DAV Mid-Winter Conferences Illuminate Issues Affecting Veterans



Bread of the Mighty to Host Sixth Annual Empty Bowls Event

Bread of the Mighty pic
Bread of the Mighty
Image: breadofthemighty.org

From 2008 to 2012, Christopher Dabney served as an infantry rifleman and team leader with the US Marine Corps in Camp Pendleton, California. An ongoing advocate for disabled veterans, Christopher Dabney has also volunteered at the Florida-based nonprofit organization Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

This coming April, Bread of the Mighty will be hosting its sixth annual Empty Bowls Event at Trinity United Methodist Church. The event, which has since been popularized by many food banks, originated with a high school teacher who wanted to raise funds for a food drive at his school. In supporting the fundraising project, students crafted handmade clay bowls and provided soup and bread to guests, who were encouraged to retain their bowls as a reminder of world hunger.

The 2016 Bread of the Mighty Empty Bowls Event welcomed more than 400 guests and garnered more than $76,000 in donations. Sponsors and supporters included schools, churches, nonprofit agencies, and local businesses.

Volunteering with Disabled American Veterans

Disabled American Veterans pic
Disabled American Veterans
Image: dav.org

A former analyst intern at the Marine International Petroleum Company Inc., Christopher Dabney recently completed his bachelor’s education at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. Prior to starting school, Christopher Dabney spent four years serving with the USMC and he now donates every month to Disabled American Veterans.

To help it provide its wide range of opportunities, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) relies heavily on volunteers. There are three main ways volunteers can support DAV: helping at a local VA hospital, driving veterans to appointments, or helping veterans with basic tasks. Van volunteers ensure that veterans have access to VA hospitals and important treatment regardless of whether they live in a rural or urban area. Meanwhile, hospital volunteers handle such tasks as escorting patients and participating in recreational programs, and veteran assistance volunteers run errands for veterans, do yard work, or fill various other needs.

With all the help its volunteers offer, DAV is sure to show them its appreciation. Exemplary volunteer service earns volunteers recognition through DAV’s Volunteer Recognition Program, but the organization also goes beyond that. In an effort to promote youth involvement, the organization offers the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship program. This program grants student volunteers up to $20,000 to fund their higher education, along with an expense-paid trip to DAV National Convention where they receive the award. For non-student volunteers, the organization awards the George H. Seal Memorial Trophy to honor above-and-beyond service.

DAV Helps Veterans Find Employment

Disabled American Veterans Organization pic
Disabled American Veterans Organization
Image: dav.org

Christopher Dabney, a recent recipient of a bachelors of science in finance from the University of Florida, has a wide breadth of experience. As a member of the United States Marine Corps, Christopher Dabney served in Afghanistan as a team leader. In this position he was responsible for leading and training a team of marines, ensuring that they were mentally and physically prepared for high-stress situations. In an effort to support fellow veterans, Christopher Dabney began supporting the Disabled American Veterans organization.

The Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV) strives to connect disabled veterans with the resources and services that are available to them through various government programs. Each year, it serves over one million veterans and their families, helping them to live high quality lives with respect and dignity. Connecting veterans with meaningful employment is a key service provided by the DAV.

Veterans and transitioning military service members, as well as their spouses, can utilize the employment services provided by the DAV. Each year, the DAV, in conjunction with Recruit Military and Veteran Recruiting, hosts a number nationwide career fairs that connect veterans with employers. Representatives from well-known corporations, such as Verizon, Xerox, Pep Boys, and Aetna, attend the fairs, actively looking to hire veterans. The organization also works to provide tools and resources to those looking for jobs.

Disabled American Veterans – Dedicated to Veteran and Family Support

Disabled American Veterans Organization pic
Disabled American Veterans Organization
Image: dav.org

A recent graduate of the University of Florida and former credit analyst intern with Ameris Bank, Christopher Dabney devotes time and resources to philanthropic and community oriented causes. Among these, Christopher Dabney has volunteered with Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization headquartered in Cold Spring, Kentucky.

Since its inception in 1920, Disabled American Veterans has aided veterans in obtaining the resources and support guaranteed them for their time in service. Professional assistance is available to both veterans and families of veterans with regard to obtaining the total amount of support and services due. This is accomplished by interfacing with the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as Congress and all levels of the legal system, from state and local governments on up.

Disabled American Veterans also reaches out to communities of veterans across the United States, forming community volunteer groups emphasizing compassion and respect. To learn more about how to volunteer, visit www.dav.org.

The DAV’s Homeless Veterans Initiative

The DAV’s Homeless Veterans Initiative pic
The DAV’s Homeless Veterans Initiative
Image: va.gov

A recent finance graduate at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Administration, Christopher Dabney is knowledgeable about areas such as financial management and real estate investment. Dedicated to supporting his community, former United States Marine Christopher Dabney regularly donates to the Disabled American Veterans Organization.

Since its founding, the Disabled American Veterans Organization (DAV) has been providing veterans of all generations with lifetime support. Covering everything from rides to medical appointments to benefit claim assistance, the organization maintains several programs, including the Homeless Veterans Initiative.

Through the financial support of DAV’s Charitable Service Trust and Columbia Trust, the Homeless Veteran Initiative helps homeless veterans. The initiative not only promotes increased development of housing for homeless veterans, it also provides a variety of services that help homeless veterans return to self-sufficiency and productivity.

It is the DAV’s hope to eventually work with all levels of government to provide additional support to homeless veterans. Through such partnerships the organization’s goal is to develop more programs in cities around the United States. Any individuals who require assistance from the Homeless Veterans Initiative should contact the DAV.

Bread of the Mighty Food Bank’s Annual Empty Bowls Event

Empty Bowls Event pic
Empty Bowls Event
Image: breadofthemighty.org

Christopher Dabney, a senior finance major at the University of Florida, is a decorated former infantry team leader with the United States Marine Corps. Dedicated to helping others, Christopher Dabney regularly donates to charitable organizations that support veterans and has volunteered with such community groups as Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

Since 1987, Bread of the Mighty Food Bank has been collecting, sorting, and distributing food and basic essentials to charitable organizations throughout North Central Florida. The organization has established a number of initiatives and programs over the years, along with several events like the Empty Bowls event. An annual event, Empty Bowls raises funds to support Bread of the Mighty Food Bank and promote awareness of hunger problems in the local community. The concept originated from a high school teacher’s attempt to get his students involved in supporting a food drive and has since been adopted by several other food banks.

The Bread of the Mighty Empty Bowls Event has since grown beyond the original idea of simply providing a meal and allowing guests to keep the bowl they were served. While this concept is generally maintained, the event now brings in numerous agencies, business, schools, and faith organizations that support Bread of the Mighty. Each year, the event features keynote speakers, and some years it has a basket auction. All guests receive a bowl handcrafted by local students to take home at the end of the night.