On May 28, Memorial Day, we honor those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for our great county. Memorial Day honors their service and sacrifice. Nearly 850 Veterans are buried in Lakeview Cemetery.
As Memorial Day approaches, it’s a good time to remind the patriotic citizens of New Canaan to be aware of phony organizations who “solicit” on behalf of Veterans. Recently, Peter Langenus, the Commander of New Canaan’s Veterans of Foreign War Post 653 received a telephone call from a shopper who had been approached for a monetary donation in front of a store in New Canaan.
The shopper thought that the solicitor’s military uniform seemed to be a mismatch of different uniforms and different branches of the service. She asked Mr. Langenus to confirm the status of the organization soliciting funds. Mr. Langenus went to the store and confirmed the shopper’s suspicions. The solicitor was wearing a hodgepodge of outdated uniforms and was relying on the goodness of New Canaan residents to donate monies to him. The organization on behalf of whom the solicitor was working is an organization over 100 miles from New Canaan. Many of these solicitors are not Veterans, and are not volunteers, but are a paid a percentage of what they collect from the New Canaan Community.
As Memorial Day approaches, we expect more bogus organizations and individuals to contact unsuspecting town residents who assume that they are donating to a legitimate charity. The New Canaan Post 653 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) solicits for funds just twice a year, before Memorial Day and before Christmas.
On the weekend of May 26 and May 27, New Canaan VFW members will solicit donations in front of Dunkin Donuts, in front of Walter Stewarts Market and in front of Acme Market. These men will wear hats that identify them as New Canaan VFW members. The funds collected all stay in New Canaan and are used only for legitimate purposes such as flags placed on Veteran’s gravesites just before Memorial Day and Christmas Wreaths placed on Veterans’ gravesites each December. Know that you can trust the members of our local VFW.
Memorial Day is prime time for bogus charities to claim they are benefiting our nation’s veterans. Scammers often invent authentic “organizations” to solicit funds. Before donating, check the charity’s name and reputation at www.charitynavigator.org. If you are unsure of whether an organization is a legitimate charity, please contact our department at 203-594-3500 or contact me directly at 203-594-3512, before you donate and we will help you make an informed decision.
This Memorial Day let’s honor those whom made the ultimate sacrifice, and not line the pockets of scammers. Contributing to legitimate charities like our local VFW helps our Veterans-especially the hundreds of Veterans that live in New Canaan. Let’s celebrate the lives and legacies of those Veterans we have lost, lost but never forgotten and always revered.