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Joe Lewis

Donations to Illinois veterans charity mostly go to pay telemarketers

Donations to Illinois veterans charity mostly go to pay telemarketers

To address the profound and unmet needs of veterans, Americans last year donated $1.4 million to a Rockford charity called VietNow National Headquarters. But most of the money — about 85 percent — went to for-profit phone solicitors, and most of the rest was spent on VietNow's own administrative costs and a convention, public tax filings show. The fraction of donations spent on direct service to former military personnel and their families did not even reach 7 percent in 2014. The charity gives out scholarships to youths, but it reported only a handful, worth $3,985. "It may not seem like much, but it's the best we could do. That's probably the best...

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