My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Veterans Support Organization, Sunrise, FL, USA
Veterans Support Organization. They were in the Dover Mall this past Christmas and have been set up at the Camden Wal-Mart this week collecting CASH or CHECK donations. I had some reservations about the group (they wear BDU's with service emblem hats and black combat boots) and the "Vets" didn't appear or sound legit when I asked a few questions about what they did or where they served. But, when I discovered they were back and now at Wal-Mart, I wanted to dig a little further.
An Internet search was very eye opening.
#1- On their own site, www.TheVeteransSupport.Org. Their financial report for 2009 shows 35% of the money collected went to management expenses, over 800K.
#2- The cards they hand out claim they are serving Vets in Delaware and Maryland. However; Delaware is spelled wrong on the card, the toll-free number is for a NY or PA branch and their own web site does not list any active services provides to Delaware Vets.
#3- This organization IS NOT on the list of Congressionally-chartered Veteran Service/Support organizations. Additionally, the are NOT listed on the National Resource Directory for approved Veterans Service Organizations.
#4- Some of the people they use at their collections points are NOT veterans of the US military. In fact, according to news reports I found on the Internet, some of these people are convicted criminals. Even more upsetting, these "vets" at the collection buckets are paid 25-30 percent of the money they collect each day. That's right, heart-felt donations from hard working people are "skimmed" off the top before they even have a chance to help a real Vet. Of the two "vets" working at Wal-Mart today, one admitted he is not a vet (while wearing a Red Marine Corps baseball hat and BDU's) and the other one would not answer my questions.
#5- They are using the word "Vet" or "VSO" as a marketing tool. Using these titles, they are preying on the public's admiration of the military and desire to support our troops. This organization is using this level of trust and respect for Vets and the real USO to siphon away money that could be going to local groups that actually support Delaware veterans.
#6- A Fox News New York investigation uncovered even mor. Use this link to verify this info. http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/shame/veterans-support-organization-20110203
I am passionate about supporting our troops and I get personally offended when I see groups like this, taking advantage of people and using the titles of honor and respect for personal gain.
Thanks for listening, for caring and shining a light on this shameful group. Dennis Desilet