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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paralyzed Veterans of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Military & Veterans Organizations, Mutual & Membership Benefit, Nerve, Muscle & Bone Diseases Research

Mission: Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), a congressionally chartered veterans service organization founded in 1946, has developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members? veterans of the armed forces who have experienced spinal cord injury or dysfunction. PVA will use that expertise to be the leading advocate for: - Quality health care for our members, - Research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction, - Benefits available as a result of our members? military service, - Civil rights and opportunities which maximize the independence of our members and all people with disabilities. For more than 60 years, PVA has fought for our veterans who answered the call when our nation asked for their service . . . and in return, they have given up their freedoms to protect ours. For more information visit www.SupportVeterans.org or www.pva.org.

Programs: Founded in 1946 by veterans of World War II, PVA started out as a small organization - a group of individuals committed to helping each other, sharing their hard-learned strategies for living with spinal cord injury (SCI), and working to improve their communities. Sixty years ago PVA was there to help our paralyzed heroes, and now continues a long legacy of commitment to providing hope for all individuals with disabilities. Beyond our broad scope of SCI research & education, PVA continues to respond to the needs of our members ? veterans of the armed forces with spinal cord injury or dysfunction ? though pro bono legal representation, veterans benefits services, legislation & advocacy, access to quality healthcare, architecture and accessibility, and sports & recreational activities to 21,000 paralyzed members, their families and friends. PVA has awarded more than $40 million in SCI research and education grants, filed hundreds of thousands claims on behalf of our members with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and served millions of individuals with disabilities. And we want to do more in 2006 and beyond. Through the generosity of more than 18 million friends nationwide and a network of 34 Chapters across America, we hope to further educate all individuals to prevent more injuries from occurring, and ultimately to find a cure.

Community Stories

158 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

My Mom worked for decades with our Veterans in CA, VA, IL and DC. She knew that the best way to make sure our Vets were receiving all of their benefits and ensuring high levels of care was continued involvement and support of PVA. I am proud to continue our family's legacy of supporting PVA.

Thank you for all that you accomplish for our Vets.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My heart goes out to our Veterans and those that help them out. Blessings on all of the work you do for those who have Served our Nation.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I mailed a check yesterday in memory of a family member. I am so grateful to your National Service Officers who helped us during his final illness. You were there for us. We will never forget your thoughtful help and compassion.
Thank you!!!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Vet and continue to struggle with ALS. Your Bay Area service officers have been very helpful as I battle this disease. Please accept our thanks for your patient help as my family and I fight for my benefits and assistance.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Vet and was recently diagnosed with ALS. Your service offices have been very helpful as I battle this disease. Please accept our thanks for your patient help as my family and I fight for my benefits and assistance.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The Paralyzed Veterans is the only organization to which I donate. Let's not ever forget our young men and women who suffered serving our country. Their lives have dramatically changed. I cannot afford to donate much, as I am on a fixed income, but I will give when I can. Thank you for being there for our injured veterans.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 1

I donate to several charities each year, ranging from total donations of $1,000.00, all the way down to $25.00. And each one always sends an annual giving receipt. For instance, this year, I donated $25.00 to Toys For Tots, and I received an annual giving receipt. I donated $60.00 to the American Red Cross, and I received an annual giving receipt. I donated $100.00 this year to Paralyzed Veterans of America. I received a letter, dated 31 January, 2019, thanking me for donating "$0.00" in 2018. I called the charity on 12 Feb, and spoke to a woman named Denise. She apologized for the mix up and said she would have an accurate annual giving summary emailed to me in 48 to 72 hours. That meant Friday, 15 Feb, or, at the very latest, Monday, 18 Feb. (What takes a charity 72 hours to generate an email in the first place?) On Monday, 18 Feb, I still had not received an annual receipt, so I called again. This time, I spoke to a young woman named Sierra. I explained the situation to her, and said I needed the receipt because I had an appointment with my tax accountant on Thursday, 21 Feb. She spoke offline to a Supervisor, who assured her that he could see by my computer file that the email was "being prepared for release that day." I asked her to confirm that I would receive the email by close of business, and she did so. I did not receive an email. I called back on 19 Feb. This time a woman named Jasmine answered, and I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor. She asked the reason and I told her. She went offline for a moment, came back, and told me that no supervisors were available, because they were all in a meeting. I asked her is she could see my file. She said yes. I asked her to email me a copy and she refused, saying that she didn't have authorization. I said, "Yes you do, the authorization was granted to send the email last night." She refused to send me a copy of my annual giving receipt, saying that she would have a supervisor call me back.

I am a Veteran myself. I have lost friends, and a brother in the service of this country. I had hoped that Paralyzed Veterans of America lived up to their mission, but sadly, I must say that they have the poorest donor services, and the shoddiest bookkeeping practices I have ever seen. I will not be giving any more of my money to PVA, and I fully plan to file a complaint with the US Attorney General about their poor bookkeeping. I will also negatively rate them at every opportunity I have.

One of the signs of how a charity effectively uses the money donated to it is how efficiently it tracks and receipts its donors. Since PVA fails so miserably at the later, I have to assume that they are equally inept at the former. If I could rate this charity lower than one star, I would.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is a privilege to donate to something or someone I know really appreciates it, and in return, I have received a wonderful thank you letter outlining their important work. Thank you all so very much!

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been supporting this organization for over 15 years because they have helped so many veterans. I looked at their financials and clearly see that they deliver their services at minimal expense. There are so many organizations that waste their donations on frivolous expenses. PVA's leadership is solid and membership in the organization is free. Keep up the great work!

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

With Memorial Day approaching I would like PVA to accept our thanks for your wonderful efforts that your organization extends to disabled veterans.

- Paul

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came to the PVA because I thought they were my last resort since the VA had turned me down multiple times for a medical issue related to my 3 tours in Vietnam. Thanks to their guidance and caring support, I was able to receive some medical assistance through the VA. If it weren't for the PVA, I don't know where I would be.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed that the Executive committee and chapter Boards are comprised of paralyzed veterans members. If anyone should know the needs, concerns, required services and coordination required with the Veterans Administration and other veteran service organizations, it would be a veteran intimately familiar with the challenges of paralysis. I was able to attend one of their National Wheelchair Games and was moved by the determination and courage of these disabled veterans. They provide wonderful programs, personal assistance and services for our paralyzed veterans.

Review from Guidestar

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4

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the high caliber of their volunteer leadership and staff. Many of these patriots are paralyzed veterans themselves. Their work to improve the lives of disabled veterans by providing essential services, rehabilitation and opportunities is inspiring and ongoing.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Your service in support of ALL Veterans is reliable and dependable. Your leadership and staff are diligent and appreciated making our lives easier and rewarding. Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been an advocate for Veterans my entire life. Paralyzed Veterans of America continues to do great work on behalf of all Veterans, especially those with spinal cord injury and disease. As a donor, not only do I receive great stewardship, but i feel that they inform me as to how my investment is actually helping Veterans in their everyday lives.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We stand with you in solidarity and deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by our veteran heroes. Thank you for your continuing work.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Both of us have contributed for years investing in your mission to help all veterans. Thank you for all of your services and hard work on behalf of those who protect our Freedom.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My mother, a World War II Navy Nurse, is a big fan of all of the work you do! She worked in the Washington State Naval Hospital caring for our troops returning from the Pacific. When the War ended she married, raised her family and continued to work as a R.N. She is a life-long contributor and believer is your efforts on behalf of all of our Veterans. Thank you PVA.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My prayers are with all Veterans and this is my favorite charity. I personally know Vets who have been helped by your expert team of National Service Officers. I am pleased to increase my support. Keep is going!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This charity spends almost as much money on fund-raising as it does on programs for the vets they supposedly serve. NOT a 4 or 5-star charity.

Review from Guidestar

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Donor

Rating: 5

Another great year of successes for all of our Veterans. Thank you PVA!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have always responded to PVA's mailings with modest contributions but really didn't know much about PVA's programs. Then we attended the Wheel Chair Games and met some staff and participants. Now we have seen firsthand how our contributions help ensure that life is not over when a veteran becomes paralyzed.

Review from Guidestar

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

We contribute monthly and are proud to support our Vets.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband was proud of his military service. He suffered from ALS and PVA assisted him with making a claim and obtaining benefits during his illness. It was through PVA's expert guidance that we were able to receive the assistance. PVA has also been very helpful to me in receiving survivor's benefits after my husband's death. The staff and their recommendations were kind and compassionate and of a very positive nature when so many challenges presented themselves. We are most grateful to PVA and their diligent efforts.

Review from Guidestar