The veterans nonprofit organization Disabled Vets (DV) Farm in New Hampshire is out $4,100 after a local fundraiser failed to donate the funds raised to the organization.
DV Farm provides housing, rehabilitation and therapy to veterans. In April, a group of people planned “Vehicles for Vets,” which combined their passions for classic cars and helping veterans, and all proceeds were to go to DV Farm. That money never made it to the veterans nonprofit.
“It did hurt us this month,” said Mike Rivers, founder of DV Farm, who recently spoke to American Military News about the loss of what was supposed to be a several thousand dollar donation. “We had planned our finances around that donation.”
DV Farm learned a hard lesson, Rivers said: “Never count your chickens before they’re hatched.”
Jessica Rivera and Donnie Rochin helped plan Vehicles for Vets, and when they didn’t hear from DV Farm about the donation, something was suspicious.
Rivera told a local Fox affiliate that she reached out to the group that helped put on the fundraiser – a company called BasketCase that is run by Sherie Brooks out of Carmichael, California – and that, ultimately, the money was “misappropriated.”
Two of Brooks’ associates told Rochin that Brooks spent the money, he told FOX40.
When FOX40 went to Brooks’ home, she said: “It was misappropriated. It’s being rectified and will be returned.”
“[Brooks] refused to answer any questions about how the money was used, where it was or why it has taken so long for her to acknowledge the issue,” FOX40 reported.
Rivera, who said the car show raised more money than she expected, was horrified that someone could do this.
“How could you do this to veterans, after everything they do for us,” Rivera told FOX40.
Brooks had been trusted to give the money to DV Farm, and she did not.
“[DV Farm] banked on that money to help them out,” Rivera told FOX40.
“Those [veterans] are my brothers and sisters who need help. They aren’t getting it from the VA, they aren’t getting it from other organizations. DV Farm is there to give them that help up,” Rochin told FOX40.
“How can someone do that to veterans – knowing it’s going to veterans that need the help,” Rivera said.
“If it wasn’t for those two individuals,” Rivers said, of Rivera and Rochin, no one would probably know that Brooks mishandled the money. “They are ones who kept on her, and probably pushed her in the corner.”
Rivera and Rochin have since set up a GoFundMe to hopefully again raise the funds that were promised to DV Farm.