OK, I’m officially pissed off.
Today’s mail brought one of those begging letters designed to make me feel guilty by giving me free junk so I’ll give them a donation.
The Disabled Veterans National Foundation sent me a cheap calculator complete with my name in a sticker on it to “personalize” the thing, a cheap pen, AND a cheap plastic checkbook cover.
Man, do I feel guilty. Boy, I sure do want to send the Disabled Veterans National Foundation some money. After all, their letter has pictures of people in wheelchairs! And it talks about the noble sacrifices of our men and women in the war on terror! I’d have to be pretty low, maybe even a Muslim-kissing traitor, not to want to write a check right now, huh?
Those scum. Not the soldiers. The Disabled Veterans National Foundation.
As anyone who reads me knows, I have a very high regard for our veterans. They serve the country, then get dumped on. How long did it take to get a nursing home in Weber County? Why did it take a Washington Post investigation to uncover the abuses at Walter Reed?
And, of course, charities are crowding in, using our feelings for our veterans to scam us for money. Like this outfit.
God Bless the Internet: The Website Military Matters.com was asked about this so-called charity earlier this year and, good for them, did a little digging.
The link will take you to their findings, but here’s a summary:
The DAVNF raised more than $7.7 million last year.
It spent more than $14 million last year, including more than $11 million on fund raising.
Yeah, it spent more than it took in, and how much went for actual disabled veterans?
Nothing. Zip. Goose egg. Nada. Bupkis.
The site says:
But when you take a closer look at those numbers and their allocation, you realize that not one dime actually went to provide services for any veterans! It was ALL basically PR, except for the legal expenses to set them up (and that number is not too far out of line for what it would cost to have a reputable law firm properly set up a 501(c)(3), according to our experience).
Schedule G has more details about professional fundraising activities. It indicates the following:
Fundraiser: Quadriga Art, Inc.
Activity: Printing and Mail Services
Did fundraiser have custody or control of contributions? Yes
Gross receipts from activity: $7,784,936
Amount paid to (or retained by) fundraiser: $15,450,171
Amount paid to (or retained by) charity: $-7,665,236
Unless DVNF’s contract with Quadriga requires Quadriga to eat the loss (and it might), that means that DVNF started 2009 with more than $7.6 million of 2009′s donations already mortgaged to Quadriga, almost as much as they raised in 2008.
There’s more, with lots of figures and findings. Down at the bottom there’s an exchange between the site owners and DVNF people where the foundation folk try to justify their actions and financial statement. Apparently it’s a new charity, they had huge startup costs, and they claim the debt has to be paid off.
But why? The last thing we need is yet another new charity to help veterans — there are lots already. The duplication of adding a new one — very expensive duplication — means a lot of people are donating money to what they think will help veterans now, but they’re not. They donating to a promise that maybe, someday, the charity will help veterans.
Who are they helping now? The company that packages up all those crap calculators and other garbage to try to make you feel guilty.
Bottom line: Keep the calculator if you need one, keep the checkbook cover if you can stand all the ultra-patriotic drivel on it, but toss the rest, ESPECIALLY the donation envelope and form.
Want to help vets?
The VFW posts in Ogden (801-393-1585) or Layton (801-546-0948) are run by scrupulously honest people who I personally know and vouch for. They help local veterans. Go out to the George Wahlen Veterans Nursing Home in Ogden and volunteer some time to help the vets there.
Give a donation to the Homeless Veterans Fellowship in Ogden (801-392-7662).
Don’t send your money to some national outfit. The last thing we need is more bureaucracy to do a job already being done.