Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Friday, October 31, 2008

ALSA Letter Campaign for Veterans' Day

The ALS Association is promoting a letters-to-the-editors campaign for November 11, Veterans' Day.

Personal notes from --
The capwiz tools are great for locating the media; however, I encourage you to...

> Make your letters unique. Once a newspaper catches on that a letter to the editor is a form letter, it will not be likely to publish and it can permanently hurt the writer's chances for future consideration.

> Make some reference to the publication in your letter. Letters to the editor are normally distinguished from op-eds by making a specific reference to something that has been published in the paper. Even making reference to how supportive the paper or station has been of veterans in the past is better than nothing.

> Write something about half the length of the form letter. Many publications have word count restrictions of 150-200 words or less for letters to the editor. The boilerplate letter in capwiz is 328 words.

> Provide your phone number. The submission form in capwiz does not require a phone number. Major publications require phone numbers and they will call a writer before publication to verify the identity of the writer.

Here are the New York Times guidelines for letters, and they are not unusual. I encourage you to read them before submitting your letters in hopes that you may be successful in being published --

Following is the announcement from the ALS Association:

As Veterans Day approaches on November 11, The ALS Association’s Advocacy Department is launching a letter-to-the-editor campaign to raise awareness of the connection between ALS and military service, build support for our cause on Capitol Hill and continue funding for the ALS Research Program at the Department of Defense. Therefore, we have prepared a sample letter that you can easily send to local media outlets leading up to Veterans Day and continuing throughout the month.To view and send the letter, simply go the Advocacy Action Center of our website,, select Take Action and follow the onscreen instructions. The tool will identify all media outlets serving your area and you can select the local publications (up to five at a time) to which you would like to send the letter. Please customize the letter to include your personal story or that of a local veteran living with ALS in your area. Such personal accounts demonstrate how important this issue is to the local community and increase the likelihood that your letter will be published.In addition to raising awareness of ALS and the connection to the military, the letter-to-the-editor is another way to recruit and mobilize advocates and to engage Members of Congress on these critical issues. It also builds support for our cause and encourages people to take action. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this important tool leading up to Veterans Day on November 11. Veterans WebsiteThe ALS Association has created a special Veterans section of our website,, that includes important resources for veterans with ALS, their families and survivors. The site has answers to frequently asked questions about the new VA regulations for ALS and a link to our Roll Call of Veterans. Indeed, please encourage all veterans you know to join the Roll Call of Veterans. Non-veterans also can become ALS Advocates via the site and receive the tools and information they need to help us fight for veterans and all people with ALS. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Advocacy Department at or toll free at 1-877-444-ALSA.

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