Starting a new business is hard, especially after coming home from military service. That’s why a group of dedicated patriots from a small fishing village in Noank, Connecticut established Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. a charity dedicated to equipping new veteran-owned businesses. It all started when a local lobsterman gave his boat to an injured Iraq veteran so he could start a commercial clamming business on Narragansett Bay in 2008. Since then, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. has matched over 1600 qualified veteran-entrepreneurs all across America with donations of $1.6 million worth of vessels, vehicles, equipment, tools, tractors, electronics and more. No other charity is organized for this sole mission. We are thrilled to be partners with Salute American Vodka to support new veteran-owned businesses and create new jobs for more returning veterans.
The Salute American Vodka’s commitment to donate the first dollar of every bottle sold to organizations, like Work Vessels for Vets, Inc., is an innovative way to give a hand up to veteran-entrepreneurs. Nearly all our veteran-entrepreneurs have significant service-connected injuries, yet they strive to be self-employed and contribute to their communities. What better way to say “Thank you for your service” than to provide that piece of equipment to help them on their way to a civilian career,
Now THAT’s socially responsible!
Socially responsible corporations like Salute American Vodka are leading the way by offering direct donations to honorable charity causes. Sadly, we read about many veteran charities that are top-heavy with administrative costs that exceed 40, 50 even 75 percent from each dollar donated. Work Vessels For Vets, Inc. is a small but mighty, volunteer-run nonprofit with administrative overhead of less than 5 cents on every dollar donation. With over 95 percent of all donations offering direct service to veterans, donors know their dollars are going where they are needed.
Here are a few of America’s newest veteran-owned small businessmen and women who have benefited:
US Army Captain Jim McCormick of West Virginia received the Silver Star and was wounded in Iraq. Work Vessels for Vets has provided a tractor, bee hives, tools and other equipment for his Raising Cane Farm that trains hundreds of veterans who are looking to become beginning farmers. The joint mission of WVFV with donors like Salute American Vodka will assure Jim’s important programs will continue to help his fellow vets with combat injuries make the transition from military life to life on the farm.
USA SFC Tara Hutchinson of San Antonio, TX is a 10 year veteran who was severely injured on patrolin Iraq when her vehicle was struck by an IED. The blast took her right leg and caused brain injuries and other disabling conditions. Her strong will to live and perseverance to recover involved tedious work to regain control of her fine motor skills. Donors to WVFV like Salute American Vodka and Gesswein Jewelry Co worked together to give Tara a $5000 state-of-the-art precious metal welder with adaptive microscope to accommodate her needs. She now offers one-of-a-kind fine jewelry and honors fallen military women with a line of necklaces, rings and earrings in their birthstones of remembrance at tarahutchjewelry.com.
US Army/ARNG Sgt Dan Laffin of Connecticut is the head of the New England Chapter of Rivers to Recovery, a national organization that helps injured vets. He writes, “I’m a wounded OEF vet helping other vets recover though the sport of fly fishing. Work Vessels for Vets purchased a drift boat so I can take other vets out on the water and introduce them to the sport. The money we saved on the boat will go directly toward putting more vets on the water.” Additional funds from Salute American Vodka will support Dan’s expansion to serve more injured vets.
Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. has earned top-rating as a nonprofit. GuideStar bestowed their highest, PLATINUM Standard for nonprofit ethics, accountability and efficiency. Great NonProfits made Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. the 2014, 2015 and 2016 TOP RATED nonprofit. The organization has been a member charity in the Combined Federal Campaign, and is supported by Newman’s Own Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, The Academy of Country Music “Lifting Lives” Foundation, 5-Hour Energy Company, The Aetna Foundation, Boeing Foundation, AMVETS, Elks National Foundation, and many others.
Salute American Vodka donates one dollar of every bottle sold to support veteran organizations like Work Vessels for Veterans. To learn more, visit our mission page.