UPDATE: CFO defends veterans charity's spending - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: CFO defends veterans charity's spending

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - A new report is calling into question spending by a Vietnam Veterans charity last year.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, "The West Virginia Vietnam Veterans Foundation" in Bluefield spent just a fraction of their funds last year on veterans -- instead devoting most of its money to professional fees and fundraising.

Their spending last year totaled just over $37,000 – and only about $500 dollars was spent on veteran-related activities, according to the report.

The rest of the money paid for basic office fees and the costs of a professional fundraising group, which solicits donations on the foundation's behalf.

WVVA spoke with the CFO Dave Simmons about the report.

Simmons says the charity is suffering from a lack of donations, and that they're so low on funds they are having trouble paying bills and paying for services they provide.

"A lot of it goes to the telemarketers. And then there's the expense of running a corporation," Simmons said. "You can't run nothing without paying electric bills, you can't run nothing without paying Internet or phone. So a lot of times it just doesn't show. And that's what this is. It looks like we're keeping all this money-- we're  not. We don't have any money anymore."

To cut back on expenses, the foundation has done away with its office space and storage spaces, and may even cut off its phone service now.

Simmons says he and some of the board members even pay the operating cost out of their own pockets.

He adds they serve more than 150 veterans each year by taking them to hospitals, as well as providing food and housing.

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