VFW Gives Back To Community
It’s always better to give than receive, or so the saying goes. At Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #655 in McConnellsburg, the board of directors and members strictly adhere to that saying and as of last Thursday morning have handed out more than $76,000 throughout the course of the year.
Post Cmdr. George Cutchall sat down with the “News” that day to review new state guidelines that took effect in February and how those rules have affected the VFW. According to Cutchall, the new regulations established by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Enforcement require 70 percent of money raised through gaming ventures, such as jars and tickets, be given away for the “common good of the community.”
As a result, the VFW has been monitoring its intake of funds on a weekly basis and has been distributing on average $6,000 per month to needy organizations and groups in Fulton County and the surrounding area. Criteria is based upon a charitable organization submitting a letter of request on an official letterhead to the VFW through its 524 East Poplar Street location.
Cutchall stated that during the VFW’s monthly meetings with its board and members those on hand decide on how the available funds will be distributed. It is possible for a group to receive more than what it has initially requested, he added.
The post commander further said the VFW is unable to help certain individuals with their needs, medical bills and expenses as regulations require that the recipient be nonprofit and be beneficial to the community as a whole. In addition, it cannot donate money to organizations that have not yet been incorporated.
The VFW’s giving has extended throughout Fulton County and beyond this year to help a multitude of organizations with varying needs. Among those that have received assistance in 2012 are the Fulton County Food Basket; the Mason-Dixon chapter of Boy Scouts of America; the Alumni Association; HOBY; the county’s three senior citizen centers; the county’s three school districts through their drama clubs, bands or booster clubs; the Fulton County Library; Fulton County Camp Cadet; Fight Like a Girl; Fulton County chapter of the American Cancer Society; Mason-Dixon chapter of Safari Club International for Wounded Warrior hunts; the Blind Association; and OSI.
Furthermore, Cutchall also said the VFW has also established a scholarship fund that awards a total of three scholarships annually to a graduating senior from the Forbes Road, Central Fulton and Southern Fulton school districts.
The response from grateful recipients within the community has been overwhelming, assuring VFW members that it is indeed better to give than receive, he concluded.