Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founding member of Traffic, Dave Mason is working to bring awareness to his nonprofit, charitable organization that he co-founded and is a board member of: Work Vessels for Veterans (WVFV).
Coincide with Veteran’s Day, Mason premiered the video for a new song titled “Thank You.” You can watch the video and download the song for free at http://www.davemasonmusic.com/thank-you-veterans.
Mason plays over 200 shows a year around the country and takes the time to talk about WVFV’s mission: To provide the “vessel” that can start a career or enhance a life for our returning service men and women, Mason often dedicates concerts to raise funds and is on hand to present Vets with laptops, donated vehicles, machinery and working farms.
“We are pretty much under the radar, as an organization," Mason says. "We’re an all-volunteer group of people and there isn’t any money spent on advertising, only a minimal amount of money goes to administrative stuff. All the money that we do get that passes through the charity actually goes where it’s supposed to go. We are the only charity out there for Veterans that actually specifically helps them start their own businesses. Our motto is that ‘We are not giving hand outs, we are giving a hand up.’”
Founded in 2008, Work Vessels for Veterans began when Mason, New England lobsterman John Niekrash and IT Specialist Ted Knapp got together and decided that they wanted to do something to help Vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan put their lives back on track in a manner that offered them a “hand up, not a hand out.”
What they envisioned was an all-volunteer organization where nearly all of the funds (now operating at 96%) would go to the Vets; not to cover exorbitant administration fees associated with most charities. With a single boat donation to a returning veteran embarking upon a commercial fishing career, the dream the three friends had, became a reality.
In the past six years, their 501-C-3 charity dream, Work Vessels For Veterans, has assisted over 1,000 veterans in 47 states with the “vessels” to begin or expand their businesses while enriching their lives and those of other Vets. These “vessels” include laptops, trucks, cars, boats, equipment, tools and land.
If you would like to donate to WVFV, visit http://workvesselsforveterans.org/donations.aspx.
Fueled by the passion and drive of some veteran requests, WVFV has also branched into the business development area, providing start-up materials and funds to qualified veteran-lead companies working to employ other veterans.