Honoring Our Veterans and First-Responders

Photo courtesy of Let's Chow

Our nation’s veterans as well as firefighters, police officers, EMTs, nurses, and other first responders are often faced with horrors most of us will never have to encounter. They do this to protect and save lives. The stress and trauma of their experiences too often lead to mental health issues, post-traumatic stress disorders, and debilitating physical disabilities. At Phillips Charitable Foundation we have a deep respect for these heroes. To round out our 2021 grant awards, we awarded three grants to nonprofits that work to improve the lives of veterans and/or first responders. We warmly welcome Hero Dogs, Fidos for Freedom, and Let’s Chow to our growing list of grantees.

Let’s Chow

Photo: Jordan Foley, Founder and CEO, Let's Chow

Chow received its nonprofit status in January of 2020. Founded by Jordan Foley, a submarine officer and a Naval Academy and MIT graduate, their work began by training veterans to cook for homeless people each month at a kitchen in Cheverly. Chow honors America’s veterans and military spouses by providing a pathway to learn vocational skills in the culinary arts.

The Food Truck Training Program helps to bridge the often challenging gap between a veteran leaving the service and entering the culinary industry. This program helps to set up veterans with a food truck, menu, branding, supply chain support, food safety training, and more. The goal is, once the veteran or military spouse has learned enough about the culinary industry, they are free to pursue their own business venture including perhaps a food truck of their own. Their five-step training program is self-paced, giving their Food Truck Fellows the opportunity to learn on their own time while also earning money.

Through the profits of these trucks, Chow pursues other initiatives supporting veterans and military families. For example, in July 2021 they partnered with The Baltimore Station to help serve over 100 meals to homeless veterans in the City of Baltimore.

Learn more about Let's Chow at this link.


Hero Dogs

Photo: Destiny Goldsmith, Puppy Program Manager, along with Cassie the Hero Dog

The mission for Hero Dogs is to improve the quality of life for our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge with lifetime support of the partnerships. Hero Dogs places these specially trained dogs with veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. There is no cost to the recipient for the dogs they raise, train, and place. Once dogs are trained they become service dogs, companion dogs, therapy dogs, or facility dogs depending on skills and temperament.

The $5,000 grant is being used to sponsor a beautiful puppy named Cassie. She’ll go through the 2-3 year training program before being placed in her new role. You can follow Cassie on Instagram at @Herodogscassie.

Watch for our upcoming story about our site visit to Hero Dogs and meeting Cassie.

Learn more about Hero Dogs at this link.


Fidos for Freedom

Fidos for Freedom provides trained service dogs or hearing dogs to people who are physically challenged, deaf or hard-of-hearing, including ongoing support services and training. They also provide trained PTSD Dogs to Veterans with combat-related PTSD including ongoing support services and training. Therapy dogs are also provided for emotional and physical benefits for patients residing in health care facilities.  In 2021 they had approximately 75 therapy dogs and 24 in-training for service dogs. Diane Bernier, Executive Director, said that it was a three-year process to train the dogs. The dogs live with their trainer or puppy raiser during this training period.

Just as we are grateful for America’s veterans and first-responders, we are also grateful for the efforts of each of these nonprofit organizations. The work they do enhances the well-being of our nation’s heroes. Congratulations to each for their well-deserved fall 2021 grant.

This is part 4 of our series of articles.

This is Part 4 of a series of articles we're posting about our 2021 Fall Grant Series.

Part 1: Helping Students Stay in College

Part 2: Helping the Most Vulnerable Live Their Best Lives

Part 3: Educational Opportunity for All


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