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Posted at 01:33 PM on Monday, December 17, 2007 by post1672WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2007—The following “Letter to the editor” is in response to a recent Washington Post article that rated veterans organizations fundraising efforts.
The Washington Post’s Dec. 13 article, entitled “Studies Fault Charities for Veterans,” helped to reinforce one very important point: charitable organizations who abuse donor generosity should be held accountable. However, it is an unfortunate error to paint all veterans' groups with the same broad brush, because the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and many other recognized veterans' service organizations are reliable, ethical and effectively serving America’s heroes in a time when the need has never been greater.
In 2005-2006, VFW program expenditures exceeded donor contributions. Most Americans would be surprised at the wide range of support the VFW provides to veterans and their families, including financial assistance for families of deployed troops, dedicated VFW service officers to aid veterans in filing benefits claims, and a free phone card program for deployed personnel and recovering wounded to connect with their families. In addition to troop support, the VFW sponsors scholarship programs, educational outreach, youth activities and community service. In addition, almost 90 percent of funds raised by our VFW Foundation go directly to programs, as reported by CharityNavigator.org. VFW also gives generously to other charitable causes such as Fisher House and the Intrepid Heroes Fund, both rated exceptionally well by the American Institute of Philanthropy report.