My little brother Joe Le was an incredibly kind-hearted individual who strived to bring enjoyment to the lives of others, even for just a few moments of their day. Joe was a very bright young man, an aspiring graphics design artist who loved the outdoors. In April of 2011 Joe was hiking in the mountains above Azusa, California when he slipped and was swept away in the fast-moving water of a river that ran through the canyon. Emergency response personnel were unable to rescue him and, when their mission status moved from Rescue to Recovery, they were unable to locate his body. Family friends spread the word and hundreds of men and women, young and old, volunteered to help find Joe, which they ultimately were able to accomplish. The kindness and selfless commitment demonstrated by these volunteers was so inspirational to my family that it moved me to create an organization in Joe’s memory, one that would not only be able to mobilize at a moment’s notice to supplement the efforts of emergency response personnel but which could also provide emotional support, encouragement and counsel to grief-stricken families yearning for information, answers and, most of all, closure.
Since starting GIJ SAR soon after my brother’s passing, our volunteers have been involved in situations very similar to Joe’s and we have also responded to other emergency efforts elsewhere in the United States and abroad. We are consistently expanding our network of volunteers and providing, wherever possible, the training (both introductory and advanced) critical to enabling our teams to be of service in the widest possible variety of circumstances, environments and missions.
We are a 100% volunteer organization and do not charge for our services. As you can imagine, the resources necessary to maintain and expand this commitment are not insignificant, and as such we must look to the corporate world and elsewhere for financial support of our philanthropic efforts.
I so greatly appreciate your consideration of G.I. Joe Search and Rescue and, if you are interested, please take a few moments to read about our efforts as described in an OC Weekly piece a few years ago - http://www.ocweekly.com/2011-07-14/news/g-i-joe-search-and-rescue-victo….
Thank you again for your time and interest in GIJ SAR. Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss in greater detail our organization, mission or current needs.