Cowboys Helping Kids is an organization started by SFC Russell Anderson, who has been the head wrangler of our soldiers, the Desert Cowboys, for many years. The Desert Cowboys flew the National Day of the Cowboy flag over their barracks in Iraq and Afghanistan and distinguished their group on many occasions, including Russell earning a Bronze Star. During the years they were in service, we asked to have ‘cowboy’ things sent to them, like CDs from Western Jubilee Recording, magazines and books from Western Horseman, Chronicle of the Old West subscriptions, ropes from Fast Back Ropes, and two laptops when theirs crashed. When they got to Afghanistan we worked with Congresswoman Giffords’ staff in an effort to secure a satellite dish for them so they could access the internet. In 2009, we awarded the Cowboy Keeper Award to Russell Anderson and his Desert Cowboys.
Russell is now stationed in Oklahoma and will soon retire from the military and perhaps move to a ranch in Bisbee. His current ‘giving back’ to the community project is his own creation, Cowboys Helping Kids an organization he started (and currently funds mostly from his own pocket) to work with terminally ill American kids in his capacity as a cowboy. He aims to brighten their lives while at the same time showing them cowboys are good role models. This is where Russell’s heart lives. He works to build this organization with every spare minute he has, including constantly using Facebook and promoting his cause through the websites he maintains, while all the while organizing fun events for kids to participate in.
Russell Anderson has been behind the National Day of the Cowboy 1000% since we first began emailing way back in January 2005, and he has encouraged me through many hard days to keeping the NDOC alive. It was Russell who explained to me that he had purchased a number of domain names with the word “cowboy’ in them and pointed them at the NDOC website to help get traffic to it. He keeps the NDOC logo and link on all his other websites, such as Cowboy Crew, and always notices when other sites are promoting their own NDOC events while neglecting to acknowledge our nationwide effort without even a link or our logo. He ferrets this detail out religiously and swears it totally confounds him!
Russell could use your help to further his Cowboys Helping Kids project. He creates bumper stickers, mugs and t-shirts himself to raise funds for the kids’ activities, and he and his crew also donate their time to help on kids’ projects hosted by other organizations. He is constantly working to bring awareness to the needs of many American kids while addressing those needs himself to the best of his ability and often past the limits of his resources. Check out Cowboys Helping Kids and see if there might be something you want to do to support Russell and his crew, all of whom exemplify the Cowboy Code every day of their lives.