For the third time in the last several months, a group supposedly helping veterans has come to our town and taken money to “help” veterans, but actually only helped themselves. The group “Veterans Support Organization” is a group formed in Florida and is now collecting all over the country. They employ paid collectors, some of whom may be veterans, some not. This group is being investigated in several states, and Tennessee has requested their records since they stated that the purpose the funds were going to be used for was a homeless shelter. No plans for a shelter were filed. Their recent audit showed $2.5 million collected and $400,000 spent on veterans. That’s 16 percent. It is a shame that an organization would take advantage of people’s good nature while there are many real local organizations that are actually helping veterans.
Bayonne has 12 veteran’s posts with over 2,000 veterans. When they collect, 100 percent of the funds help veterans.
We have spoken to this group on several occasions and are pursuing legal means to eliminate them from our community. But until that time comes, we ask all residents of Bayonne, if they are going to donate to veterans’ groups, they should be loyal to legitimate veterans’ groups.
Just because you see a well-orchestrated, colorful sign, or a man or woman in some kind of uniform, it does not necessarily mean your hard-earned donation will benefit a veteran who has served your country. Be aware and remember you have the right to ask questions as to where the group is from and how much of the donation will actually go to veterans.