Oregon man donates $10,000 to help cheated veterans

Oregon man donates $10,000 to help cheated veterans »Play Video
John Bartholf, CEO of Coverall of Oregon, saw KATU's story and before it was over, he called the station, saying he wanted to help.

SALEM, Ore. -- A man has stepped forward to donate $10,000 to veterans who said they were cheated out of their wages.

John Bartholf saw the story on KATU News and wanted to help.

"Before the story even ended, I was picking up the phone, calling you guys. I didn't even give it any thought,” said Bartholf.

Bartholf is CEO of a company called Coverall of Oregon, which sells cleaning franchises. He is not a veteran, but he is grateful for their service.

"These people gave their lives to this country and we're going to say, 'Oh, well?' It's not going to work that way," said Bartholf.

About two dozen veterans in the Salem area worked for a man named Tim Leatherby, who runs a company called Leatherby Tools. Leatherby told them he would pay them $15 an hour, but when payday came around, there were no paychecks, leaving some of the veterans in dire need of money for rent and bills. Some worried they may become homeless or will not be able to provide a Christmas for their families.

"It kind of brought tears to my eyes and I said, 'How can this be happening? Where are we in society that this can be happening?'" said Bartholf.

Bartholf decided to help change the situation. He gave the donation check to a local nonprofit group called Impact NW, which will distribute the money to the veterans who did not get paid.

Bartholf said he recognized the $10,000 donation, though generous, may not be enough to rescue every veteran who lost their wages.

"It's not the means of everything, but it will certainly give them a little more hope," said Bartholf.

If you would like to donate to the veterans, you can contact Impact NW through the website or by phone.  Impact NW: (503) 988-6887.