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Vietnam Veterans Of America Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Military & Veterans Organizations, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Veterans

Mission: Founded in 1978, vietnam veterans of america is the only national vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to vietnam-era veterans and their families. Vva works to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of vietnam veterans.

Programs: Membership affairs - vva membership is now over 74,700 with 61% of these members having committed to vva by becoming life members. In the past fiscal year, 17 new vva chapters have been chartered. The membership department is moving to use electronic communications for many of its formerly paper functions. These efforts include: electronic roster distribution, e-mail acknowledgement of state council and chapter annual election and financial reports and building an e-mail membership chairs distribution list.

government affairs - reached out to members of congress to advocate for the introduction and passage of the toxic exposure research act of 2015. H. R. 1769 in the house and s. 901 in the senate. Focused on congressional testimony and personal interactions on the need to "fix" several facets of the department of veterans affairs, e. G. And to extend benefits for c-123 and so-called blue water navy veterans exposed to dioxin and to open the va's formulary for pharmaceuticals to include newer drugs for maladies such as hepatitis c and diabetes mellitus and to ensure that va medical centers and outpatient clinics have enough qualified mental health clinicians staff; and to chang the often anti-veteran corporate culture of the va and to work on access and quality of care services for women veterans and to seek an evaluation of federal and community efforts to eliminate veteran homelessness. Advocated for protections against the "predatory" practices of certain institutions of higher learning for veterans accessing their earned benefits under the post-9/11 gi bill. Vva was instrumental in securing an executive order on helping "police" predatory entities that offer worthless degrees. Initiated and/or proceeded with lawsuits on behalf of veterans wrongfully discharged because of a "personality disorder," and other vets involved in the testing of toxic substances. Continued to push the addition of a veterans economic opportunities administration in the department of veterans affairs. Leading effort to move the veterans employment & training service to valeading effort to "clean up" verification of service disabled veteran owned businesses and veteran owned businesses, and move this function to the sba to apply government wide

vva veteran - now in its 35th year, the vva veteran and its associated media-the online magazine, www. Vvaveteran. Org; facebook. Vvaveteran. Org; and its two arts blogs, arts of war and books in review ii-are committed to presenting clear, lucid, accurate, informative, and entertaining reports on issues and subjects about and relevant to america's veterans-especially its vietnam veterans. The magazine remains the organization's best communication tool, its best recruitment tool, its best retention tool, and its best marketing tool. Our goal is to educate, to excite, and to energize our membership while broadcasting to the outside world the important work that vva does. To do that, we have assembled a large roster of skilled writers, photographers, and illustrators from across the country. With a fraction of the staff and a fraction of the budget of comparable publications, we produce the best veterans magazine, bar none. That fact was underscored in 2013 and again in 2014 by the presentation of apex awards to the vva veteran for magazine excellence. During fy2015 the vva veteran received the prestigious apex award for publication excellence. The award recognized overall excellence in the category of "magazines, journals, and tabloids over 32 pages. " in the previous year, we were awarded for the writing series, dien bien phu from the american, vietnamese, and french perspectives. During fy2015, we produced six issues of the veteran-each on time and under budget. At the same time, we produced an electronic version of each issue that was reconfigured for easy access on the internet and that takes into consideration the different demographic-younger readers and researchers--that turns to www. Vvaveteran. Org. Staff maintained with regular updates its vva veteran facebook page. Books in brief ii, which grew out of the book review column in the magazine, passed the milestone of five hundred books reviewed on the web. Additionally, arts of war, originally in the magazine, has greatly expanded on the web. Each issue of the magazine attempts to cover a wide variety of issues of interest to vietnam veterans.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

VVA pickup was easy, prompt and profesional. They went to the wrong house, but called us and let is know about the issue. They came right after the phone call and took almost everything we had out for them. Thank you VVA! Very pleased and highly recommend.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

this is a scam. I had some beautiful furniture to donate. I Scheduled a week before the pickup. They called me one day before and said they are not accepting furniture donations. Now I have to haul all of the furniture back inside. DO NOT DONATE

Donor

Rating: 1

I've donated to VVA for years, but today will be the last time. I scheduled a pickup of a rocking chair. VVA arrived, looked at the chair and said they didn't want it because of some scratches. Unbelievable!!! What do they expect of used furniture? Mind you I put it by the curb and it was picked up in 15 minutes, so much for no one wanting it.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Employee in the call center I must intervene here and say that everyone works hard to get you scheduled and items picked up. Because in all actuality "who needs these problems.. nothing is intentional or personal. Which I will go on record to say that most of the people that donate are very rude and take a donation a little too serious. There are more rude people than there are nice and it blows my mind. Number one why not be happy because somebody is coming to collect your things that you no longer want? And I'm not speaking to everybody anybody reading this knows who I'm talking to. Any other place would charge you a thousand or more dollars to come pick up your things. Because of the pandemic everybody has been at home and everybody is donating which it is very appreciated however it is put a double load on everybody triple load as a matter of fact. Because we are running thin on drivers some new. Instead of complaining about an organization who does good things everybody makes mistakes nobody's perfect relax but there's no need to get up in arms and argue and lose sleep over a donation thank you I wish you all well

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Pick-up was conducted by a hard-working, pleasant driver who ensured he got everything into his packed truck.
Don't panic if the daily pick-up time elapses before your driver arrives: it's clear they are doing their best to meet their appointments.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I’ve donated 4 times in the last two years and the first 2 times they were great with pickups. However, the time before last I called them to confirm pickup the day before since we were expecting a major snow storm. The person on the phone said they come in all weather so I put my stuff in the driveway. Well, we got a big snow storm and my stuff (20+ bags/boxes) had to be hauled back into the house because no one showed up and there was no notification that they weren’t picking up. The last pickup which was today was during rain. When I checked to see if my stuff was picked up, they were picked up but the driver left the receipt by the garage (where I left my stuff). The receipt was dripping wet which was annoying since they should provide drivers with small plastic bags for protecting receipts in bad weather. So when I called the VVA suggesting perhaps the driver can leave the receipt in my mailbox next time, the person on the phone said in a very rude and impatient tone that it was against the law to put anything in the mailbox that wasn’t mail. I guess I was ignorant of that law, but he could have said so in a regular tone. I think his attitude showed a lack of appreciation and respect. Perhaps I should look for another organization to donate to.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

As a veteran myself (OEF), of course we're open to donating our gently used goods to a veteran oriented organization. Scheduling the pick up by phone was easy, maybe too easy. On the day of pickup, they were a no show. My girlfriend called in to ask why they didn't show. The person on the phone said that it was marked in the system as already picked up. We confirmed that it wasn't as we brought it back inside after leaving the box on our porch all day. They checked the contact info and the phone number was wrong by several digits and our email wasn't even recorded. She took the time to sit through and correct the contact info and reschedule a pick up. The person on the phone read back what they had down and we thought that took care of it. On the second pickup day, again a no show. Again, the person on the phone (a different one) said that it was picked up. We corrected them that it was not and we had moved it into our garage after an entire day of not being picked up. They challenged us and said it probably wasn't clearly marked. It had the sheet on the box with large thick Sharpie marker writing of VVA PICKUP and was not obstructed from view. She said she'd have a supervisor call us about the issue. A week later and still nothing. This organization is a joke. Not sure where the breakdown is: poor systems, unmotivated workers/volunteers, or what. The amount of negative reviews here with similar issues confirm though, that there definitely is a leadership failure at many levels. Your system is noting "picked up" but you have no incoming items. The VVA, at least in Minnesota, is a huge waste of time.

5

Donor

Rating: 1

at this point if I could give no stars I would I have. after twice putting things on my porch and I mean a lot of things then after setting up a pick up they never picked up in fact my husband watched them drive by. they slowed down then drove by telling the dispatcher that the driveway was blocked big lie not one thing was in my driveway , then they said there was a dog in yard again another big lie. this is the second time in a row i have had this problem last time they said they could not see the 6 foot tall stacked all marked boxes on my porch. I am so tired of putting things out for them and then going thru nothing by aggravation because they cannot be bothered to stop I will take my items to a different place and I have been donating every couple of months... maybe they need to get different drivers

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Many have commented that the donated goods don’t go directly to veterans - logistically how could they? If u think that TV & XXL jacket u donated somehow finds its way with all the thousands of other donations to the to the Vet that fit that size & needs that TV, that’s a really inefficient way to distribute items and fortunately that’s not how things work. Thrift stores pay the VVA to put their logo on the truck. Donors get Items picked up for free, thrift snd Goodwill stores get items and the VVA gets funds to educate veterans & their families on benefits, lobby Congress to support and defend the benefits of veterans. And if veterans and their families or other struggling people get clothes, housewares and furniture at reasonable prices, so much the better. However there is a good chance that the drivers take any valuable items. But realistically how many people are donating expensive furniture, jewelry or electronic equipment under 10 years old - pretty much nill - you give the really nice non clothing items to a school, church or neighbor. And If the driver once in a while comes home with a decent used tennis racket or winter coat, c’est la vie!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Over the past years but especially since 2006 I have given in abundance to this (Miami, FL) non profit. My husband prior to his passing served in Vietnam and always wanted to give back. I have worked professionally in an office environment for 35 years and had accumulated women suits, shoes and purses over the years, some with tags still on. These things especially during the year after I retired 8 9 10 bags of clothes were given at one time. One year a mirror was offered and after speaking with the driver who refused to pick-up, the office with many discussions was finally picked up. This year forward I will find another nonprofit since a pick-up appointment was made with no pick-up and no phone call was received. After calling the next morning, after scheduled pick up, a recording stated that no pick up had been scheduled.

5

Donor

Rating: 1

I will never attempt to donate to this organization again. The first time I arranged for a pick up, they never showed up and no one attempted to contact me to let me know why items were not picked up. When I scheduled a second time, several items were left behind. When I emailed to inquire, the person who responded said that one of the items was on their "Not accepted" list (which was not true - it was listed on the website). She said she did not know why the other items were not picked up and arranged to have them picked up the next day. Low and behold, the truck never showed up so I had to haul the items back inside. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!! Find another organization that actually wants donations.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

hello,my name is Charles Jones and I'm looking for Bill D. flanders I served with in the 25th Div Pathfinder Det in vietnam. If you of Bill Flanders, please let him know that other Pathfinders he served with would like to reconnect with him. jumper1949@yahoo.com

4

Donor

Rating: 1

I have donated to Vietnam Vets of America several times, but I will no longer do so. I have had too many bad experiences with them. I make an appointment on line well ahead of time, and almost without exception, they don't arrive when they say they will & I have to call them & beg them to please pick up the donations. They apologize profusely, but don't deliver. One time they came the following day. Yesterday they were supposed to come & they never showed up. I called several times during the day & each time they PROMISED me they would send someone, but never did. This morning I called & complained & again, they apologized profusely & then PROMISED they would send someone today. Again, no one showed up. I AM DONE WITH THEM. I don't blame the people on the phone; I blame the drivers. They should be fired for not doing their job!!! I will NEVER, EVER use VVA again. Good riddance.

2

Donor

Rating: 1

Their site is lousy! It shows my pickup is still scheduled but I put out the bags @7:55am! I checked @ 9:53am & the bags were gone! I called several times but kept getting a busy signal. Finally I get thru & this old lady answers the phone said she couldn’t track where these drivers were & wouldn’t know till 5:00pm! Well I tried & wonder if they picked these bags up or someone else did? It’s a shame that this site doesn’t have a better system! I’ll think twice before I donate anything again!

4

Donor

Rating: 1

I have given numerous amount of donations to this organization thru-out the years and about a week ago I scheduled an appointment which was for July 6th, 2020.
They told me to make sure everything is labeled and in plan site view for the drivers, everything was ready and in front of my house before 7 am that schedule day for pick-up. Well, they never came by to pick up the bags.
I never got a call regarding why they didn't pick up so I called them and explained what happened to figure she would have them come by some time this week and she turns around and gives me an appointment for August the 6th. You must be joking? your delivery guys don't show and I have to wait another month for these bags to be picked up. She didn't give a rats ass this so-called rep and its a darn shame because the only people who lose out are the veterans not these clueless people who run this organization because I won't be donating to this bad not profit organization anymore.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

Took a separate package that was just delivered to my house, in addition to items set out for donation. Have a clue about what you're doing! Yellow bag was set out with boxes for you, vs. a package with a shipping label on it, presumably set separately from the donated items on my porch. Will never use again.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I donate regularly. They never missed a pick up date & send email reminders. I understand they resell the donated items & I'm fine with that. In reading about their finances, I would like to see more scholarships awarded to veterans children instead of honoring Congressman...but I hope that's a function of lobbying for our vets benefit.

Review from Guidestar

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Have many friends that are Vietnam veterans and thought to donate, but before I did I wanted to check this organization out. Upon reading the reviews they received, I decided they are a scam. Sorry, no donations from me.

Review from Guidestar

14

Volunteer

Rating: 1

This organization I feel is a total scam for Veterans. I scheduled a pick-up for an entire house hold of items, blankets, dishes, bedding, furniture etc, etc. We put everything outside with a cardboard saying pick up for VVA. The next day I received a voice mail that the driver arrived at the scheduled pick-up area but there was nothing indicating it was for them. For #1, he didn't even attempt to get our of the vehicle and check. #2 wasn't like there were 10 or 12 other piles of items being donated that day at that specific area! Give me break!. I tried to call back and ask them to return, of course I only got VM and of course no return call. My husband went back that afternoon to pick everything up, the sign had blown over. We ended up taking everything to Goodwill, which I don't mind. However I really wanted these items to go to veterans in need. My son and daughter are active and retired Army and i feel very strongly to help out all Military. This organization is a farse!

Review from Guidestar

31

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Total scam. Your donated goods do not go to help veterans...not unless those vets happen to shop at the thrift store that picked up your donations.

Heres how it works... a thrift store...any thift store...pays a fee to the vva for the rights to put the vva logo on the side of a truck. That truck...soley owned and operated by the thrift store...then picks up your donations. The donations go back to the thrift store where they are sorted...some go to the retail floor for resale but much is discarded or sold as scrap. The really good stuff doesnt even make it to the thrift store as the drivers will keep that for themselves.

If youre just looking to get someone to pick up your trash then fine...call the vva. If you honestly want your donations to go directly to a vet then give your donations directly to a vet. That perfectly fine 55" tv you think is in the livingroom of some retired marine... is actually in the garage of the drivers girlfriend and hes going to sell it for a bag of weed.

Trust me...used to be a driver.

Review from Guidestar

5

Donor

Rating: 4

In 2015, my family has donated items to VVA over a dozen separate times during the year. VVA always arrived during their published pickup window, and always on the days we scheduled with them. The driver was always courteous, and took care to pickup the items without damaging them. Whether VVA gives veterans the items directly, recycles them in order to raise funds for veterans, or sells the items in thrift stores in order to raise funds for veterans .....or even raises funds to lobby congress to support and defend the benefits of veterans rather than cutting those hard-earned benefits.....I am okay with it. Granted, like others, I would like to see more transparency from VVA on how the donated items are translating into assistance, but I also don't want it resulting in lots of additional overhead for them (and thereby reducing the positive effects of our donations). We have four generations of veterans in this family, we understand the sacrifices, we support our fellow veteran families. Thank you VVA for trying to help.

Review from Guidestar

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sending boxes of household and clothing items to VVA for years, and their front-step pick-up system has never let me down. Their drivers are always friendly and courteous. I don't know about the VVA finances, but they do provide a great pick-up service that I have found very helpful.

8

Donor

Rating: 1

Yet another unreliable charity. When United War Veterans council didn't show up (twice) last week to pick up a very large donation, I called VVA on Saturday. They scheduled a pickup for today, September 3. I called this morning to confirm, and they told me I was on the schedule. When they didn't show up by 8:30PM, I called them. A supervisor told me he didn't know why the truck never came, but offered to reschedule. When I asked why I should trust them again, he had no answer. I'm sure this is not an isolated incident. The donation was 12 bags, lots of baby items, and a steam mop, as well as books, CDs, and DVDs. They offered to give me the address of a thrift shop where I could drop it off. Great. I have no car, and I guess they expected me to do all the loading and unloading. DON'T TRUST THEM!

Review from Guidestar

34

Donor

Rating: 1

Not impressed. Got a telephone solicitation and pledged $25. After receiving the follow-up bill in the mail, conducted some research of the foundation and its finances. Specifically the tax forms filed (2011-2013). Found it interesting that in 2011 the foundation reported $2,891,000 in salaries while donating 9 scholarships for $13,500.

Administrative costs in the fiscal year ending 28 Feb 2011 were $1,714,733, and fundraising costs were $740,962 for a total expenses of $2,455,695. Roughly 51% of the annual budget.

May be a great way to dump old mattresses and have them hauled away for free, but a very poor investment in our Vietnam Veterans. I’ll choose other methods to contribute thank-you.

24

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I have left donations in front of my house and they always came when promised and left a donation receipt. However, after I read on this site that the VVA hosted a reception in Washington, D C honoring members of Congress who served in the armed forces, I am now rethinking any future donations. I do not want what they make from my donations to be spent on Members of Congresss who served in the military. I thank these elected officials for their service, but let's be honest, these people have high-paying jobs (that they don't always have to show up for); have excellent, free health coverage, and myriad other wonderful perks. They do NOT need another reception. The VVA should have spent the money it cost them to host this reception on the men and women who truly need help. I would appreciate knowing what percentage of their profits is actually going to benefit the needy veterans and what percentage is going for advertising, hosting receptions, etc.

4

Donor

Rating: 4

I don't know how much of the money raised actually helps veterans but it was easy to donate items. I originally chose this organization as it is one of the few that will take used mattresses. We had one in like new condition that we didn't want to have to pay to have it hauled to the dump if it could be used. We scheduled a pick-up and they called 30 minutes before the truck arrived. They will not come in the house but will take items from the garage or drive way. We are in Las Vegas.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Yes, it was easy to schedule a pick up but the window is 8am to 5pm and THEY NEVER SHOWED UP and there was no call/contact from them. They only pick up on Wednesdays in this area (San Diego County). It is a pain, literally, to move everything from the house to the driveway and now we have to move it back inside and find storage. Not sure if we'll reschedule with this group for next Wednesday or find another charity. We like the VVA mission, but we were disappointed with this first donation experience.

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Vietnam Veterans of America provides great service to those looking to donate used clothing and home items. They helped me get rid of all the clutter in my home and it was too easy. All I did was schedule a pick up and leave the bags on my porch and they came by and picked it all up. On top of that they even left a tax deductible receipt. Their services really came in handy!