Sunday, November 1, 2015

Do Veterans Deserve Support or The Charity?

Do Veterans Charities Deserve Your Money?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
November 1, 2015

Veterans Day is the 11th but in reality they are veterans everyday and no one can dispute the fact they deserve so much more than they get.

Most Americans want to do something for them, so they see an advertisement on TV tugging at their heart and then they write a check. They think about the veterans in the commercial believing they deserve the funds but never think about if the charity deserves their support as much as the veteran does.

There are some great veterans charities taking care of all veterans and they have been around for decades.

The American Legion (Sept. 16, 1919) Disabled American Veterans (June 17, 1932) Veterans of Foreign Wars (May 28, 1936) are some of the oldest groups taking care of all veterans no matter which war or time of service they put in.
How Many Veterans Are There? There are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, according the Census Bureau, approximately 10 percent of whom are women. To put that in context there are 319.2 million Americans, according to the bureau. The states with the highest number of veteran residents are California with 2 million, Texas with 1.6 million and Florida also with 1. 6 million, the bureau estimates. Each of these states have major military bases including Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Irwin in California and Naval Air Station Pensacola.

New "Awareness fundraisers" are all over the country only mentioning younger veterans yet no one really knows what they are trying to raise awareness of or why it could cost so much money to do it. After all, the press is all too willing to do a human interest story without ever asking any questions, so they get publicity for free.  Why do they need your money?

Ask them what they are trying to do and they tell you that veterans need to know about what PTSD is, but they can't answer basic questions.  Ask them who they are trying to "make aware" and they say "veterans" but veterans already know the problems they face everyday.

They say that there are "22 a day" committing suicide, but again, veterans not only know that number, they also know it is false.  The numbers are much higher. Veterans in general are double the civilian rate and most are over the age of 50, but all these new groups are only interested in the post 9-11 veterans.

So much for their concern considering the suicides for that group are triple their peer rate and that statistic has been unchanged since 2007, long before these new charities popped up all over the country.
A Donor's Guide to Serving the Needs of Veterans and the Military "Donors who want to make contributions towards charitable programs that serve the military and veterans face an almost overwhelming volume of choices with, by some accounts, the existence of over 40,000 nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the military and veterans and an estimated 400,000 service organizations that in some way touch veterans or service members. 

Even the 2013/2014 Directory of Veterans and Military Service Organizations published by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs as an informational service for veterans seeking support lists over 140 national nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the number of new veterans charities has increased relatively rapidly over the past five years or so, growing by 41% since 2008 compared with 19% for charities in general, according to The Urban Institute as reported in a December 2013 The NonProfit Times article. 
We are either determined to repeat history or pretend just enough to let us go to sleep at night feeling as if we did something today. The question is, how does it feel to read another article about another veteran repeating the history we left for them?

The reality veterans and families like mine live with everyday are much different than you see on TV or read online.

So what do they do? What do they actually do with the money you give them? A great example is the famous enormous charity with their heart-tugging commercial lacking clarity and specifics.  No one really learns what they do with your money.  They never make any claim even when the families portrayed say they were there for them, they never say what they received that is any different than any other group.

Some say it is a scam but that isn't true. It would only be true if they made a claim that wasn't true. They never claim anything other than "being there" and asking for you to "honor and empower them to aid and assist each other" without ever needing to add anything to that original mission of "raising awareness" when they started.

You write them a check and so do corporations. These are just a couple of them.

Brawny gave
Brawny® Brand Surpasses $2 Million in Donations to Wounded Warrior Project® through 'Tough to the... -- ATLANTA, Dec. 30, 2014 Brawny® Brand Surpasses $2 Million in Donations to Wounded Warrior Project® through "Tough to the Core" Campaign Donations spanned three years, with consumers sharing personal definitions of "toughness" in support of wounded veterans
Raytheon Gave
SUPPORTING THE WOUNDED Raytheon actively supports those wounded while serving their country. In 2014 we fulfilled a five-year grant to the Wounded Warrior Project totaling $2.5 million to provide transition assistance to wounded troops and their caregivers. Raytheon's grant allowed the organization to expand its Transition Training Academy in six states and to offer two additional certification courses. The academy provides information technology training to help students compete in the job market. More than 4,500 wounded warriors and caregivers have graduated from the academy since 2010.
And then they gave money to other groups.
To date, WWP has funded over 85 different organizations, totaling more than $9.1 million in support.

Jacksonville, FL (June 11, 2015) – In its first grant cycle of 2015, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has awarded over $1 million in grants to organizations that provide support and specialized services to this generation of wounded service members, their families, and caregivers. Now in its seventh round, the WWP Grant Program has provided over $10 million to 90 organizations through 107 grants since the program’s inception in 2012.
This cycle’s grant recipients are Catch a Lift Fund (Baltimore, MD), Shepherd Center Foundation (Atlanta, GA) Rocky Mountain Human Services (Colorado Springs, CO), Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership (Pender, NE), Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council (Independence, WI), Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia (Roanoke, VA), Yellow Ribbon Fund (Bethesda, MD), Colorado State University Foundation (Fort Collins, CO), and David Lynch Foundation (New York, NY).

WEST LAFYAETTE, Ind. – The Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University announced Monday (Nov. 3) its selection as a 2014 Wounded Warrior Project® grant recipient.

The WWP grant program bridges gaps in services and support for this generation of injured service members by supporting organizations that provide high-quality, high-touch, unique programming in remote or underserved regions. Through teamwork and collaboration, this $250,000 grant will enhance MFRI’s ability to support this generation of injured service members and foster healthy readjustment to civilian life through programmatic activities aimed at training civilian behavioral health specialists.
Colleges got money too.
UCLA Operation Mend receives $15.7 million for mental health program for wounded warriors
Wounded Warrior Project Awards Grant to Colorado State University
FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New Start for Student Veterans Program at Colorado State University (CSU) has received a grant from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to improve the sleep of this generation of wounded veterans with service-related injuries. The Restoring Effective Sleep Tranquility (REST) project is a seven-week sleep improvement program that aims to enhance sleep-related knowledge and skills to improve sleep quality, sleep quantity, and the mental health of veterans seeking college degrees. The REST project will also create RESTWEB, a web-based portal to access sleep improvement resources. WWP's Grant Program, now in its fourth year, is expanding the availability of programs and services that provide support to this generation of injured service members.
Prairie State College has announced it will receive a $25,000 grant from the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.

The grant will be used by the PSC Student Veterans Center for special programming for student veterans who are returning military personnel who have incurred service-connected injuries on or after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

And that is the other factor in all of this. It is almost as if the older veterans suffering longer, waiting long with the same exact wounds the newer veterans get all the attention for were not still here, still waiting after all these years.

Do we support the other millions of veterans in this country or not? Do we really care about all our veterans or just looking for a quick-feel-good-as-if-I-did-something moment?

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