Veteran Community Action Grants awards $75,000 to nonprofits that serve the veteran community
Evan Williams Bourbon announced today 15 recipients of the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grants. The 2021 Veteran Community Action Grants awarded $75,000 across projects that make a meaningful difference in the enjoyment and quality of life for veterans. From training service dogs to professional development and therapy, each program supports giving back to those who served.
As an American-made and owned Bourbon, Evan Williams is proud to support U.S. military veterans through the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund. First established in 2020, the fund continues the brand’s support of veteran communities since launching the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes program and limited-edition label in 2015. To date, Evan Williams has recognized 42 veteran heroes on its American Hero Edition bottles and donated more than $450,000 to nonprofits.
“The 2021 recipients of the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grants are an inspiring, diverse group whose extraordinary programs continue to uplift our veteran communities,” said Julie Cole, Evan Williams Senior Brand Manager. “We are proud to continue the brand’s efforts to celebrate and support veterans who protect the American spirit of service.”
The 15 recipients of the 2021 Veteran Community Action Grants awarded by the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund are as follows:
MISSION WORKING DOGS: Studies show that service dogs can provide life-saving therapy and assistance for veterans with PTSD and mobility challenges, which were especially felt during the pandemic. In response, Mission Working Dogs was founded to train and provide service animals for veterans in need. Every dog must pass extensive health and temperament checks and undergo a minimum of 250 training hours before they can graduate to saving lives. Learn more about Mission Working Dogs at www.missionworkingdogs.org.
OPERATION WELCOME HOME: Some veterans have difficulty navigating the civilian workforce once they’re out of the military. Operation Welcome Home enlists large and small businesses to provide opportunities to veterans for professional development, as well as career placement. Since May 2012, Operation Welcome Home has successfully arranged full-time employment for more than 600 veterans, with a 92% success rate. Learn more about Operation Welcome Home at welcomehomewv.com.
WARRIOR EXPEDITIONS: Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging. Warrior Expeditions programs use the great outdoors to give veterans better lifelong coping strategies for mental and physical challenges resulting from their military service. This year, Warrior Expeditions provided more than 240 veterans with free, life-changing therapy. Learn more about Warrior Expeditions at warriorexpeditions.org.
ABOUTFACE-USA: AboutFace‐USA® is a peer-led community organization existing, as an initial point of contact, to empower and encourage veterans and their families to find help. Working to get past the stigma of PTSD and confront mental health concerns, these programs provide support services, activities and resources geared toward understanding mental health so that they can cope better, improve their relationships, and change the direction of their future for the better. Learn more about AboutFace-USA at www.aboutface-usa.org.
DTOM 22/0: The mission of the DTOM 22/0 Foundation and Veterans Ranch is to provide a safe place for healing and recovery for military service members, veterans, and their families. These programs also engage and positively impact veteran lives through hope, self-conviction, and family activities, while helping them learn to live again with purpose. DTOM also aims to end suicide among veterans through mentorship, support, and building stronger families. Learn more about DTOM 22/0 at dtom220.org.
BATTLEBETTY FOUNDATION: BattleBetty Foundation is a community-based nonprofit and first Women Veteran focused organization within South Carolina committed to empowering Women Veterans as they navigate post-transition life. The BattleBetty Resource Center provides an emergency shelter, clothes closet, empowerment workshops, and fosters community reintegration for women veterans. Learn more about the BattleBetty Foundation at battlebettyfoundation.com.
SHAMROCK REINS: Shamrock Reins and its special horses foster positive life-changing experiences for veterans, their families, and the families of fallen heroes by assisting with recovery and by offering comfort and kindness in a safe environment. Learn more about Shamrock Reins at shamrockreins.org.
HEALING PAWS FOR WARRIORS: A resilient program that represents veterans helping veterans from personal experience and trained service dogs, Healing Paws for Warriors’ program focus is save a veteran and rescue a dog. The program provides service training for local rescue dogs by partnering with veterans faced with PTSD, TBI, or MST at no cost. By increasing self and family health and wellness, Healing Paws gives hope and healing to veterans and reduces number of canines in shelters. Learn more about Healing Paws for Warriors at www.healingpawsforwarriors.org.
SERVE OUR WILLING WARRIORS: The average hospital stay for recovering warriors is about 300 days. Serve Our Willing Warriors provides cost-free retreat stays and programs that positively impact wounded, ill, and injured service members, disabled veterans, and their families. Learn more about Serve Our Willing Warriors at www.willingwarriors.org.
WHITEHAVEN CANINE: WhiteHaven Canine rescues dogs from local shelters or donated from individuals and trains them as Emotional Support Animals. Highly skilled in obedience and service, these canines are then given to veterans at no cost. Learn more about WhiteHaven Canine at whitehavencanine.org.
HELP OUR MILITARY HEROES: Help Our Military Heroes provides fully equipped, adaptive minivans to severely wounded, injured, and ill service members who sustained their injuries while on active duty. The customized vans return mobility and independence, as well as transportation that would otherwise be financially devastating for many. Learn more about Help Our Military Heroes at www.helpourmilitaryheroes.org.
VETS CHAT AND CHEW: The Vets Chat & Chew Program provides a simple guide to better health and a supportive community. The program is a science based nutritional education featuring live healthy recipe demonstrations to help veterans feel mentally and physically better. Learn more about Vets Chat and Chew at vetschatandchew.com.
SAVE Farm: The Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education, Corp. (SAVE) is a transition program for veterans through a pathway to farming and wellness. SAVE trains veterans for an agricultural career and incorporates a holistic approach for veterans healing from stress, physical injuries and issues that might be influencing the mind, body and soul. Learn more about SAVE farm at www.thesavefarm.org.
AURA HOME WOMEN VETS: AuraHome helps women veterans from all services with housing, counseling, financial guidance across Western North Carolina. By providing self-education opportunities, Aura Home houses homeless veteran women by giving them access to affordable housing, jobs, therapy, and more. Learn more about Aura Home Women Vets at www.aurahomewomenvets.com.
SALINA INNOVATION: The historic Salina Masonic Temple building has offered veterans a room at no cost for a community resource center. This space has grown to include weekly coffees for veterans, support groups, information sessions, town hall meetings, regional chapter meetings, information services, and assistance with benefits. Learn more about Salina Innovation at salinainnovation.com.
As the second-largest selling Bourbon in the world, Evan Williams is proud of its American Heritage and honored to broaden its support of veteran communities across the country. The 2022 American-Made Heroes will be selected from affiliate organizations who applied through the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grant process. The 2022 American-Made Heroes class will be announced in early May along with the individualized limited-edition bottles. To learn more about the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes Program, please visit american-madeheroes.com.
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Lauren Cherry Newcomb
Heaven Hill Brands