Crowdfunding sites helping local vets with care

Posted at 11:31 AM, Dec 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-28 15:18:31-05

Service members risk everything to protect our families and our countries. But, too many veterans still struggle to find jobs and homes or receive money for medical care.

Local organizations are now turning to a new crowdfunding site to assist these brave Americans.

At Un-Bridled in Palm City, horses are used as therapy for people with physical disabilities or histories of abuse.

"Once we get them in the arena, within an hour, you see a huge smile on their face," said Unbridled Equine Specialist, Diane Farina.

But now, the organization wants to start helping a new group of people.

At the same time, Allicia Cheplick, the creator of the newly-formed veterans group "Courage on All Fronts," decided she wanted to take her love of horses to grow her non-profit, which creates care packages for service members and veterans.

Cheplick turned to Unbridled with an idea.

"She mentioned that she had a 501(c)(3) for veterans and that she was fundraising for veterans. I said that's the next population that we had planned to serve!" said Farina.

So a partnership was formed to use horses to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

But, donations for the $5,000 needed to care for the horses doesn’t come easy.

"It's very competitive and grant money is more and more limited," said Cheplick. "People have so many organizations to choose from so why would you choose Courage on All Fronts over something like Wounded Warrior."

That's why they've turned to a new crowdfunding site created specifically to help veterans called

"They can go and create projects for themselves from medical needs to personal needs to business ideas and get funding directly from the citizens who care so much about our veterans," said founder Brett Dahlin.

Dahlin said he started the site when he heard about veterans dying and waiting for money they needed for medical care through the government.

"No veteran has to be left behind.  They can't be sleeping on the streets.  They can't be waiting for medical care. We have to do our part," said Dahlin.

For Cheplick, crowdfunding is a way for her to find the money to help veterans in our area in return for all they've sacrificed for us.

Veteran's statuses are verified through an outside company before being posted to