Why Potato Nation? It started with Kickstarter rejecting America’s 6 million military kids, raising the question, “Spuds or kids?” Here’s the original press release issued by the 6 Million Kids Campaign on Veterans Day 2014.
Kickstarter Loves Potato Salad, But Not Military Kids
Author and military advocate asks why Kickstarter gave the boot to 6 million military kids on Veterans Day
Kudos to Zach Brown and his quirky potato salad campaign that raised $55,492 on Kickstarter in August 2014 for a $10 pitch to, basically, well, make potato salad. Social media is not like ebola. You never know what goes viral.
What 6 million military and veteran kids deserve to know is why Kickstarter would not give Americans the opportunity on Veterans Day to donate to a cause that would make elementary schools more welcoming. “The 6 Million Kids Campaign meets their rules point by point,” says author and nationally known military transition expert Gretchen Martens. “Other approved campaigns, including a staff pick, were very similar in design.”
Ms. Martens is correct on this point. “Crab and Will, A Tale of Shakespeare’s Dog” was a staff pick at Kickstarter; it raised money to put books addressing the needs of abused kids in school libraries. “The Journal Newspaper” was approved to raise money for a school newspaper for kids to share their stories. Kickstarter co-founder Yancy Strickler himself funded “Micro-Dairy Teaching Farm.”
According to emails sent to Ms. Martens by Kickstarter, the 6 Million Kids Campaign was first rejected on the basis that it didn’t “create something to be shared with others.” After appealing the rejection, Kickstarter rejected the campaign again, this time citing that a campaign couldn’t “raise money for charities.” When asked to respond, Martens said, “I come from a farming family. I love crop rotation as much as the next person but I don’t see how that is creative but giving children the tools to engage in their school community is not.”
Yancy Strickler’s LinkedIn profile states, “We’re always looking for talented and passionate people to be a part of Kickstarter.” Gretchen Martens is one of the most passionate, articulate people you will ever meet. So, the question for Kickstarter staff remains, “What is it that Kickstarter doesn’t like about military kids?”
© Gretchen Martens, Dallas, TX 2016