Thursday, November 15, 2007

Negative Press about Soldiers Angels

A disturbing story has arisen in the past week regarding Soldiers Angels, and as a member of Soldiers Angels who has both on this blog and elsewhere on the Internet been a vocal proponent of the Soldiers Angels organization as a charity worth recommending to others, I feel led to weigh in with my thoughts about the story.

The story starts here, with a post on ROK Drop

What caught my eye in that post was this:

"What really surprised me was that the charity group Soldiers’ Angels which is a very well known charitable organization promoted by many milblogs received a D grade."

I was anxious to see Why Soldiers Angels received a "D" grade? so I found the website for the American Institute of Philanthropy.

What I found on their website was that for a payment of $3 (to cover postage and handling) I could get a 'Sample' copy of their  "Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report" 
and I realized that sending the $3 would give me no guarantee that any information about their rating for Soldiers Angels would be included in that 'Sample' report.
OK, so how Do I receive a copy of the full report?  Well, I have to donate at least $40 to become a member.
and then I can receive a copy of the full "Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report."
I'm not prepared to spend $40 right now in order to gain a copy of their report, but if there's anyone out there who has done so? I'd sure like to hear If AIP lists in the report Why they gave Soldiers Angels a "D" rating? (Because I'm not sure,from the listing on this link here 
if they even Have a rating on Soldiers Angels listed in the Report? Soldiers Angels is not included in that list.)
I found something else on the AIP 'home' page that upset me, this article:
Soldiers Angels gave their response to this article  here
 I haven't seen too many bloggers mentioning this yet,but
Greta was the first to respond,with this post
and please go read her entire post, as she includes links in it to ABC's original story,ABC's follow-up story,the video from ABC (in None of which, I might add, Soldiers Angels was mentioned) and there is also a link to the report card from AIP  which simply lists Soldiers Angels as having a 'D' rating,without saying Why.
and then Holly,who is The penultimate 'blogging Soldiers Angel',IMHO, posts, and questions whether the AIP report card affected giving to the Valour IT project this year
and Holly has more indepth coverage than I of what is on the AIP website, plus be sure and check out the comments on her post.  It's in those comments that I was led to this post by Sister Toldjah Click here: Sister Toldjah » Project Valour-IT update
which led me to this post by lawhawk 
which made me aware that Soldiers Angels financials are available online here
I am not in any way qualified to make a comment on the Soldiers Angels financials, but I wanted to be sure that people are aware that this information Is freely and readily available online.(or,in other don't have to pay $40 to view it.)
There are also several good comments on Holly's post by Beth at 
one of which mentions the BBB Wise Giving Report
When I decided to become a member of Soldiers Angels over two years ago, I came across this BBB Report while researching whether SA was a charity I could commit to, and I agree with Beth's comment on Holly's post, that the BBB's reservations about Soldiers Angels primarily seemed to be concerned with 'paperwork stuff."  I read the report back in 2005, and decided that I could in good conscience become a member of Soldiers Angels, and support them.
And,despite this current negative press about Soldiers Angels, I still believe in the organization and what they are doing.
Because,for me, the bottom line is encompassed in one sentence here in the post on Soldiers Angels Network about Patti Patton-Bader winning the Microsoft Above and Beyond Award
" Since (2003), the group's 100,000 members have sent tens of thousands of care packages and hundreds of thousands of letters to make sure no soldier is forgotten while serving."
And that's really what it's all about for me, and why I continue to be proud to say that I'm a member of   Soldiers Angels



1 comment:

ceilisundancer said...

Isn't most of the stuff sent from the individual directly to the soldier?  

Sigh, well, I don't think a lot of any group that requires $40. in order to receive a look at their "financials."  

Thank you for reporting this, so that people reading your blog can continue to get information, good or bad, about Soldier's Angel's, which apparently has nothing to hide:)