Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey announced 15 American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grant recipients. The 2022 Veteran Community Action Grants awarded $75,000 across projects that make a meaningful difference in veterans’ enjoyment and quality of life. 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 proudly supports 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. Evan Williams has recognized 48 veteran heroes on its American Hero Edition bottles and donated more than $500,000 to nonprofits.
“The 2022 recipients of the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grants are an amazing group of organizations whose dedication to serving their fellow veterans is inspiring and deserving of recognition,” said Molly Vincent, Evan Williams’s Senior Brand Manager. “We are honored to continue the brand’s efforts to support, recognize and commend organizations who protect the American spirit of service.”
The 15 recipients of the 2022 Veteran Community Action Grants awarded by the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund are as follows:
- ADAPT-ABLE FOUNDATION: Adapt-Able Foundation is a veteran-operated non-profit dedicated to bringing adaptive and able-bodied communities together to support both veterans and civilians with physical, emotional, and developmental disabilities so they can have their lives changed by experiencing SCUBA diving. Learn more about Adapt-Able Foundation at adapt-ablefoundation.org/.
- THE AVA GROUP: The mission of the American Veterans Advocacy Group focuses on military-to-civilian transition support services for veterans in conjunction with the Department of Defense (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to provide seamless transition services, including job fairs, mock interviews, resume assistance, salary negotiation techniques, mentoring sessions, instruction on proper interview and business attire, professional networking events, and job placement opportunities. AVA Group allows veterans to help fellow veterans and their families successfully navigate the transition to civilian employment. Learn more about The AVA Group at theavagroup.org/.
- CONTINUE MISSION: Continue Mission serves veterans and service members with service-related physical, emotional, and mental injuries by offering year-round recreational and educational events such as bowling, pickleball, disc golf, volleyball, mountain biking, hiking, nature walks, ice skating, museum tours, etc. With the motto “No Veteran Left Behind”, Continue Mission takes an active role in suicide prevention and mental health awareness by taking part in training courses and through their involvement in the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition and Davis HELPS Suicide Coalition. Learn more about Continue Mission at continuemission.org.
- GENESIS JOY HOUSE HOMELESS SHELTER: By providing housing, career training, mental health assistance, and more, Genesis Joy House Homeless Shelter, Inc. is dedicated to ending homelessness among women veterans in the Southeast. Learn more about Genesis Joy House at genesisjoyhouse.com/.
- HOPE 4 VETERANS: Hope for Veterans is an organization working to prevent isolation, homelessness and suicide among veterans by providing transitional services, sister advocacy and Peer2Peer programs, small household goods, baby supplies and financial assistance to service members in need. Hope 4 Veterans works to increase self-sufficiency by supporting military women and their children while teaching self-care and providing the tools to grow stronger families. Learn more about Hope 4 Veterans at hope4veterans.org/.
- KLINE VETERANS FUND: With veterans making up nearly 10% of the homeless population nationwide, Kline Veterans Fund works to provide emergency housing assistance and support services to homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The group provides support to vets on the street or residing in assisted living, memory care, and hospice facilities, rental assistance and rapid rehousing, along with scholarship funding for service dog training to veterans with PTSD and mobility issues. Learn more about Kline Veterans Fund at klineveteransfund.org/.
- MISSION FISH: Mission FISH aims to organize and plan fishing day trips and provide therapy for PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury affected veterans, active-duty service members, first responders and Gold Star families. Mission FISH organizes fishing trips as nature therapy to bring together participants to share a day together, building friendships and self-esteem. Learn more about Mission FISH at missionfishusa.org/.
- MY BROTHER VINNY: My Brother Vinny provides furniture, housewares and home goods to formerly homeless veterans. Veterans supported by My Brother Vinny come from many different branches of military service and with varying degrees of disabilities and hardships. Through veteran-supported community outreach, the group also works to establish and implement community-based events geared towards improving the enjoyment of life, happiness and health of the emotionally, physically and intellectually disabled. Learn more about My Brother Vinny at mybrothervinny.org/.
- OPERATION PAWS ON THE GROUND: Not only does Operations Paws on the Ground rescue dogs and train them to be support animals for veterans in need, but they also provide employment opportunities for veterans by offering support dog certification training that teaches them to become dog trainers themselves. Learn more about Operation Paws on the Ground at operationpawsontheground.org/.
- SAVING GRACE K9s: Saving Grace K9s matches dogs with combat Veterans at no cost to the Veteran and provides a 6–8-month intensive training program for each Veteran/dog team. The group also provides alternative therapies to the families of PTSD-diagnosed veterans to ensure healing encompasses the entire family unit. Learn more about Saving Grace K9s at savinggracek9s.org/.
- SMILES FOR VETERANS: 92% of veterans do not qualify for dental resources under the VA guidelines. Smiles for Veterans is dedicated to providing dental health care for all veterans at little or no cost to them to restore the dignity, confidence, and well-being of those who have bravely served our country. Learn more about Smiles for Veterans at smilesforveterans.org/.
- SUB ZERO MISSION: Sub Zero Mission helps homeless veterans stay warm during the winter months by finding those exposed to the elements and providing them hats, coats, gloves, boots, sleeping bags, new socks, tents and other warming items. They also provide information and resources to help homeless vets to help get them back on their feet. Learn more about Sub Zero Mission at subzeromission.org/.
- VETERAN SMILES FOUNDATION: The veteran Smiles Foundation provides required dental care to veterans in need to help achieve good physical and mental well-being by improving their oral health. The Foundation also partners with NC Serves to help veterans access family support and other service support opportunities in their community. Learn more about Veteran Smiles Foundation at vetsmiles.org/.
- WARRIORS MOUNTAIN RIVER ADVENTURES: Warriors Mountain River Adventures seeks to empower and bring veterans together for community and healing by offering outdoor trips and adventures whereby they introduce and teach new skills that veterans can take home and incorporate into their daily lives. For each trip, the goal is to introduce warriors to outdoor activity, such as fly fishing, hiking, river rafting, cycling, and skiing, to create lasting relationships and a support network for the veterans moving forward. Learn more about Warriors Mountain River Adventures at mywmra.org/.
- YAIPAK OUTREACH: YAIPak Outreach provides support, comfort, and resources to promote positive life changes to those in need. Through Project Patriot Hope, they partner with caseworkers to help transition homeless veterans off the streets and into housing plus provide them with a “Tote of Hope” filled with new household supplies, cleaning products, and kitchenware. Learn more about YAIPak Outreach at yaioutreach.org/.
As the second-largest-selling Kentucky 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 2023 class of Evan Williams American-Made Heroes will be selected from affiliate organizations who applied through the American-Made Heroes Foundation Fund grant process and will be announced in early May along with a limited-edition Evan Williams American-Made Heroes bottle. To learn more about the Evan Williams American-Made Heroes Program, please visit american-madeheroes.com.