Operation 8-Bit was born out of two passions, a love for retro computers and video games from the 80’s and 90’s, and the desire to give back to those causes that a family believes in.
Our founders, Tony and Bobbie Landi, have been avid supporters of the Tour de Force 9/11 Memorial Bike Ride since shortly after it began back in 2002. In addition to the four to five days they volunteer each year supporting the ride itself, they (along with the help of their two sons) work behind the scenes throughout the year lending their technical skills to help manage the TDF web site and mobile app.
The family always felt that they could do more and would often discuss what they could do to make each annual event better, and how they could help to raise more donations for the families that the Tour De Force supports.
Like so many others, the Landi family are avid video game enthusiasts with a special passion for “old school” games and computers from the 80’s and 90’s. Not only have they made a hobby of collecting old consoles and vintage computers, they have also built a number of working arcade cabinets and custom retro gaming rigs.
One day while discussing new ways to help the TDF, inspiration struck… combine their hobbies and passions into something focused. Or, as one friend later put it, put their nerdiness to good use.
With the help of some friends, they started working out the details… and there were a lot of details. Where would the donations come from? What are the best ways to promote a grassroots non-profit? What other charities or causes, if any, should Operation 8-Bit help? Where could this lead?
These early conversations led to a key decision; although initially conceived as a way to help raise funds for the TDF, Operation 8-Bit had the ability to help other charitable organizations and causes as well. After much discussion, they selected the Armed Services YMCA, an organization that provides assistance to junior enlisted military families. They also made the commitment that as Operation 8-Bit grew, other worthwhile causes would be added.
The mission plan started to take shape, and the first few donations provided the extra encouragement necessary to turn their crazy dream into a reality. After months of planning and tireless effort, Operation 8-Bit kicked off in earnest with the launch of their official website, a YouTube Channel, and social media pages.
Operation 8-Bit is still in its infancy, and there is still a long way to go to make the dream come true. We are humbled by the support and generosity that we have received so far and look forward to the journey ahead of us.
There are so many opportunities on where this can go in the future, but for now we know that we need to first learn to crawl before we can run or ride a bike.
With your help we can take a grassroots organization and grow it to something special, something that can help young military families, something that can help a family that has lost someone precious and dear to them, something that helps those who give so much to others to protect our rights and our freedoms.
Our mission is simple; restore and resell classic computers and old video game consoles then donate the proceeds of the sales and the ad revenue from our YouTube channel to assist the causes we support.
We proudly support those charitable organizations that in turn support the families of those who sacrifice to protect the rights and freedoms for us all.
It all starts with the donation of an old video game console or long forgotten computer from the 80's that we get from people just like you.