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Church Says Wounded Warrior Project Refused Their Money
Fox News ^ | 02/01/2013 | Todd Starnes

Posted on 02/04/2013 5:30:34 PM PST by lqcincinnatus

A Christian church and school in Florida are devastated after they said Wounded Warrior Project refused to accept their fund raising effort because it was “religious in nature.”

“We were heartbroken,” said Wallace Cooley, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church and Academy in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Cooley said they had already paid a $100 registration fee to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and were about to launch the campaign when they received an email from the organization.

The church had planned on taking up a special offering on the last Sunday in February and students were collecting money from family and friends.

(Excerpt) Read more at radio.foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: charity; church; donations; donors; nothanks; woundedwarriors; wwp
“We must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn’t allow community events to be religious in nature,” read an email from the WWP community events team. “Please note your registration fee will be refunded within the next 7-10 business days.”

WWP said as a nonpartisan organization they cannot accept event fundraising from companies “in which the product or message is religious in nature.”

Pastor Cooley said they were so shocked that the school secretary called Wounded Warrior to make sure there hadn’t been a mistake. He said a WWP representative assured her that “religious” was indeed on their banned list.

“We had to tell our children and parents we can’t give to the Wounded Warrior Project,” Pastor Cooley told Fox News. “We are second-class citizens now because we are people of faith.”

A Wounded Warrior told Fox News they would look into the matter. The organization did not respond to subsequent telephone calls.

The fundraising project was a joint effort by the 400-member church and the 460 students who attend the academy. The pastor said he first learned about WWP by watching Fox News Channel.

The email the church received from Wounded Warrior

“We appreciate the freedoms we enjoy in this country and the fact that our soldiers have fought for freedom of religion,” he said. “We teach patriotism in our school.”

The pastor said they expected to raise as much as $50,000 for the veterans.

“We are not a wealthy congregation,” he said. “But they are generous. We could tell as we began to talk to our people that it stirred their hearts.”

He said the idea of giving sacrificially to help someone else struck a chord with students in the academy.

Ted and Cherilyn Mein have two young daughters who attend the school. She said the girls were simply devastated by the news that the fundraising effort had been cancelled.

“Our school is all about patriotism,” she told Fox News. “We teach that our country was founded for religious freedom – and then to find out that we couldn’t even support the Wounded Warriors because we are Christians – it was hard to explain it to them.”

Kindergarten teacher Tanya Sue Albritton posted a note on the Wounded Warrior Project Facebook page recounting what she had to tell her class.

“They were very sad,” Albritton wrote. “One little girl wanted to know, ‘Why can’t we share with the soldiers?’”

“I was at a loss as to what I should tell her because I don’t understand it myself,” she wrote. “Well, WWP, why can’t we share with the soldiers?”

Cooley broke the news to his congregation in what he called “one of the saddest letters I have ever had to write.”

“We are very disappointed that we, as a religious organization, are being discriminated against,” he wrote to parents. “But they are a private organization and have and should have the freedom to make their own rules.”

On the flip side, the pastor told parents that “we also have the right to make our choice as to where our support goes.”

Becky Sharp teaches sixth grade at Liberty Baptist Academy. She posted a message on the Wounded Warrior Facebook page noting here extreme disappointment. She said her students had already raised $400 – many of the boys and girls donated their lunch money.

“I am deeply disappointed that an organization such as yours would reject money from American citizens who want to thank their soldiers for what they have done,” she wrote.

Parents like the Meins are now struggling with how to explain to their children what happened.

“I can’t say that I’ve found a good way to explain it to my children yet,” she said.

The pastor said they have already returned donations that had been collected and will be looking for another veterans group to help.

1 posted on 02/04/2013 5:30:38 PM PST by lqcincinnatus
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To: lqcincinnatus

Since you didn’t bother to comment I will

Wounded Warriors did not reject the church’s money as such. What they said was you have to raise money in a certain way. The church didn’t and so that donation was politely rejected. The church had NO business violating the request of WW. If you want to give to an organization follow their fund raising rules other wise find some place else to donate.

It was not just the money it was an EVENT to raise the money that was the key. Had the church just had a yard sale or a bake sale or simply put out collection cans and have people staff those on the street corner they would have been fine. Tough Mudders supports WW by meeting the criteria. This church has no gripe as far as I am concerned. Seems to me they just wanted to play big shot and say look at me look at me, rather than really helpour wounded heroes.


2 posted on 02/04/2013 5:37:33 PM PST by Nifster
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To: lqcincinnatus

What is this? They don’t accept donations officially collected from religious organizations?

Perhaps I misunderstand this. I hope so.

If true, we have lost our way completely.


3 posted on 02/04/2013 5:38:08 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: Nifster

Hm. I guess I look at a bake sale as an event...what was it they did wrong? Did they have a church service at the same time and pass a plate around or something?


4 posted on 02/04/2013 5:45:46 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

I remember a few months ago that WWP refused donations from a group that supported 2nd amendment issues.


5 posted on 02/04/2013 5:47:51 PM PST by JABit (Another retired vet.)
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To: Nifster

The article explained nothing.

I went to the site under the FAQ and there was a question what fundraisers does WWP not support? and it said “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual or political in nature and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands.”

If you know why they don’t allow something the church was doing, would you be willing to post it here? There are a lot of Freepers, including myself who donate every year to this organization, and would be interested in understanding this. Perhaps there is some kind of tax reason they can’t, but I would like to know more.


6 posted on 02/04/2013 5:54:35 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: Nifster

The article explained nothing.

I went to the site under the FAQ and there was a question what fundraisers does WWP not support? and it said “WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual or political in nature and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands.”

If you know why they don’t allow something the church was doing, would you be willing to post it here? There are a lot of Freepers, including myself who donate every year to this organization, and would be interested in understanding this. Perhaps there is some kind of tax reason they can’t, but I would like to know more.


7 posted on 02/04/2013 5:54:35 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

WW issues a press release saying it was a mistake. Although their website apparently does say they wont accept donations from religious organizations.


8 posted on 02/04/2013 6:01:42 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Nifster
Sorry, I disagree. This is not the first dust up with the Wounded Warrior Project. “Non Partisan” doesn't mean prohibited from accepting money from “religious” organizations anymore than there is a “separation of Church and State” to be found in the Constitution.
This is a very public way of saying “We don’t do business with ‘those people’.”
If they tried that with blacks, or gays or other “PC” groups they'd be under Federal indictment.
I don't believe WW Project needs my support.
9 posted on 02/04/2013 6:09:03 PM PST by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: driftdiver

I did a search on their website for “religion” and got no hits. A search for “religious” gave one hit, and it dealt with organizations that wanted to get a grant from WWP to administer to vets on their own:

*******************************
Before submitting a letter of interest, please read through our FAQs to determine your organization’s grant eligibility. The following opportunities are not eligible for WWP funding:

State or federal programs
Debt reduction
Annual appeals and fundraising events
Political action or religious groups
Medical or academic research
Think tanks
Any activities that include alcohol
Endowments
*******************************

I don’t get the impression that this was what the church was trying to do...it sounded like they just wanted to send them money. I simply don’t get this.


10 posted on 02/04/2013 6:10:49 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

OK, who runs the “charity”, how much are they making in salary and what is their political affiliation?


11 posted on 02/04/2013 6:13:46 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

Didn’t WW’s CEO recently try to walk back an appearance on a gun radio show and only make it worse the more he explained. Do I also recall that the guy’s salary was HUGE?

Sounds like WW has no clue about their donor/demographics.


12 posted on 02/04/2013 6:15:11 PM PST by Let's Roll (Save the world's best healthcare - REPEAL, DEFUND Obamacare!)
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To: Let's Roll

Here is link to questions I raised about WWP. Scroll down.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/search?m=all;o=time;q=quick;s=wounded%20warrior


13 posted on 02/04/2013 6:19:23 PM PST by Let's Roll (Save the world's best healthcare - REPEAL, DEFUND Obamacare!)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

I give a decently sized donation to them every year around Christmas, and if they have some bizarre rationale, I want to know so I can choose.

They may have a very good reason, some kind of tax handcuff of some sort, but...I would like to know more.

I find it is getting harder for me to donate and not feel my money is being misused. Everyone has some kind of reason not to donate here and not to donate there. Every year I give to WWP, The Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, the SemperFi Fund, the Fisher House, and the USO.

I decided not to give to the USO this year (and donated that elsewhere) because it seemed the USO jumped into bed with JC Penney with both feet, and I have issues with JCP.

It seems like everything has a seamy underbelly. Although, I did have a group I met through the DC chapter of FR who purchased laptops for wounded soldiers, and 100% of the money donated purchased laptops that were delivered...THAT was a great group, but I don’t think they are doing it anymore.


14 posted on 02/04/2013 6:20:14 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

Wounded warriors anti-gun?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2960768/posts

WWP allocates 55 percent of its revenue to program expenses and 44.8 percent to fundraising and administrative expenses.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2959552/posts

give the money to the Fisher House Foundation... which provides free housing for the families of the wounded warriors and other veterans. A better organization that does not waste the money on bloated overhead.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2984595/posts

Steven Nardizzi, the $319k/year salary — Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project, fumbled badly out of the gate in his efforts to diffuse the brouhaha over his group’s refusal to participate on Gun Talk Radio last weekend on Veteran’s Day.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2961122/posts


15 posted on 02/04/2013 6:21:03 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: rlmorel
This story has a little more info - http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/wounded-warrior-project-apologizes-for-rejecting-church-donation.html

It includes an image of the email from WWP rejecting the donations.


16 posted on 02/04/2013 6:22:55 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Let's Roll

Compensation % of Expenses - 0.55%

$319,692 -Steven Nardizz - Executive Director


17 posted on 02/04/2013 6:23:55 PM PST by kcvl
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To: USMCPOP

Hey, USMCPOP, how you been doing? What is your take on this?


18 posted on 02/04/2013 6:24:01 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: Let's Roll

Compensation % of Expenses - 0.55%

$319,692 -Steven Nardizz - Executive Director


19 posted on 02/04/2013 6:24:15 PM PST by kcvl
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To: Let's Roll

Compensation % of Expenses - 0.55%

$319,692 -Steven Nardizzi - Executive Director


20 posted on 02/04/2013 6:24:48 PM PST by kcvl
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To: lqcincinnatus

Steven Nardizzi, the $319k/year Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project, fumbled badly out of the gate in his efforts to diffuse the brouhaha over his group’s refusal to participate on Gun Talk Radio last weekend on Veteran’s Day.

The whole disaster was spurred when their communications director declined the invitation to promote WWP on Gun Talk Radio because of the gun-related content of the nationally syndicated radio show.

Late last week, WWP announced their executive director would appear on Gresham’s show to clarify the WWP position, in addition to offering some weaselese language that they respected everyone’s right to their rights to gun ownership – sorta like President Obama begins his self-description.  “I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, but…”

Nardizzi, for being so well-paid, utterly fumbled.

He tried to spin his way out of the mess but only managed to spin himself in deeper, offering all sorts of weak excuses why WWP couldn’t partner with gun-related sponsors.  He cited sponsorships with cyclists and how WWP had cut back on those sponsorships because of some sort of inferior return on investment.

Gresham pressed Nardizzi, saying that WWP had even changed language on their website from firearms to the more incendiary word “weapon”.

Nardizzi offered every excuse imaginable, but in the end Gresham pinned him down as saying that while gun owners are absolutely welcome to send money to WWP, they could not use the logo.

Gresham said that sounds an awful lot like WWP not wanting to associate with gun owners.  “We’ll take your money, but we don’t want to be seen with you,” Gresham said, paraphrasing him.

Nardizzi tried to deny this, but it was a lost cause to anyone with half a lick of common sense and intelligence.

“We’ll take your money and you can do fundraisers for us, but we won’t let you use our logo!” Tom says, mocking Nardizzi’s attempts to spin the truth.

http://www.gunssavelife.com/?p=3467


21 posted on 02/04/2013 6:28:57 PM PST by kcvl
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To: driftdiver

Thanks, dd...although I admit it isn’t any clearer to me. Either they do or they don’t have a policy, and if they do have one, are they just trying to change it under the radar so they don’t attract attention?

This is something fishy about this to me.

If they do accept from religious organizations, there isn’t an issue.

If they don’t, why not? Non-profit regulations of some kind? Tax reasons? Atheist groups watching their every move, waiting to pounce? Leadership at WWP dislike religious organizations and want nothing to do with them?


22 posted on 02/04/2013 6:29:36 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: rlmorel

From that story it appears they think churches will collect money under false pretenses.


23 posted on 02/04/2013 6:31:26 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

Steven Nardizzi

24 posted on 02/04/2013 6:32:19 PM PST by kcvl
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To: driftdiver

Well, it is probably true there are at least a few “churches” out there that might, but I wouldn’t think that would be widespread.


25 posted on 02/04/2013 6:33:36 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: driftdiver

Steven Nardizzi’s passion for helping wounded veterans began as a temporary job to help him afford night classes at law school.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-04-06/story/temp_job_no_longer_temp_for_new_leader#ixzz2JzJvQPsg


26 posted on 02/04/2013 6:39:14 PM PST by kcvl
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Freepers, your Contributions make every difference!
Please keep ‘em coming! Thank you all very much!

27 posted on 02/04/2013 6:44:10 PM PST by RedMDer (HEY LIBS! GUN FREE ZONE T-SHIRTS AVAILABLE NOW. I DARE YA!)
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To: Nifster

Here’s MY “criteria”.

If you reject fundraising by organizations, religious in nature, I will find a different way to support those in need.


28 posted on 02/04/2013 6:44:26 PM PST by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

There was some sort of rift over firearms related donations as well. Seems odd to me.


29 posted on 02/04/2013 6:46:12 PM PST by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: kcvl

I’m a disabled vet and I don’t think I’ll give to them anymore.


30 posted on 02/04/2013 6:46:15 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: USMCPOP

Good question. They seem to spend a lot on advertising - including a Superbowl ad if I’m not mistaken. How many vets could have been helped for life vs. the cost of one ad. Maybe they’ll raise 5 times the cost of the ad, who knows. But in my experience, charity is best when it comes from the heart at a personal level. No overhead, no politics.


31 posted on 02/04/2013 6:47:17 PM PST by JTHomes (28th: Congress shall make no law respecting economics , or prohibiting the free exercise of markets)
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To: Nifster
Wounded Warriors did not reject the church’s money as such. What they said was you have to raise money in a certain way. The church didn’t and so that donation was politely rejected. The church had NO business violating the request of WW. If you want to give to an organization follow their fund raising rules other wise find some place else to donate.

BULL FAECES!!

The evidence points strongly to the contrary. Your position appears to be pulled from thin air.

My money will go to support organizations with a real agenda of helping those whom they profess to be helping.

WWP simply is not even close to being there. They have an agenda, maybe even a mission, but certainly not a cause,at least not the one they profess.

32 posted on 02/04/2013 6:49:05 PM PST by NonLinear (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.)
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To: driftdiver

Seems they do not want support/donations from those of us that cling to our religion and/or guns. Where have we heard that before? Also seems the amount of money for their overhead is pretty high. I don’t think they need a donation from hubby and I anymore either.


33 posted on 02/04/2013 6:53:46 PM PST by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: rlmorel

“What is your take on this?”

Sounds a little funky to me, Bob. Don’t know those folks personally.

I’ve been getting by and thanks for asking. The young one has turned out to be a smart-ass, right-wing, war mongering little piece of work. What’s a proud Dad supposed to do?


34 posted on 02/04/2013 7:16:24 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: JTHomes

“Good question. They seem to spend a lot on advertising - including a Superbowl ad if I’m not mistaken. How many vets could have been helped for life vs. the cost of one ad. Maybe they’ll raise 5 times the cost of the ad, who knows. But in my experience, charity is best when it comes from the heart at a personal level. No overhead, no politics.”

Yep. When my older boy got killed, I suggested that people donate to charities. But I did try and vet a few, even at that inopportune time. Fischer House, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and another that doesn’t come immediately to mind all checked out pretty well as far as percentage of funds passed through. My son was no fool and I wasn’t going to get duped at the time just because I was vulnerable.


35 posted on 02/04/2013 7:27:43 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: Let's Roll

And what does Trace Atkins get in return for his shilling for them?


36 posted on 02/04/2013 7:32:45 PM PST by Tucker39
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To: JABit

“I remember a few months ago that WWP refused donations from a group that supported 2nd amendment issues.”

I believe you are correct. I think if a charitable organization doesn’t want my money because they don’t like me, my culture or my positions, some other charity at least as worthy will.

No big deal, just don’t call me in the future.


37 posted on 02/04/2013 7:34:30 PM PST by Psalm 144 (Capitol to the districts: "May the odds be ever in your favor.")
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To: kcvl

Does that mean his compensation is less than one percent or more than 50 percent of expenses?

At $319,692 I would have to think the latter since that would be a TON of “expenses” otherwise.


38 posted on 02/04/2013 7:38:41 PM PST by Let's Roll (Save the world's best healthcare - REPEAL, DEFUND Obamacare!)
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To: USMCPOP

Awesome. I like the sound of that...:)


39 posted on 02/04/2013 7:44:36 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: lqcincinnatus

Really? The same Wound Warrior group that uses the song “Say a prayer for peace” won’t accept money raised by religious groups?

So they’ll use religion to get money but not accept money if it’s religious in nature... gotcha...


40 posted on 02/04/2013 7:45:56 PM PST by Skywise
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To: rlmorel

“Awesome. I like the sound of that...:)”

Hey, he’s cute and I love to hug him unless he’s carrying concealed. But lumpy love is better then no love at all.


41 posted on 02/04/2013 8:58:59 PM PST by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: Nifster

Baloney. They stated they would not accept the church’s money due to the religious connection. I have been on their site numerous times, went to every link and I did not find one sentence saying they would not accept “religious” money. I will not support them-—ever.


42 posted on 02/04/2013 9:18:07 PM PST by MamaB
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To: george76

give the money to the Fisher House Foundation... which provides free housing for the families of the wounded warriors and other veterans. A better organization that does not waste the money on bloated overhead
*******
A-men.


43 posted on 02/04/2013 10:23:40 PM PST by Finalapproach29er (God humbles and (if need be) destroys the false idols of the peoples. Be patient, folks...)
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To: rlmorel

What sort of false pretense would a church ever want to use for that kind of purpose? Like redirecting funds that it said were for remodeling the church? No makes sense. This ought to be filed in the “beggars that are choosy are stupid” department.


44 posted on 02/05/2013 8:37:54 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

We are in agreement. But, it is a fact there do exist some disreputable churches that would be capable of scamming in some sort of way, but to disallow religious organizations due to a very small population is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Your “beggars that are choosy are stupid” comment rings true to me. I am seriously reconsidering giving to them based on what I have seen, with this seeming mealy-mouthed explanation. I don’t like what I have seen, not one bit.


45 posted on 02/05/2013 8:57:22 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: rlmorel

This charity spends such a small proportion of its donations on actual veterans that, and I beg people’s pardon for saying so, it almost seems to be treating these veterans like show pets. Except that a show pet society would probably spend a greater proportion of funds on its show pets.

I think the cause is getting milked and bilked through the WWP. Far better to do something like visit your VA and find out who needs help locally.


46 posted on 02/05/2013 9:07:43 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Yes...I had this very discussion with a Freeper back in December. He suggested, as you do, that I find needy veterans close to home.

That may be the tack I take...thanks for the suggestion.


47 posted on 02/06/2013 4:40:10 PM PST by rlmorel (1793 French Jacobins and 2012 American Liberals have a lot in common.)
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To: Nifster

I’m not donating to this anymore. CEO makes $319,000/yr, dis gun groups, now this.


48 posted on 02/06/2013 4:44:19 PM PST by stevio (God, guns, guts.)
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To: rlmorel

The church was taking a special offering during a church service....I think that what WW worries about is the idea that the general public cannot participate in such an event and hence they chose to not accept the money.


49 posted on 02/07/2013 9:29:56 AM PST by Nifster
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