When it comes to our veterans, we want nothing but the best for them upon returning home from service. It’s why the Veteran’s Affairs scandal is such a big deal, no solider should be left waiting for care.
But sometimes the organizations that we think have veterans best interests in mind, are actually using donations for their own personal gain.
In a new investigative report from CBS, Steven Nardizzi and Al Giordano (CEO and COO), were terminated from the Wounded Warrior project this week after numerous spending irregularities were discovered.
“In 2014, the Wounded Warrior Project received more than $300 million in donations but only spent roughly 60 percent of that on veterans.”
“Spending on conferences and meetings went from $1.7 million in 2010, to $26 million in 2014, which is the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery, its top program.”
“The charity had a quarter-million-dollar annual budget for candy and soda, and spent untold sums on staff field trips and elaborately produced music videos promoting executives.”
That isn’t to say that the Wounded Warrior Project hasn’t helped some veterans recover and rehabilitate from their tours overseas, but your donations could be doing a whole lot more with these other charities below:
1) Fisher House – CharityNavigator score: 96.87 out of 100
What can be said about Fisher House that hasn’t been said before? This is easily one of the most respected charity organizations for veterans, with over 25 years of service helping veterans families or bereaved families after their veteran has passed on. Fisher House has provided housing for families near every major military medical center in the country to make sure they have a comfortable home while their veteran receives treatment.
2) DAV (Disabled American Veterans) – CharityNavigator score: 92.68 out of 100
If you’re looking for a direct alternative to the Wounded Warrior Project, you can’t go wrong with Disable American Veterans. Not only is the group spending over 90% of donations on helping veterans, the organization provides more than 700,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 300,000 benefit claims annually.
3) Hire Heroes – Charity Navigator Score: 93.59 out of 100
If you want to help ensure that veterans have jobs, this organization allows active military and veterans to receive training in resume building, interviews, and self-marketing. The end goal — the only goal — is to make sure a veteran gets a job. When that’s your sole focus, this group is your best bet.
4) Operation Homefront – CharityNavigator score: 96.36 out of 100
One of the biggest issues soldiers face upon returning from tour is that they often don’t have a lot to come back to. Poverty is a giant issue for many of our veterans, and Operation Homefront attempts to alleviate that by providing food assistance, auto and home repair, vision care, transportation, moving assistance, home goods and financial assistance to military families in need.