BVL (Bowlers to Veterans Link a.k.a. Brightening Veterans Lives) is an amazing charity! It was formed in the 1940's and continues to date due to the generosity of bowlers who have vowed to never forget our veterans and what they did/continue to do for all of us. BVL provides recreational and therapeutic programs for active duty military and veterans. The money is raised mainly through bowling associations/functions across the U.S.; some of the money can remain local if that is the desire of the association or it can all be directed to support the national programs. BVL consistently functions on a remarkable 6% overhead rate proving that their efforts are sincere. BVL provides grants to VA hospitals to buy necessary equipment from sporting equipment to musical instruments and funds a wide arrange of sporting events and activities to provide recreational and therapeutic programs to those to have served our country. BVL is the leader for recreational therapy and is proud that VA hospitals and leaders of therapy programs know they can depend on BVL for support. To date, bowlers have raised in excess of $45 million and their commitment remains loyal and strong! BVL is obviously grateful to the bowlers and the bowlers are grateful for the leadership of the board in being efficient and successful in serving their military men and women.
BVL has been Brightening Veterans Lives since 1942 and the impact of BVL can't be summarized in the few sentences that I am leaving here.
BVL provides recreational and therapeutic support for our veterans when they need it the most. As a USBC Board member that serves on the BVL Board it is extremely gratifying to see that 92% of the money raised by BVL goes directly to the programs and services that our veterans so desperately need.
I am a board member but so much more ... I am an admirer of how efficiently BVL is run and that focus is never lost. Every decision is made with the mission of Brightening Veterans Lives regardless of race, gender, age. BVL reaches out to all veterans! Our only goal is to be able to help and serve all of the veterans who need us. They deserve our support so we work tirelessly to be efficient so that the greatest percentage possible of the money dobpnated goes to them. The best (bestest!) part is that BVL will always be there and will always be ready to help.
BVL provides so much for the returning service men & women to assist with their therapy and how to adjust with life. Recreational therapy can really help with the change in mindset needed to adjust to the situations so many have when they return that are truly life changing. For some, it has provided the one thing that brings hope and a smile!
BVL has possibly one of the lowest administrative cost percentages than most organizations and yet is able to provide so much. The support from BVL is recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and receives positive remarks from not only veterans and active duty personnel but from the staff at the facilities that work with them. They are truly helping to Brighten Veterans Lives!
As a bowling center proprietor I was always impressed when Veteran's Day came around each year and the bowlers started to take up a collection on the lanes for the Bowlers Veterans Link...everybody contributed..not a lot.. maybe a dollar or two..once in awhile a ten dollar or twenty dollar bill...no one hesitated ..it was spontaneous and quietly inspiring. Ordinary folk ( no big donors or corporations ) with many small donations accumulating and mounting up to sums that could make a difference in Veterans lives. When my twenty year old grandson, a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, was killed early in the war in Iraq I felt compelled in his honor to do something --What better way than to get involved and help BVL achieve its mission of providing recreational and therapeutic programs and services to brighten the days of his buddies, America's active duty and veteran service men and women. Since then I have witnessed first hand the difference BVL can make in their lives. It is impressive. This low overhead charity that has a part time executive director and which relies on volunteer fundraising has raised more than $40 million and brought sunshine into the lives of thousands of both active and retired military personnel. It is a great charity that does wonderful work.
Bowlers to Veteran's Link does an amazing job supporting the Veteran's Administration Hospitals across the United States, as well as providing support to our men and women in the Armed Forces who are still serving. Nearly all donations for this organizations come from the bowling industry and its supporters. Programs, services, and recreation is provided to those who gave so much. This organization runs on a shoestring but is so vital.