Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a charity and a Congressional chartered Veterans Service Organization that offers a variety of programs, service and events for wounded veterans of any military conflict following September 11, 2001. It is listed as a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization. This ‘charity’ has as its Motto: ‘The greatest casualty is being forgotten’.
There are three (3) major organizations that measure ‘charities’….WWP has been given a ‘high’ by one, a ‘low’ by another and a ‘mediocre’ score by a third. The complaint by a number of vocal veterans (some of whom have been sued by WWP….WWP does not like criticism in any form by anyone) and the public in general is due to the fact that the CEO makes nearly $500, 000/year (yes, that is one half a million dollars per year) and that WWP holds lavish sales events and meetings in expensive hotels while flying its top executives around the world in business class. It also spends an inordinate amount of money on 'advertising'.
The NYTimes article and CBS investigation turned up a number of incidences that the hierarchy of WWP feel should probably/most likely be kept ‘internal’…such as how the original founder was more or less forced out by the existing CEO and how any veteran that is hired must ‘tow the line’ or will lose his/her position quite quickly….how the veterans (employees as well as others) are treated if they do not ‘tow the line’.
As a general population, should we be upset with how the management of Wounded Warrior Project is behaving? Yes, I think we should. However, that does not mean we should stop supporting the organization. There is a little known way that ‘donors’ or ‘contributors’ can ‘control’ where their money goes in a charitable organization.
I, for one, find it offensive that WWP has on air time that probably costs the organization thousands of dollars (let alone millions; I’m not up on advertising costs), therefore, if I am going to donate to WWP, I would send my check or donation along with a letter stating that I prefer my donation to go to a fund that directly helps the veteran….possibly, the backpack program which is the program that the original founder, John Melia (Veteran, wounded in a helicopter crash while serving in Somalia in 1992) began back in 2003…with the help of family/friends, Melia began to assemble backpacks containing simple items such as shorts, t-shirts, socks, underwear, toiletries and hygiene items, CD players, CDS and playing cards (what a great idea, don’t you think?)…These backpacks were distributed to wounded veterans at Walter Reed Medical Center….this program is still an integral part of the WWP activities……
My big concern with this group is the lawsuits that it brings against individuals and other NFP’s that happen to have disagreements with the WWP. The management of WWP needs to remember that this is a democracy that we live in and individuals are permitted, and in many cases, entitled to express their displeasure and, if necessary, disdain, when they feel the behavior of an individual or an organization is not in the best interest of the group that is expected to be served.
Having a staffing component to SCB Services, LLC makes me aware of the many organizations out there that put the veteran first under all circumstances….and don’t have lavish sales meetings or DO fly with the masses and DO attempt to give every single penny that can go to the help, rehabilitation, treatment of any veteran for any malady or injury that was incurred during service to the United States. These other organizations know that the monies and help should be directed to those in need and should not be utilized to line the pockets of the executives ‘in charge’.
If you are capable of donating money or time, please consider donating to an organization or cause that a larger percentage of time and money go into the direct recipient and not to the executives or the marketing. There are many ways to obtain the same ‘results’…meaning large donations…than paying individuals way too much money and advertising on national television. If anyone is interested in hearing how, please contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-947-7063 or at firstname.lastname@example.org