Out on a Limb – March 2021
I remember well, during the 35 years of running my construction business, taking risks was just a part of doing business whether it be building a house on speculation or purchasing a parcel of land to build upon, all in the hopes someone would purchase my product. As the risk taken affected only me I would approach with a measure of “bravado” somewhat throwing caution to the wind.
Today the Vittles for Vets charity presents a much different set of circumstances as my decisions affect over 100 veterans and their families combined with volunteers and benefactors who rely on me to insure a positive outcome.
As most of you know, the outbreak of Covid last March had the potential to force Vittles out of existence due to the joblessness it created and our inability to attend or have fundraising events or speaking engagements. Ironically, due to the Vittles volunteers thinking “outside the box” and finding solutions to our fundraising dilemma, we had our best year ever with regards to raising funding. Unfortunately, on the flip side of the coin, we doubled our veteran enrollment into the program from 56 in March of 2020 up to 100 as of this writing, sky-rocketing our operating budget.
I addressed the situation by reducing the card value by 50% hoping to weather the Covid storm. Well, the storm is still brewing, albeit not as strong. In order to further assist our veterans we started enrolling some of our veterans in local food banks with our volunteers delivering to them on a once monthly schedule. As the food value issued by the food banks equaled a value of over $100.00 certain of our veterans were, once again, on track as the combined gift card and food bank items totaled the card's value prior to the reduction.
This did, however, create a dilemma for the Vittles charity as only about 40 of our veterans were receiving this additional benefit offered by the food banks. To insure fairness to all our veterans, those who lived too distant, or in areas where we have no volunteers or food banks, I made a decision to increase their weekly card issuance back to pre-corona status.
What that means is that a household of 1 or 2 persons would be increased from $25.00 weekly up to $50.00 weekly, those with a household of 3 would increase from $37.50 weekly up to $75.00 and a family of 4 or more would increase from $50.00 weekly up to $100.00 weekly.
As the title of this writing implies I put myself and the charity far out on a limb. I only pray I chose a healthy strong branch and not one that is old and decrepit, unable to support the additional weight I have burdened upon it.
When in business I relied on watching the market, considering the risk and making calculated investments with moderate success. A charity however has few statistics from which to extract guidance as charities depend solely on the generosity of others, and the benefactors generosity ties directly to the economy.
Aware of the meager amount of nutritious food items which can be purchased with such a small food allowance and armed with the knowledge that for many of the veterans we serve Vittles for Vets is their only food source, I decided to throw caution to the wind in the interest of good health for our veterans by increasing their allowance.
I have been a firm believer in “Divine Intervention” since my time in Vietnam where I experienced it twice. I also firmly believe that The Almighty Himself loves veterans and is providing guidance from above which will allow our mission to continue and grow.
We at Vittles for Vets would appreciate any support you could offer, as the cost to provide nutritious food for a full year is $2600.00 per veteran and we are now serving one hundred veterans and families, with more seeking enrollment weekly, our need is beyond great.
Please make your tax-deductible donation today. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you and God bless.
President and Founder
Vittles for Vets