A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BBB Trends: Honor Veteran’s Day with a wise contribution to a charity that really helps veterans

Veterans Day, formerly declared as Armistice Day in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, is an opportunity to show your support for those who have served or are currently serving our country through volunteer service projects, raising an American flag or making a charitable donation. It is next Monday, November 11.

However, the holiday provides the chance for scammers to target military personnel, especially elderly vets. To think thieves would have the nerve taking advantage of a solemn occasion is quite disturbing, yet, it happens and service as a reminder to veterans and their families to be aware of targeted scams and take time to thoroughly research a charity before offering any monetary support.

Many charities that focus on helping veterans sound similar and frequently use the same few words to make up their names; scammers often use the same words and phrases as more well-known nonprofits to appear legitimate and take advantage of donors.

Veterans who wish to support a military-focused charity should look for a clear description of the organization’s programs.

If the charity says it primarily focuses on assisting veterans, examine where the donation money is being spent. Specifically, determine whether or not the charity provides housing, counseling, and financial assistance, and verify if the nonprofit focuses on helping people locally or if it’s a national organization.

Veterans also shouldn’t be swayed by high-pressure telemarketing techniques.

If you’re called, don’t hesitate to ask for written information on the charity and its finances before making a decision.

Don’t feel like you have to make an immediate, on-the-spot donation; a legitimate charity will welcome your support whenever you decide to contribute to their cause.

BBB encourages everyone – especially our service members and veterans – to keep personal information private and to ask questions anytime someone pushes you to transfer the money. Research charities using bbb.org when you’re considering a contribution and visit Wise Giving Alliance for additional tips on how to truly support veteran nonprofits.

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