Work Vessels for Vets Dedicates Tractor for Injured Army Veteran Saturday May 15th (Armed Forces Day) at Radical Roots Farm, Sterling, CT

Tractor 0535STERLING, CT.   On a glorious Armed Forces Day 2021, Work Vessels for Vets held a Tractor Dedication Ceremony to present a John Deere 89mp tractor to Army SPC Ryan Salvas, injured in Afghanistan during his tour in 2010-2011.  Salvas will use the tractor for his Radical Roots Farms in Sterling, CT where he raises heritage breeds of cattle (like the Scottish Highland pictured), pigs, sheep and fowl.  He is dedicated to paying it forward by establishing a nonprofit called ContemPLATE to help fellow veterans with PTSD, TBI and other injuries find the peace he finds through agritherapy. Scottish Highland fella

Congressman Joe Courtney, CT-2 spoke at the ceremony along with Commanders of the Canterbury, CT and Lyme/Old Lyme, CT VFWs who contributed to the purchase, to honor Salvas and the veteran-serving organizations and donors who made this award possible.  Army SPC Ryan Salvas is not letting his 90% medical disability rating stop him from pursuing his dream of raising heirloom breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens on his eastern Connecticut acreage.  With help from local VFWs in Lyme/Old Lyme and Canterbury, Work Vessels for Vets purchased the big tractor outfitted for the tasks, reducing the aggravation of his combat injuries.            

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Work Vessels for Vets Awards $60,000 in 2021 Q1 to 15 Injured Veterans

2021 LAKE tractor presentationMYSTIC, CT.   Work Vessels for Vets announces $60,000 in equipment awards in the first quarter of 2021.  to 14 injured veterans and one veteran-serving nonprofit..  Work Vessels for Vets is a Mystic, Connecticut-based national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business.  Since 2008 this award-winning, volunteer-run charity has provided 2200 veteran-entrepreneurs in all 50 states with equipment valued at more than $3.4 million.

"Just in time for Spring planting, Work Vessels for Vets assembled funds to send two tractors to deserving heroes, a much needed mower to a nonprofit and laptops for the Spring semester at school for those vets completing their education,” said John Niekrash, President and co-founder of the charity.

US Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jeremy Lake served 5 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, surviving two IED bombings that resulted in spinal and TBI injuries.  He medically retired with two Purple Hearts to the family farm in Pennsylvania where his family is restoring the grandfather’s large fruit orchards and planting 700 blueberry and raspberry bushes.  Work Vessels for Vets was able to assemble donors to purchase a large tractor, adapted to accommodate his injuries to help with the Spring planting. 

Mulefoot HogsArmy Corporal Ryan Salvas (here with his Mulefoot pigs)  is not letting his 90% medical disability rating stop him from pursuing his dream of raising heirloom breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens on his eastern Connecticut acreage.  With help from local VFWs in Lyme/Old Lyme and Canterbury, Work Vessels for Vets purchased the big tractor outfitted for the tasks, reducing the aggravation of his combat injuries.

In addition, a nonprofit equine therapy program for veterans in PA received a commercial mower and 14 veterans across the country received refurbished laptops for school, including a high end laptop valued at $1900 sent to an injured Army Special Forces veteran enrolled in medical studies at George Washington University,  The laptop was donated by a Mystic, CT widow of a local executive in honor of her husband’s military service. 

                                                                                                

Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT Brews Workin’ Vets NEIPA

Outer Light Ale Promo 640 x 480Donation benefits Work Vessels for Vets programs for injured veterans

Work Vessels for Vets received a tasty gift – a check for $1907 to use toward their goal to buy a tractor for an injured veteran in Canterbury, CT.   The unique formula “Workin’ Vets IPA Ale” was brewed for a limited time by Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT and sold to restaurants and package stores in the region. 

The presentation of $1907 represents a portion of sales of “Workin’ Vets Ale” served since Veterans Day in the Outer Light taproom at Bridge Street in Groton, draft sales at Friar Tuck’s tavern in Mystic and a percentage of each case sold by Levine Distributing Company of Norwich to Connecticut package stores.  Work Vessels for Vets, Inc is a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business.

“Watching how a community can come together and make a difference in the lives of an injured serviceman is why we started WVFV in 2008.  We are grateful to Outer Light Brewing Company as well as Friar Tuck’s in Mystic and Levine Distributing for collaboration,” said John Niekrash, who co-founded the charity with the gift of his commercial fishing vessel to an injured Marine.

Tom Drejer, Owner of OLBC (http://www.outerlightbrewing.com/) noted, “Our community and our veterans are extremely important to us. We are beyond proud to take this opportunity to collaborate with Work Vessels for Vets and support our injured service men and women.  We hope this donation will help bring attention to both our veterans and all the wonderful work this charity does to support them.”

 

Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT Brews Workin’ Vets NEIPA

Sales to benefit Work Vessels for Vets programs for injured veterans

Workin Vets can 600 x 450Who’s thirsty? Outer Light Brewing Company of Groton, CT announced the release of a new beer with a cause – Workin’ Vets New England IPA.  This double dry hopped, Simcoe, Mosaic New England IPA, coming in at 5.8% is brewed in collaboration with Mystic, CT based non-profit Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. A portion of sales of every pint served in the Outer Light taproom at Bridge Street in Groton, and all other can sales throughout Connecticut liquor stores will be donated to Work Vessels for Vets, Inc a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business.  

This unique beer will also be available on draft for special events at donating partners The Captain Daniel Packer Inne and Friar Tucks Tavern in downtown Mystic, CT. Levine Distributing Company of Norwich, CT will be selling and delivering the beer as well as donating a portion of their sales to the cause.

“Watching how a community can come together and make a difference in the lives of an injured serviceman is why we started WVFV in 2008. Outer Light Brewing Company as well as the local restaurants and Levine Distributing are going above and beyond with this beer collaboration. I can’t wait to enjoy a cold one!” said John Niekrash, who co-founded the charity with the gift of his commercial fishing vessel to an injured Marine.

Tom Drejer, Owner of OLBC (http://www.outerlightbrewing.com/) noted, “Our community and our veterans are extremely important to us. We are beyond proud to take this opportunity to collaborate with Work Vessels for Vets and support our injured service men and women.  We hope this beer can help bring attention to both our veterans and all the wonderful work this charity does to support them.”

The nationally accredited Mystic, Connecticut-based nonprofit, Work Vessels for Vets (www.WVFV.org), will use the funds to equip America’s veterans with the tools they need to make a successful transition from service-connected injuries to civilian entrepreneurship.  Since its founding in 2008, the volunteers at Work Vessels for Vets, Inc awarded equipment to more than 2200 injured veterans in all 50 states.  To date, the value of these “hands up” has exceeded $3.2 million! 

Enjoy a pint or can of Workin’ Vets NEIPA  until they run out!

Work Vessels for Vets Awards $200,000 in 2020 to Injured Veterans

All Across America, 30 New Veteran Businesses & Veteran-Serving Nonprofits Received Equipment in 2020

MYSTIC, CT.   Work Vessels for Vets is proud to announce that thirty injured veteran-owned businesses and veteran-serving nonprofits in across America have received $200,000 in equipment, support and emergency funds in 2020. Work Vessels for Vets is a Mystic, Connecticut-based national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business. Since 2008 this volunteer-run charity has awarded more than $3.2 million in equipment to 2200 veteran-entrepreneurs across America.

“On this Veterans Day 2020, we thank America’s veterans for their service. And Work Vessels for Vets is also grateful for the hundreds of donors who helped us offer a “hand up” to send much needed equipment and support to a record number of veteran-entrepreneurs and veteran-serving nonprofits this year,” said John Niekrash, President and co-founder of the charity.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone.,” noted Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Vets. “Small businesses everywhere are facing extreme and unprecedented income interruptions, loss of business contracts and the pain of letting new hires go. Many start-ups do not qualify for federal financial aid programs. These hardships are more acute for injured veteran businesses whose owners are also facing personal challenges coping with disabilities, compromised health conditions, and living with PTSD.”

Work Vessels for Vets saw the need to offer a “hand up” once again. And donors stepped up to make it happen.

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ENTERPRISE BUILDERS, INC. RECEIVES VETERANS HONOR

2020 Golf Patriot Star presented to EBI

National Charity Work Vessels for Vets, Inc Presents “Patriot Star” Award To Enterprise Builders for Service to Injured Veterans 

NEWINGTON, CT   Sometimes, golf makes you cry.  That happened at Lake of Isles Golf Center during the 9th Annual Enterprise Builders Charity Golf Tournament.  Keith Czarnecki, CEO and Vin McCurry, CFO of Enterprise Builders fought back a tear or two, not for their golf scores, but when John Niekrash and Cathy Cook of Work Vessels for Vets presented the organization’s cherished PATRIOT STAR AWARD to honor Enterprise Builders Inc for their years of dedication and deep commitment to veterans.

For nearly a decade, the Enterprise Builders Charity Golf tournament has dedicated all proceeds to support veteran causes, totaling more than $300,000 over the years.  This year’s event raised $50,000 for Work Vessels for Vets, Inc a Connecticut-based, all-volunteer nonprofit with the mission to award equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business

 

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US Veterans Chamber of Commerce logo

INJURED AIR FORCE RESCUE PILOT AWARDED TRUCK FROM WORK VESSELS FOR VETS, INC & US VETERANS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

MYSTIC, CT - USAF Major (ret) J. Robert Scoggins of Colorado really didn’t want to ask for help.  He is starting a farm and raising a family now that his Air Force career as a rescue pilot ended with severe injuries after twelve years and multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa.  But he really needed a truck to work the farm and transport their produce to markets in the Colorado Springs/Denver area.

Work Vessels for Vets, Inc is a nonprofit with the mission to obtain equipment for injured veterans who are starting a business in partnership with the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce (USVCC) stepped up to find a truck for this veteran. Rob Scoggins received his commission as an officer in the US Air Force at his graduation from the US Air Force Academy in 2003. He served in Balad AB Iraq; Khandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion, Afghanistan; and Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, Horn of Africa and rose to the rank of Major.  He was a combat rescue pilot, leading a 6-man HH-60G combat helicopter.  He engaged in 252 combat missions, rescuing and recovering 291 individuals and is credited with saving 151 lives.   Over 200 of those missions and almost all of the 291 Americans, allies, and civilians were in Afghanistan, 2010.  He was medically retired with 100% combat injuries in 2015.                                                           “When we learned of this amazing warrior’s combat history and subsequent injuries, we set out to find the truck he so desperately needed,” said Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Vets.  “Maj. Scroggins has been trying to clear stumps and haul products with a hand wheelbarrow.  That’s not easy with a leg brace!”       

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WVFV Announces $20,000 in Grants

Emergency Distress Grants Help Injured Vets Cope with COVID-19 Impact

MYSTIC, CT.   Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. is pleased to announce $20,000 in grants have been awarded to injured veteran-entrepreneurs in Connecticut and across the country.  Businesses owned by injured veterans in 13 states received equipment and emergency funds from Work Vessels for Vets of Mystic, Connecticut.  Work Vessels for Vets is a national charity that gives equipment to wounded veterans who are starting a business.  Since 2008 this volunteer-run charity has awarded more than $3 million in equipment to 2000 veteran-entrepreneurs across America. 

“Small businesses everywhere are facing extreme and unprecedented income interruptions, loss of business contracts and the pain of letting new hires go,” said John Niekrash, President and Co-founder of Work Vessels for Vets, Inc..  “Many start-ups do not qualify for federal financial aid programs.  These hardships are more acute for injured veteran businesses whose owners are also facing personal challenges coping with disabilities, compromised health conditions, and living with PTSD.” 

Work Vessels for Vets donors stepped up to make help coming through with $20,000 to help just four days after the plea went out.  Just as rapidly, grants of $500 to $3500 in cash or equipment went out to 20 veteran-owned businesses in thirteen states who were facing closure and hardship due to the corona pandemic.  Their businesses are experiencing cancelled contracts and loss of cash flow to buy raw materials or pay employees.  The new farmers suffer from closure of farm markets and cancelled restaurant and school contracts for local produce.  The WVFV grants helped them open online markets or adapt their services to the new COVID-19 reality.

“This assistance has made all the difference in keeping us going through these tough times,” says veteran Rodney Plettner, of Coastal Wood Company, a Niantic, Connecticut online furniture business.  “Now we can purchase larger quantities of materials to complete contracts for high-quality items at affordable prices. ” He used the grant to purchase materials to turn into fine furniture.  His fine furniture products can be seen on Instagram at CoastWoodCompany. 

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The COVID-19 Health Crisis is hurting everyone, including new veteran-owned new businesses

The coronavirus pandemic has caused market disruptions, loss of contracts, temporary closure of markets and cash flow difficulties for the new, veteran-owned businesses who received assistance from WVFV. They need our help.  

We created a modest Emergency Distress Relief Fund to use for grants of about $500 to previous awardees to support their new businesses through the current crisis.  A core group of generous donors raised $15,000 in four days to seed the Emergency Distress Relief Fund.

Will you donate $20.20 to help?

 

 

Your donation will make a big difference to our veteran entrepreneurs during this difficult time.                                                                                                                 Your credit card (VISA, Mastercard) online donation will incur NO FEES.  Just CLICK on our DONATE Button.  You can donate via PayPal OR use a credit card directly.          If you prefer, you can mail a check to:  Work Vessels for Vets, Inc.   PO Box 215   West Mystic, CT 06388

 

 

 

 

Nonprofit Therapy Farm awarded $7500 for Tractor from Work Vessels for Vets Disabled USAF Vet completed UCONN EBV Program to help fellow vets in OH

MIAMISBURG, OHIO. Stretching the reach of their programs to Ohio, Work Vessels for Vets of Mystic, CT recently awarded funds for a tractor to USAF CMSGT (ret) Rachel Czmyr for her ECOthrive Farms nonprofit. Rachel is a 100% disabled veteran and recent graduate of the University of Connecticut Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program that teaches business skills to veterans starting new enterprises. Her new ECOthrive Farms is a community outreach nonprofit offering unique, customized group programs for veterans and others with disabilities in Miamisburg, Ohio.

“Our goal is to educate, inspire, and empower individuals by providing an organized, safe, and calming environment that promotes personal growth, self-confidence, and creativity through caring for animals, harvesting honey, gardening, and creating handcrafted items for our community by our community,” says Chief Master Sergeant Czmyr, founder. “We provide community outreach with a special emphasis on supporting disabled veterans, children with special needs, Fisher House/nursing home patients, and victims of domestic abuse.”

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