To the editor:
Recently I received a large yellow envelope in the mail from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Inc. (DVNF). It contained a nice calculator and a small notebook and a letter soliciting a donation for veterans programs. A worthy cause for sure, but I don't think they were really going to help out many veterans programs.
The envelope looked really official and had a logo that made it appear to be from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in Washington D.C. but it was not. I checked and it is not part of the DAV. I also checked the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov and could not find any record of this organization in the IRS list of charities eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions although their literature says they are approved.
I checked with www.charitywatch.org, a watchdog organization that reviews charities to see how well they distribute funds to their stated purposes in relation to their administrative costs. They rate as many of the charities as they can. This is what they have to say about Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Inc.:
"The charity was incorporated in November 2007, according to its 2008 tax form. In addition to soliciting over the phone, the charity also sends out fundraising letters. Donors should also be careful not to read too much into the emotionally-charged language or sad photos included in many charity solicitation letters. DVNF's appeal references the 'hell of combat' and says, 'You'll put meaning behind the words "Support Our Troops," with your gift to DVNF today!' The language in this solicitation could lead potential donors to believe that the charity seeks funds primarily for direct assistance to veterans, which is not the case. According to DVNF's 2008 audit, only $127,421 or less than one percent of DVNF's $16.3 million budget could have been spent on grants or aid to individuals."
When I first saw the envelope I thought it was from the DAV and I am sure other veterans will have the same reaction. I did not send off any money but others probably have done so thinking it was going to the DAV. I personally think this is a disgraceful scam and before you send them any money or reply, check them out yourself.
Support Our Troops. But I will not give to Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Inc. My money will go to the Disabled American Veterans or the Fisher House Foundation because of their good work for veterans.