- 2009: Company was originally founded as “Wounded Warriors of South Florida” and proudly built a history and a reputation for placing veterans first.
- 2014: We reorganized and elected our current Board President, Lt. Gen. Robert Chelberg, USA (Ret.) which set our current program structure and mission in motion.
- 2016: Michael Durkee was appointed our Executive Director after having served as one of our Community Liaisons in 2014 and a Board Member in 2015. In 2016, our network grew to include all of Florida, which increased our network of disabled veterans by thousands more who may qualify for our assistance. We adopted our new name, Wounded Veterans Relief Fund, which more accurately depicts our brand, mission and identity. It also assists in removing brand confusion with an unaffiliated non-profit organization.
- 2017-2022: Our organization continues to grow with the help of all of our supporters, community partnerships, and our passionate & dedicated team. We continue to help thousands of veterans.
We promise to grow wisely and keep administrative costs as low as possible. We are a metric-driven organization. Using project and donor management software, we are driven by hard data for short and long term decisions.
We pride ourselves on 85% of all donated funds going directly toward veteran assistance. Our financial records are maintained by a CPA firm to observe, monitor, and audit financial accounts and for tax preparation and submission. Click here for information on our financials.
Wounded Veterans Relief Fund
Emergency Financial Assistance Program FAQ
What does the Wounded Veterans Relief Fund do?
Our mission is to provide emergency financial assistance and professional services to qualified, disabled Florida Veterans to save lives and keep families together.
Where does WVRF operate?
WVRF operates throughout the entire state of Florida. We work with the VA’s that operate within VISN-8 and the portion of VISN-16 that falls on Florida’s panhandle.
How can I contact WVRF?
Please look through our website for any information you may need before emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us directly at 561.855.4207
Who is eligible to receive assistance?
Disabled Veterans who:
- Have a service-connected disability rating of 30% or more. (Those with an active pending service-connected disability claim are also eligible. *Must show proof of pending claim)
- Were honorably discharged
- Are a Florida resident currently residing in the state of Florida
- Currently enrolled in the VAMC
What would exclude a veteran from being eligible?
A Veteran Who:
- Is not residing in Florida
- Was dishonorably discharged
- Was in a foreign Military
- Not enrolled in the VA Healthcare system
- Does not have a Service-Connected Disability Rating
Emergency Financial Assistance
How does a veteran get the application for WVRF?
We only accept referrals from within the VA hospitals. Social Workers, Case Managers or Counselors within the VA Health Care System in Florida (hospitals, clinics, and Vet Centers) can provide the veteran with the application and VA Release of Information. If the veteran lacks transportation or time to physically get to the VA, a digital signature application can be emailed to both the veteran and VA rep as long as the VA rep has verified the veteran. This application can be easily completed from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
**VA reps: if you do not have our intake form, please send an email to any of the WVRF Case Managers in order to receive all the information necessary to refer veterans.
What if a veteran does not know who their social worker is?
The veteran would need to call their primary care team at the VA and ask for their social worker’s information. Every PACT team at every clinic has a social worker assigned. The veteran can also utilize the MyHealtheVet website and it lists all of their providers and their contact information.
What types of expenses does WVRF help cover?
- Shelter- Mortgage/rent, transitional housing, temp hotel rooms, first and last month’s rent (no security deposit)
- Utilities- Electric, water/trash/sewer, gas/propane
- Transportation- Vehicle loan payment, vehicle insurance, and emergency vehicle repair costs *Limits apply
- Misc.- Childcare, job certification training, minor home repairs, and more
Is there anything you do not help with?
WVRF does not assist with routine vehicle maintenance, credit card bills, personal loans, payments of tickets, legal fees, deposits, tolls or any other form of indebtedness.
Do you have an income limit in order to be eligible?
No. While there is no income limit, we will look at a veteran’s financials and their situation as a whole to determine if financial assistance is necessary.
How long does the whole process take?
Once we have all the required documents, (Application, ROI, bank statements, billing statements) our turnover rate can be between 24-72 business hours. A higher volume of requests may create delays.
What do you need for a completed assistance package?
We require bank statements for all checking, savings & investment accounts for the most recent 90 days, the most recent billing statement for the bill they are requesting assistance with (mortgage statement, lease, move-in letter, auto loan statement, electric bill, etc) or a ledger in order to assist with rent. Every document must be dated within a 30 day period in order to be considered eligible. Also, any other documentation a veteran may have to support their need for financial assistance.
How does the veteran send over the documents needed for their request for assistance?
The documents can be sent directly to the Case Manager via email, fax, or a secure HelloSign link.
Does a veteran have to pay back the money if they are approved for assistance?
No, the assistance we provide is grant based.
How do the bills get paid?
WVRF Case Managers pay the creditors directly via phone, online, or mail.
How many times can a veteran get help from WVRF?
Once every 24 months from the date of last assistance given. There is a cap on the dollar amount of assistance per veteran as well.
What kind of donations do you take?
We can only accept monetary donations or in-kind donations for silent auction items.
How can I donate?
You can donate via:
- Our Website Wvrf.org/support/donate
- Mail-In Check
- Our Facebook
How can I give back to WVRF?
You can give back by:
- Being an Ambassador
- Telling others about us
- Hosting a fundraising event for us
How can I sign-up to volunteer?
Through the sign-up form on our website www.wvrf.org/volunteer
Do you take furniture / clothing donations?
No, we encourage people to reach out to their local VA, VFW, DAV, or American Legion post about donating furniture, clothing, or other gently used household items.
What types of events does WVRF host?
We have fundraising events such as golfing tournaments, pickleball tournaments, art showcases, fishing tournaments, tennis expos, 5ks, and our annual gala. We are open to new events throughout the State of Florida!
Where does WVRF receive funding from?
WVRF does not receive any government grants or aid, therefore, we rely heavily on our community, philanthropic groups, and our amazing corporate sponsors.