Rifle nonprofit seeks help in tough economic times | PostIndependent.com

Rifle nonprofit seeks help in tough economic times

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Joe Carpenter, director of Vet Trans, a new nonprofit based in Rifle whose focus is helping military veterans get compensation and medical care for service-related injuries, asked county commissioners for funding to help out the start-up survive these tough economic times.

Carpenter is also the county’s veterans’ service officer, and he told county commissioners Monday that he would like to see the county help out if they could.

“We don’t need a lot of money, but $30,000 to $40,000 a year would take care of what we need,” Carpenter said.

County commissioners recommended that Carpenter put together a package of information and seek a human services grant through the Garfield County Human Services Department.

“That is something that we are going to try and do,” Carpenter said.

Vet Trans has only been operating for a “few months,” according to Carpenter but is now a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. The organization began because Carpenter and other local volunteers found that there were a number of local veterans needing help with filing paperwork for service-related injuries or other more simple tasks of just getting a ride to the hospital for an appointment.

“A lot of them were just fending for themselves, and I can’t do that,” Carpenter said. “I’m a veteran, so I help out.”

Carpenter said that to start the organization he had been receiving donations from churches and private citizens who were giving him money “out of their pocket,” he said.

“It’s just outgrown itself, and we need some help now,” he said.

The organization mostly needs a reliable vehicle to provide rides for veterans who don’t have a vehicle or can’t drive. But with that also comes insurance costs and other expenses. However, Carpenter said that he’s got a number of veterans who have offered to drive for free or for a very small stipend.

Carpenter will seek a grant from the county but did not yet know the amount or how soon he would proceed as of Monday.

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