, saving lives and demonstrating friendship to partners and allies. Through more than 40 projects in 26 countries, Spirit of America supported the US response to the pandemic with:

  • 4,900 face masks and 30,000 disposable gloves for Iraqi partner forces
  • 6,000 face masks, 25,000 disposable gloves, and 200 kgs of bleach for partners in Tajikistan
  • 2,500 viral test kits and 2,500 sterile swabs to improve Laos’ testing capacity
  • 280 face shields for partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 337,000 disposable gloves for partners in Lebanon

Keeping Our Promise in Afghanistan


As soon as Kabul fell to the Taliban, the Spirit of America team began an all-hands-on-deck response supporting US efforts to evacuate and care for Afghans who had served the US mission, providing emergency humanitarian assistance to more than 30,000 evacuees.

Defending Freedom in Ukraine


Since February 2022, we’ve delivered 250+ tons and over $30 million in nonlethal assistance to the front lines in Ukraine, including helmets, body armor, surveillance drones, medical supplies, trucks, and successful preparedness training courses.

Going Strong for 20 Years


Spirit of America has completed 1,532 projects in 106 countries over 20 years in conflict-affected areas. We have provided critical support to local communities, helping to build trust, promote stability, and create opportunities for progress and development.

Spirit of America will continue to fill the gaps worldwide and support deeper impact initiatives in places like Ukraine, Taiwan, and West Africa.