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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Choices.tlc receives grant funding

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Arkansas State Representative, Lori Benedict, presented Frankie Smith of Choices.tlc, with a $1,050 check to use in Smith's mission to help veterans on Tuesday, July 3 at the Mammoth Spring VFW. Photo by Kim Bray [Order this photo]
Arkansas State Representative, Lori Benedict has decided to use some of her general improvement funds to assist veterans. On Tuesday, July 3 at the Mammoth Spring VFW, Benedict presented a $1,050 grant to Frankie Smith, founder of Choices.tlc, a Mammoth Spring organization which tries to assist veterans in receiving benefits due them under the law.

Benedict stipulated that the grant money must be spent specifically on veteran assistance. For example, a veteran can apply through Choices.tlc to receive assistance for utility or medical assistance. "I asked Representative Benedict if there were any grants available because I hadn't been able to find any. Her office contacted me, approved the grant and took care of the paper work," Smith said. "I was in awe when I was contacted that I would be getting grant money."

While Smith volunteers her time to run Choices.tlc, she did not want the grant to help with her expenses. She just wanted funds to be able to provide veterans with more assistance. Veterans assisted under the grant, will sign a statement for what they are requesting, and agree to what it will be applied towards.

The grant is just another step in the right direction for Choices.tlc., which has worked quietly to assist veterans. Smith was proud to share the news that as a veteran's widow she has been working with, has received her benefits and back pay, after a waiting process of approximately five months. Asked why it takes so long, Smith replied, "I don't know. It depends on if the right paper work is filed. I'm learning as I go along what it takes." Smith's knowledge and assistance helps veterans know exactly what paperwork to fill out, and, as she learns, Smith believes she can be a better advocate for veterans.

In regard to the VA, Smith said, "I've been blessed. Nine times out of ten, I can call the hotline and get someone to help me." She doesn't let claims sit, she is persistent on checking on the claims she has assisted in filing, and follows up to make sure the claims are going in the right direction.

The VFW in Mammoth Spring is getting involved by forming a committee to approve veterans applying for assistance through Choices.tlc. Benedict suggested, "I would make an application form for veterans to apply, and set a $50 to $100 limit per person in order to help more veterans." The grant money is to be used for veterans in Fulton County.

Smith said to Benedict when presented with the check, "You have no idea how you have blessed me." "It is not much, but I wish I could have come up with more to assist the veterans," Benedict replied.

When asked how the grant money was available for Choices.tlc, Benedict answered, "The grant money came from general improvement funds. Each legislator is granted a certain amount of money, and the $1,050 is the last of what we had to spend."

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I am a disabled veteran of foreign war, and am writing this to try and help other veterans from falling into this ladies trap. I am so glad to read that the state Rep has requstdd stipulations and oversight tor these funds. Choices.tlc is NOT a legitimate non prof organization. As required by law, all non profits must have an active board of directors, bylaws, and a mission statement, and must be available for review by any asking individual.

I began working with Smith in march of this year. She was suppose to help me file a claim. We submitted the original form stating we wished to tile a claim and then I was told to sit back and don 't stress because she would be taking everything else. She would not do any follow up calls, and would always have excuses as to why. This practice cost me 500 dollars because she failed to follow through. I had received a large packet from the va that was time sensitive. I found out that she had not touched it in a month and it was due in two days. I took the packet to try and to it myself, but I needed paperwork pout of my tile st her house. Mrs. Smith claimed she did mot have any of my paperwork or personal information and refused to hand it over.in addition, Mrs. Smith talks about donationsall the time and how she started this so called non profit to bring in money because she was not working. I personally watched her take donations in and then go shopping, buying things for herself and grandson. I have also personally been told by Frankie that she had just received a 300 dollar donation. I ade a comment that it would help several veterans and she laughed and stated that she had already use it to buy her school books for school

lsughed lsu

-- Posted by DefraudedVet on Fri, Sep 21, 2012, at 1:22 AM

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