We will be closed Thursday so our volunteers can spend Thanksgiving with their families. We also will be closed on Tuesday and Thursday of Christmas week.
During the last couple weeks, we have received several donations of the following handicap items: adjustable hospital bed, electric wheelchair and a small scooter with receiver-type carriers and those that mount in a pickup bed. These types of items are free to veterans and their families at no charge.
Our only goal is to recycle them to the next veteran when they are no longer needed. We also have other items such as push wheelchairs, shower chairs and canes that are available for those who are in need.
We spend a lot of money on copy paper, printer toner and other types of consumable items that any office uses. We make up a wish list of these types of items that are needed daily and print them occasionally in our newsletters. This enables some of the men and women who we help each week to give back in a way that is affordable and needed. We want to spend as much of our money as possible in support of veterans and their families.
Congratulations to veteran of the week Jonathan Hernandez, who served in the Gulf War as a member of the U.S. Army. He lives in Elgin. Thank you for your service, sir. You are greatly appreciated.
For those of you who were reading this column last January, we wrote that during 2018, we assisted over 1,000 veterans in receiving a 100% disability rating. This year is going to be another record year, as we near our goal of 1,200 veterans receiving a 100% rating. When 2020 rolls around, I will give a breakdown on the number who are Oklahomans.
Last week, 26 veterans were rated at 100%, and they will receive a combined $1,066,279 a year. Year to date for 2019, 1,112 veterans have been rated at 100% and receive a combined $44,830,184 yearly. Last week, 66 veterans were rated 10% to 90% and will receive an annual combined $1,022,469. Year to date, this group of 2,271 veterans is receiving a combined yearly $36,283,328.
Another positive thing that is starting next week is the lease on the building next door, which will enable us to add more volunteers. As we start setting up the added volunteer workstations, there will be a need to add more laptop computers and printers.
If any of you would like to help with the cost or to purchase some of them, visit with Executive Director Lora Malone. We prefer to use the same types of laser printers to cut down on the many types of cartridges. Hopefully, we will be able to reduce the wait time that many of our veterans must endure.
Our drivers have been working overtime transporting veterans to our location and to and from Veterans Affairs medical appointments. Thank you to each of them for many hours on the road.
We are a 501c3 nonprofit, which means our services are free. We operate on donations from individuals, businesses and grants we receive. Our budget each month to provide services such as rent, utilities, transportation and medical expenses for the men and women we assist is over $25,000. This equates to over $300,000 per year in services to veterans and their families.
For those of you who want to help us help others, consider becoming a donor. Your gifts should be tax-deductible. Donations can be made on our website or mailed to P.O. Box 592, Washington, OK 73093.
We are available every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 1268 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. We open the doors by 5:30 a.m. and begin working as soon as volunteers have computers ready.
Visit Frequently Asked Questions on dalekgrahamveteransfoundation.org for more information. You also may call 550-8806 for information or to schedule transportation.
Thank you to all veterans and their families for their service to the United States of America. Semper fi.
Dale K. Graham Veterans Foundation is not affiliated with any other organization. Dale K. Graham is a VA accredited claims agent.