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In the past two weeks, this office was contacted due to solicitations made by two organizations – Millis AMVETS Post 495 and Bay State Veterans.

“Millis AMVETS Post 495” is an AMVETs post headquartered in Millis, MA. The post contracted a telephonic fund raising entity to seek donations for the post’s various programs. The solicitations usually ask the donor to leave a check at a location on the donor’s property.

Speaking with two members of AMVETS Chapter 495, donations are split — 25 percent to the AMVETs post and 75 percent to the company doing the solicitations.

“Bay State Veterans” is an unknown organization soliciting donations by telephone. A search in the Corporation Database administered by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts returned NO information on this entity. The Corporate Database is on the website — http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/corp/corpsearch/corpsearchinput.asp.

I can neither promote nor deny either organization or their methods of solicitation.

I do recommend some general concepts on solicitations.

DONOR BEWARE — Do homework on the charity. This office uses the Corporate Database cited. I also use Charity Navigator, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, which evaluates charitable organizations. Charity Navigator’s website is: http://www.charitynavigator.org. In the search box, enter “veteran” and review the 48 organizations that are evaluated.

PERSONAL SAFETY — While some solicitors offer to pickup donations at your home, ensure that your personal safety is always protected, i.e. lock doors and set alarms if not at home, have another person be at home with you, etc.

LOCAL CHARITY/REPUTABLE CHARITY — Local charities involve friends and neighbors and are risk-averse to be embarrassed by bad associations.

Some reputable veteran or service member focused charities? A home grown one (Taunton, MA) is Homes for Our Troops. Another is the Fischer House Foundation.

Serving veterans,

I am

Dennis M. Lyddy

Veterans’ Services Agent

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