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Donor Connection Program set to expand.

The DAV Department of Minnesota's Donor Connection Program may soon be expanding to other states and communities. The program, which has connected more than 140 veterans a year in Minnesota with nearly $400,000 in donated medical equipment in 2010 and 2011, has been formatted for distribution to other interested Chapters and Departments.

"Just last week we had a paralyzed Persian Gulf War veteran thank us for receiving two donated handicapped accessible vans. After receiving a van from the VA for his service connected disability, he donated the vans to two other veterans in need," said Dean Ascheman, who started the program in 2007. "With a little bit of coordination, we're able to connect people who have durable medical equipment with veterans who need It."

DAV members who help coordinate the program are credited through the Local Veterans Assistance Program for volunteer hours. Everything from vehicles and stair lifts to scooters and canes are accepted. Typically, the program links donors directly to veterans in need through a database.

As the program has evolved, Ascheman and Gerry Falkowski, who now manages the program, have made it more accessible for Chapters and Departments nationwide who wish to replicate its success in their communities.

"We have a presentation for anyone who is interested. We've done the leg work and made it as simple to implement as possible," said Falkowski. "This program has answered so many unmet needs for veterans in our state, and we're confident it can be successful anywhere in the country."

Included in their presentation is a program overview, information on coordinating with state agencies, archiving resources and automated donor recognition and contact programs.


For more information on the program, contact Falkowski at
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Publication:DAV Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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