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February 14, 2014 at 9:58am

Military crowdsourcing site Endless Crowds launches

Endless Crowds is a fundraising platform exclusively for active/veteran military, firefighters, first responders and their causes.

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There is great power in numbers - especially when it comes to getting needed funds to programs, businesses and individuals. Enter crowdsourcing, a fairly new phenomenon that harnesses the power of many to accomplish tasks and fundraising large and small. Popular crowdsourcing sites range from fundraising site Kickstarter to mini-job site TaskRabbit.

And now there's a new kid on the block called Endless Crowds, launched just this week, designed specifically for active duty military, veterans and first responders. The site allows participants to pool resources, ideas and raise funds, but strives to go beyond what many think of as a crowdsourcing site.

Founded by Roger Mensah, Endless Crowds is designed to serve a variety of projects, including community service programs, entrepreneurial and personal projects. Mensah began working on the site soon after President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address. Obama told the nation that 34,000 troops would be coming home and Mensah realized this meant many of these returning troops would face employment challenges.

To help vets who want to forge ahead on their own paths to self-employment or starting a business, for first-responder companies who cannot meet their needs through available funding, for military community programs who need a boost - Endless Crowds is there to help. Mensah believes that the discipline, leadership and teamwork qualities taught and engrained into military and first responders are inherently intertwined with a site such as Endless Crowds, which amplifies and empowers such qualities.

 "I believe those that protect us deserve the very best from the community at large, and their challenges are better solved together, rather than alone. Endless Crowds aims to harness the instilled qualities of teamwork, discipline and leadership found in our military and first responders to find a new way to get things done," said Mensah via a recent press release.

While fundraising is one aspect of the platform, Endless Crowds serves a higher purpose as well. Where other sourcing sites usually gather funds and nothing more, Endless Crowds will offer support and guidance to participants beyond the fundraising push. The site brings together resources and tools available to participants and aims to offer a personalized experience, which most other crowdsourcing platforms do not.

Beyond military members, Endless Crowds will also serve first responders, who often end up on the short end of the stick with public funding and can't afford needed equipment or programs from D.A.R.E to National Fire Prevention Week.

Some of the projects already listed on the site include Our Home Transitional, a program that hopes to help single homeless female veterans by raising funds to help for job training, education, health care and home placement assistance. Another project, Police Unity Tour, which is a four-day bicycle ride from New Jersey to D.C. to raise awareness of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to raise funds for the The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

To start a project or fundraiser, or find one to support, go to endlesscrowds.com. To see which programs are already listed on the site, go to Explore and you can peruse by Community, Entrepreneurial and Personal/Creative projects.

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