Disabled Vets (DV) Farm, a nonprofit focused on veterans, missed out on $4,100 after a woman who was trusted to send a check after a local fundraiser failed to send the collected funds. A group planned an event called “Vehicles for Vets,” and the proceeds were supposed to help support the charity, but the promised money never arrived.
As reported by American Military News, a company called BasketCase was selected to help organize the “Vehicles for Vets” fundraiser, an event that featured classic cars and was meant to help veterans. Sherie Brooks, who runs the Carmichael, California-based business did not send DV Farm any funds after the event, stating that the money was “misappropriated.”
Two of Brooks’ associates reported told Donnie Rochin, a person that helped plan the fundraiser, that Brooks had spent the money.
Rochin and Jessica Rivera, another organizer of the “Vehicles for Vets” event, had originally become concerned when they hadn’t heard from DV Farm regarding the donation. They learned the money was never received, leading them to contact Brooks.
During an interview, Brooks stated that the situation was “being rectified” and that the money “will be returned” but refused to answer any questions regarding where the funds went or how they were spent.
Mike Rivers, the founder of DV Farm, stated the loss “did hurt us this month.” He went on to say, “[DV Farms] had planned our finances around that donation.” According to Rivers, it also taught the organization a valuable lesson: “Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.”
Rivers credited Rochin and Rivera for their efforts as, without their follow up, it’s possible no one would be aware of Brooks mishandling the money. He said, “[Rochin and Rivera] are the ones who kept on [Brooks], and probably pushed her into a corner.
Rivera stated that the “Vehicles for Vets” car show generated more donations than she originally anticipated, and was stunned when the money didn’t arrive as planned. She went on to say, “How can someone do that to veterans, knowing it’s going to veterans that need the help.”
DV Farm is a nonprofit that provides housing, therapy, and rehabilitation services to US veterans, and is based in New Hampshire. Rivera and Rochin have created a GoFundMe page aimed at raising additional funds for DV Farms to replace those that were originally promised. So far, over half of the original $4,100 has been collected in new donations.