Providing barbecue meals for displaced residents and emergency personnel is one small way to temporarily soothe the harsh realities of immense recovery efforts.
Sergeant Mickey Clayton and her family have been purchasing Newman’s Own products for years, because they knew all profits went to charity.
She never expected she would one day be the beneficiary of one of their grants.
Clayton was in her seventh year of serving the U.S. Army before a serious leg injury sidelined her. Honorably discharged with 100 percent disability and still suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Clayton was deeply worried what her options were.
“All of a sudden, I went from being a young woman with a whole career ahead of me to being in a hospital, and I can't walk. And I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I came to the conclusion that maybe I needed to go back to ranching,” Clayton says.
Ranching made sense, as she was raised on a ranch, so she decided to open a 40-acre heritage sheep and livestock ranch. But ranching requires extreme physicalities, and Clayton couldn’t walk long distances or ride a horse, let alone trying to navigate the steep terrain of her ranch.
One solution was an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), but its high cost was prohibitive. Her friends suggested she apply for a grant at Work Vessels for Veterans, a nonprofit that provides tools, machinery or vehicles to returning veterans who are starting their own civilian businesses. With generous support from Newman’s Own Foundation, Work Vessels for Veterans has helped more than 1,300 veterans in 48 states.
Receiving the grant was a complete shock.
“When we found out we got a grant from Newman's Own, it was like a fairy tale had just come true. I was totally surprised,” she says.
Her family’s history of buying Newman’s Own products clicked into place. “Now we’re the beneficiary of one of their grants. It’s amazing,” she says.
Armed with her new ATV, Clayton felt a newfound independence: “Getting the ATV was both relieving and empowering, so it makes a really deep difference. It let me feel like I have the ability to be independent again,” says Clayton.
Thanks to the support of Newman’s Own Foundation and Work Vessels for Veterans, Clayton can get back to her ranching and healing.
We equip America's returning veterans with the tools they need to start a business or pursue career education.Learn More
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