CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- When you donate money to local veterans groups do you really know where it's going? One Cape Coral veteran insists the donations are going right into the pockets of out-of-state group, and he's fed up.
So, he's asking the city to take action, and other veteran groups are backing him up.
Bruce Miller is a man on a mission.
The Vietnam Veteran says donations for vets are often taken away from southwest Florida. "This kind of bothers me because it's hurting the fundraising here on the cape," said Miller.
A Lee County ordinance already in place, says organizations that solicit on county roads have to be certified.
"Where only congressionally chartered organizations can collect funds on county roads or county intersections," said Miller. But Miller wants the city of Cape Coral to take action with an ordinance of its own.
Maybe, legally, we can get the stores to not allow these organizations to collect funds.
"We are having a larger than normal demand for assistance," said Craig Blume. He recently created Handy-Vets, an organization that only hires veterans.
He also works with the Florida Veteran's Foundation.
"You don't see those guys in fatigue uniforms standing out in front of a local drugstore, the guys that you see doing that are not affiliated with us," he explained.
Ralph Santillo with the Invest in American's Veterans Foundation says out-of-state solicitors hurt his local organization. "We have over 100,000 veterans in Lee County. Many of them are in need. The money that's going out of this county, that should be staying here," said Santillo.
Miller says he knows his push will take time but he says his effort is worth every penny. "The issue is we have to take care of our own," said Miller.
Many groups tell WINK News if you want to donate do your research to make sure your money goes where you think it's going.
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