The donations the CVR receives are donated back into the veteran community in several ways.
Many veterans come to us in need or are referred to us through Newbyginnings, the Veteran’s Outreach center or the VA hospital social workers where it takes several groups to help the veteran and his family. These are cases where public agencies can’t help or the time frame is lengthy enough to where it wouldn’t help. We usually help between 2 to 4 veterans a month but at the beginning of every new year the demand increases greatly. We vet the potential recipient of the donation to determine if the need is legitimate or if it’s a luxury item that we can’t donate to.
The great majority of the veterans that come to us need help with utilities about to be shut off or helping a homeless veteran in need of getting into housing, helping with the deposit. One of the more common ones is with rent help because the veteran either was injured not being able to work, divorce or the government made a slip up with not paying an active military member for a month or two. We also get many veterans that need help with automotive repair because it’s their only transportation for the entire family as well as getting back and forth to work. The VA hospital comes to us with veterans that are trying to get clean and sober and their medical coverage for their prescriptions has limited out or has stopped due to a paperwork mistake, we help cover the cost of the medicine to help the veteran stay clean. Many other examples of helping veterans or their families are things like school clothes for the kids, groceries, gas money for stranded vets, a hotel stay for a battered female veteran, a hotel stay for a veteran with family in the hospital or materials and help to build handicap accessible ramps and such. We’ve had older veterans that didn’t have heat in their homes which should be condemned, we’ve fixed their home some and gotten a safe heat source so they didn’t freeze to death. Sometimes the veteran comes to us and they simply don’t know where to go so we point them in the right direction so they’re able to get self sustaining help instead of a handout that only puts a bandage on the wound. The list of vets we help with your donations could go on for days with so many varied needs.
Every year we also donate some money to local veteran organizations that rely on every bit they can get. Some examples are the Spokane and Lewiston veteran homes, donations are for activities and little creature comforts, they all love seeing the bikes as well. We donate a bit to the Veteran’s outreach center to purchase gas and grocery cards because they usually get hit first with vets in need. Other organizations that we donate to are the Patriot Guard, the Spokane Veteran’s forum, the local college veteran programs with supplies for school, Honor Flight and the Vet’s garage. Our budget was approximately $10,000 this year. However, the demand fluctuates from year to year and month to month. Needless to say every dollar counts so vetting is critical so that the donations go to the real needs. All of the money donated to us goes back out to the veteran community.
If there’s anything else you would like to know I would be more than happy to answer any questions and thank you for helping us help veterans with your donations.
President, Combat Vet Riders