Since 2013, Songs4Soldiers has been holding a benefit concert each summer in Columbia, Illinois. The organization was started by Dustin Row, a combat veteran whose initial goal was to help at least four veterans a year.
“It’s actually grown extremely fast and now we’ve helped over 160 combat veterans and we’ve spent a quarter of a million dollars,” Row said.
The concerts feature local St. Louis area bands. Each year attendance and donations have increased. In 2016, they raised just over $91,000.
Row said 100% of money raised goes to helping combat veterans with a variety of services.
“We do a lot of help with bills, we also do projects such as home projects, we help with transportation needs,” said Row.
Last summer the group donated a wheelchair accessible van to a Marine veteran.
The group’s latest project is helping a Korean War Navy veteran remodel his bathroom. In order to have the veteran stay in his home comfortably, his bathroom needed to be upgraded to allow him to use his walker to get into his shower.
“The project would normally cost around $10,000, but thanks to a VA grant and Songs4Soldiers, the veteran isn’t going to pay anything out of pocket,” Row said.
This year the organization will hold a two-day concert and include a national touring band. The dates are September 22-23, 2017.
For more information visit them online.