Colin Archipley - Archi's Acres, VSAT

Colin Archipley, a disabled Veteran sergeant in the Marines, returned from war haunted by his experiences and struggling to readjust to his old life. The only thing that provided solace was nursing the long-neglected avocado trees on his property back to health - and with this, a desire for farming was born.

He and his wife, Karen, turned their property into Archi's Acres, a small organic farm that teaches sustainable agriculture to other returning Veterans, also struggling to find their way in a world without war. The Archipley's provided the Veterans a safe haven do meaningful work, allowing them to experience emotional healing they so desperately needed while teaching them a valuable skill. But farming is seasonal, which means periodic gaps with no money coming in. When Archipley found he unable to make payroll and with no time to apply for a loan through traditional means (and uncertain as to whether he would even qualify) Archipley braced himself for the worst. Then his wife Karen heard about DVAF.

DVAF provided a short-term loan which was paid in-full in a less than two weeks and a line of credit to help Archipley make payroll on time and keep his Veteran workers employed. As Archipley said, "DVAF was wonderful. It provided the bridge we needed to get over a tough spot."

Thank you from Archi's Acres

www.archisacres.com

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

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Octavio Sanchez - S. Bueno Contracting

Staff Sergeant Sanchez was a squad leader in the Marines when his unit was ambushed in a roadside bomb explosion. He spent two years and 22 surgeries repairing burn damage and then six reconstructive surgeries on his face, including the reconstruction of his nose. Not surprisingly, his years of physical struggle led to money issues and credit problems.

His inability to get his construction company bonded made it impossible for him to qualify for a loan, even one designed to help Veterans like himself. It soon became clear that, "if I didn't have the money already, I wasn't getting it from anyone else." Then another disabled Veteran told him about DVAF. Impressed by the low interest rate and the simple application, he applied.

He was contacted almost immediately. "They were upfront with me, yet it was clear they wanted to help me and make things work." Sanchez was awarded the loan, which helped his company get bonded and qualify for work in the VA system.

Today, Sanchez is busy running his company and taking on more and more construction jobs. At the same time, he has a larger vision of helping out others like him. As for hiring disabled Veterans in the future, he says, "Of course. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Veterans helping Veterans."

Watch Octavio's story here.


 

Misty Birchall - Pubcakes

Misty Burchall, a disabled US Navy Veteran, first heard about DVAF from a neighbor who forwarded her a newspaper article describing the mission of the foundation. Struggling to get her "Pubcakes" bakery business off the ground through loans from family members, she decided to apply, even if receiving a loan was unlikely in today's turbulent economic environment. As Birchall said, "I'd applied for credit cards and had been declined. I figured if I can't even get a credit card, why even try to get a loan?" Much to her relief, Birchall found the DVAF application easy to access and complete. After the foundation's rigorous review she learned of her small start-up grant in a very short time period.

Birchall's Pubcakes business was featured on Cupcake Wars in 2012. According to Birchall, if not for DVAF - "I never would have made it through the first year."

And when it comes to hiring employees? Birchall is looking for Veterans. Says Birchall, "Veterans know how to work long hours and always put in 100%. You can't really complain when an employee is willing to put forward that amount of effort."

Watch Misty's story here.

Thank you from Misty Birchall


 

Robert "Chip" Craig

In the summer of 2010, Robert "Chip" Craig, a disabled Air Force Veteran and owner of a small construction company, had lost his house and was about to lose his business. His company's time-consuming cycle of stockpiling construction waste and paying hundreds of dollars to independent hauling companies was eating up any small profits. The only way to save the business he had owned for 35 years was to buy a dump trailer. But he didn't have the money, nor could he qualify for a loan. Then he heard about DVAF.

The simple application didn't require "reams of paper" and the friendly DVAF staff was more than willing to answer any questions. Within two weeks, DVAF awarded him a loan and Craig was able to purchase the dump trailer and have a small amount of working capital he so desperately needed.

Since then, business has picked up significantly. "People can see that we are a full functioning contracting service and we get a lot of great referrals." And when it comes to hiring crew, Craig looks for Veterans. As he says, "I've been fighting my whole life to show people that I can do anything they can do, and that spirit resonates in our disabled Veterans. They just want a chance to prove themselves."  

Read Robert's story here.

correction

 

Jerry,

We would be more than happy to help in any way possible as your organization was a Godsend to us, and we would like to pay it forward.

Chip now has a lot of work, 3 employees and numberous sub-contractors who were not working until DVAF came along.

We are both very grateful,

JoAn


 

Richard Davis - All American Lawn Care

Mr. Richard Davis of Institute, West Virginia, a disabled Army veteran who served in Iraq, was awarded two loans totaling nearly $7,000 which enabled him to purchase a tractor, a trailer and to jumpstart his small business and expand its operations.

Mr. Davis owns and operates All American Lawn Care and is working to meet increasing demand from customers throughout the communities of Kanawha County. Faced with the prohibitively high interest rates attached to loans from large financial institutions, he turned to DVAF for a micro-loan that would enable him to purchase new equipment, hire a new employee and deploy more teams simultaneously while not placing an unworkable financial burden on his small business. DVAF approved the loan within two weeks of Mr. Davis's initial application.

"DVAF was there for me when the banks were not," said Davis. "Thanks to this loan, I will be able to serve my clients more effectively and grow my business."

Richard Davis exemplifies the veterans DVAF wants to help. Through hard-word and dedication, Mr. Davis is focused on growing his business but just needed a little support to take it to the next level.


 

Benjamin Walker - WEI Industries

Ben Walker spent much of his military time doing two tours of duty in Vietnam during the height of that conflict and left the Navy with an honorable discharge and a 40 percent VA Disability rating. He opened and has owned WEI Industries for 30 years, a company dealing with the distribution and servicing of electrical and solar equipment. Ben now works almost exclusively with government contracts and uses DVAF resources for his short term financing to complete his Department of Defense obligations. DVAF enables him to purchase needed equipment before DOD monies are received.

 


 

Ken Wold - Guardian Investigations

Kenneth Wold is retired from the Air Force in 2000 after 20 years of year service and then established Guardian Investigations, a security & surveillance and investigations firm in Boise Idaho. Investigations were major part of his responsibilities as an active duty Federal Agent and member of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and his experience in protective service details for the President made for a natural transition to his investigations business.

When Mr. Wold sought credit from traditional lenders to purchase materials for his business he was denied due to insufficient business credit. DVAF was able to review Mr. Wold's situation and provide the $2500 loan he requested.