Monday, November 25, 2013

Update on Salute to Veterans Donation

Thank you to everyone who visited here during my Salute to Veterans Nov. 11-15! There were SO many comments sharing stories about veterans that we made the goal of $1,500! I will be contacting three who posted stories about special veterans in their lives on the Veterans Day post and my assistant, Charlotte Oliver, will attempt to contact those to get names and more details in order that I may make three $500 donations in honor/memory of those special veterans. 

I do have a major change to report. I've heard from a number of people that the Wounded Warrior Project has just gotten too administratively out of control (marketing and staff costs) and I want the money that I donate to go directly to veterans. So, I have researched several recommendations and will make my three $500 donations to the following organizations:

As many of you know, I went to the Wounded Warrior Regiment-West location at Camp Pendleton in May to make a donation of $5200, including $3200 in donations and gift cards collected from my readers. One of the writers who visited here during the Salute to Veterans, Ann Mayburn, has a brother who is a Marine and is currently being treated at Wounded Warrior Regiment-East, so I will specify it go to the one at Parris Island. 

Here's the mission statement for this Marine Corps Command:

The United States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment provides and enables assistance to wounded, ill and injured Marines, sailors attached to or in support of Marine units, and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental headquarters element, located in Quantico, Va., commands the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment contact the Sergeant Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 1-877-487-6299. Click here for more information about Wounded Warrior Battalion East orWounded Warrior Battalion West.

This is another veterans charity that the Marines at Parris Island recommended Ann share with me. I plan to specify that the money go to their Above & Beyond program. Here's a heartbreaking Video about one family involved in this organization. 

From their Web site: 

THE MISSION OF HOPE FOR THE WARRIORS® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.

House in the Woods Military and Family Retreat (NOT .com) 

I've e-mailed the director of this one and he was very forthcoming about their financial information. Their Web site could use a really good volunteer to help get it going, but I'm okay if they're spending their money on more important things, like hunting and fishing trips for veterans and their families! 

Here's their Mission Statement:

House in the Woods’ mission is to create a therapeutic, recreational, and educational retreat for our nation’s U.S. armed forces and their families by using outdoor wilderness activities in Maine to create comfortable and relaxing milieu for veterans, active duty military, and their families to come together to share their common challenges which come from the service and sacrifice of protecting our nation’s freedom and cherished democratic ideals.

I was impressed that so many members of their Board of Directors were family members of those who served and, in some cases, military personnel themselves.

Of course, this time around, all of the donations were from me, so I didn't feel as worried about changing my mind about where the money went, as long as I fulfilled the intent of the Veterans Day post and gave up to $1500, split between three donations in honor/memory of American veterans. 

Sadly, after supporting the WWP with thousands of dollars in donations since April 2012, I will probably not be giving monthly as an Advanced Guard in the WWP any longer. I know they started with the best of intentions, but sometimes organizations just outgrow their mission and lose focus on their primary objective. I know on the local level they will continue to do great things, but as far as giving to the national organization, I just don't see that as the best way to honor and support veterans. 

And I know there are many, many organizations doing great things for our veterans. These are just three. I'll post an update here with the comments chosen as random to have the donations made in the name/memory of their veteran heroes. So, check back in a week or so!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Be sure you thank our nation's military and the military of those serving alongside them from other nations as you enjoy your time with family, friends, and good food this week!


  1. Keep up the wonderful work. I'm sure these charities will be very thankful for the help.

  2. Keep up the wonderful work that you are doing.

  3. As always Kally you are as amazing in your giving as you are in your writing! I am glad that the $$ will go to organizations who will truly use it to help a service member or their family. Much love as always! <3