Veterans Farm in Western Mass

$6,137 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 26 months
Jake Alexander  ATHOL, MA
My best friend Dean and I have been working on this project for a few months now and we were going to keep it private until the house was officially purchased but it's hard not to be excited. With all of the tension created from this election we wanted to share with you what we are doing to positively change our country. Our project has been privately funded up to this point, and this is our first attempt to get support from crowd funding.

In Massachusetts alone there are 400,000 Veterans and on average 20%  of them suffer from PTSD. Currently 1200 Veterans are homeless and the winter is coming. This is what sparked us to really be the change that we wanted to see in this world. 

We are in the process of buying this beautiful 8 bedroom house with an 18 stall horse barn and two story barn in order to provide veterans with a space to call their own and teach them how to farm. Aiming to keep their hands and minds busy in order to help them heal their invisable scars. Twenty-two veterans a day kill themselves due to this terrible battle. Studies show that farming can help them learn to work together as a team, show each other their limits day in and day out and grow their self esteem. 

I have teamed up with Terra Cura, a nonprofit orginization focused on building communities through community gardens. In the upcoming year we plan to work hand in hand with these veterans in order to house them, employ them and give them an opportunity to surrounded themselves with other veterans going through the same struggles. All while teaching them how to grow sustainable vegetable gardens that will help feed the surrounding towns, and help build the community. 

The money raised will help with creating a  furnished home for each veteran, farm supplies and recreation opportunities for the veterans. We plan to be in the house by January 1, 2017 and start farming this spring. Our goal is to bring the produce grown to local farmers markets and eventually create a CSA.

I can't thank you all enough for supporting us through this journey and supporting our Veterans whom we owe the biggest thanks of all. 

Tornadoes and hurricanes get all the press but termites cause more damage than both combined. Start small get out, be active and be the change you want to see. Make the difference that you can so we can bring this country together.
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Update 10
Posted by Jake Alexander
22 months ago
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The seeds are in, the tractor had arrived and the new website is up! Www.vetsandveggies.com check it out!
Soon enough we will be farming and selling our vegetables, eggs, and meats.

The non profit paperwork is underway! The board has been established and we are ready to do big things!

Thanks again to all of you that have been following the Facebook page as well as sharing our posts. I try to keep the post informative and a way to tell our story as it develops. The next couple of weeks we will really winding up so donations are greatly appreciated! Although the charity is being set up I don't have the tax Id number just yet but soon enough!

As the one who bought this farm and has had this vision for a few years now, I can't begin to explain how much all of the support means to me. It makes the hurdles along the way more manageable, and the good days just a bit more magical. I wouldn't be able to be doing this without the support of you all. Even if it's a $5 donation, pennies make dollars. it all goes towards building a platform to have veterans help other veterans help themselves, through meaningful work and camaraderie.
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Update 9
Posted by Jake Alexander
22 months ago
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Meet "Spirit" the first draft horse to be on site at Vets and Veggies. Very exciting stuff!

The new website should be updated later on the week so keep an eye out!
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Update 8
Posted by Jake Alexander
23 months ago
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Hey how's it going everyone? Couple of updates on the farm. For now we have pigs and we are getting a fjord draft horse next week. We set up the fencing today for the horse.

Also we have 2 veterans moved in Bob and Nick. I will put a little bio up this week hopefully on the 2 of them.

I met with the new website guy yesterday, got some good pictures of the farm and brainstormed what the site needs. So once that it is up an running I will inform you all.

So far money raised has gone towards building a pig hut, pig fencing, feed, mattresses, and hard wired smoke detectors.

Future money raised will go towards other animals, plant seed, fencing, and materials for carpentry projects. There are plenty of other things we can use money for but those are the basic necessities at this point.

And last but not least, I meet Monday with the lawyer to get the Vets and Veggies non-profit set up! I can't wait!

Thank you so much to everyone that has shared the page, liked posts and even just follow us without the interaction. This is truly a dream come true and I hope you all enjoy following what we are doing.
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Update 7
Posted by Jake Alexander
23 months ago
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Vets and veggies had a great meeting today with Heroes horses and hounds!

We are happy to announce that we will be partnering with them in order to bring service dogs and therapeutic mini horses to our program!

We are now taking applications for veterans looking to live on site in the farm house. We are a care farm dedicated to veterans who are looking to use agriculture and animals for their stress relieving qualities.

Please like the Vets and Veggies Facebook page as well as the website www.vetsandveggies.com where you can find the housing applications.

Thanks again to everyone who has shared the posts, donated and have reached out.
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Read a Previous Update
David Helebert
22 months ago

Hey Jake! Love the initiative! I manage a few furniture stores in Boston and would love to help you out however possible in getting this placed furnished inexpensively! Its great to see people making positive change on Facebook, cheers!

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Jake Alexander
23 months ago

Stephen at this time it is not free. Once more money is raised and the farm is producing money then the goal is to have it be free. There will be opportunities for veterans who are not living there to come up though.

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Stephen Lewis
23 months ago

Jake, is this deal free for veterans?

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Jake Alexander
24 months ago

Thanks for reaching out Emily. I have no affiliation with the veterans homestead, although it does see like a great program, I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of their program. I can assure you that I have personally funded this project besides this Gofundme me because it is something that I want to see. The mission is clear and it will remain about veterans and their families rather than any vacation slush fund. Although I would a take houseboat in Costa Rica! Haha I look forward to meeting the community and really making this a special place for veterans, their families and the community as well. Thanks again Emily

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Emily Melvin
24 months ago

This will help so many of my brothers and sisters thank you! Hopefully you have no affiliation with the veteran homestead in Gardner where they have failed so many families we need a place such as yours for a real stablized productive healthy living environment not another personal slush fund for homes in the Bahamas. Thank you again!

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Jake Alexander
24 months ago

Feel free to email me at Jakealexander @vetsandveggies.com

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Jake Alexander
24 months ago

That would be great Diane!

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Diane Pearson
24 months ago

I live down the street. I would love to help out someway.... Maybe cleaning, gardening, paperwork and my son in law has been involved in creating a veteran s organization. I would like to pass your info on to him.

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$6,137 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 106 people in 26 months
Created November 11, 2016
Jake Alexander
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NM
$50
Nancy M
16 months ago

God Bless

$20
Misty Nolette
21 months ago

Very happy to see this! Best of luck!

RM
$200
Ryan and Emily Meuse
21 months ago
MS
$50
Matt Smith
22 months ago

Great work guys. Good luck!

$50
Anonymous
22 months ago
AH
$100
Alexandra Hitchcock
22 months ago

Good luck Jake and Dean!!!

SM
$20
sarah morrow
22 months ago
MC
$100
Mary Crawford
22 months ago
LR
$37
Linda Rose
22 months ago
1
1

This donation is in honor of our son, Jason's, 37th birthday, per his request. Thank you for all you do for our Veterans!

MD
$100
Mary Dunderdale
22 months ago

Great idea. Best of luck.

David Helebert
22 months ago

Hey Jake! Love the initiative! I manage a few furniture stores in Boston and would love to help you out however possible in getting this placed furnished inexpensively! Its great to see people making positive change on Facebook, cheers!

+ Read More
Jake Alexander
23 months ago

Stephen at this time it is not free. Once more money is raised and the farm is producing money then the goal is to have it be free. There will be opportunities for veterans who are not living there to come up though.

+ Read More
Stephen Lewis
23 months ago

Jake, is this deal free for veterans?

+ Read More
Jake Alexander
24 months ago

Thanks for reaching out Emily. I have no affiliation with the veterans homestead, although it does see like a great program, I am unfamiliar with the ins and outs of their program. I can assure you that I have personally funded this project besides this Gofundme me because it is something that I want to see. The mission is clear and it will remain about veterans and their families rather than any vacation slush fund. Although I would a take houseboat in Costa Rica! Haha I look forward to meeting the community and really making this a special place for veterans, their families and the community as well. Thanks again Emily

+ Read More
Emily Melvin
24 months ago

This will help so many of my brothers and sisters thank you! Hopefully you have no affiliation with the veteran homestead in Gardner where they have failed so many families we need a place such as yours for a real stablized productive healthy living environment not another personal slush fund for homes in the Bahamas. Thank you again!

+ Read More
Jake Alexander
24 months ago

Feel free to email me at Jakealexander @vetsandveggies.com

+ Read More
Jake Alexander
24 months ago

That would be great Diane!

+ Read More
Diane Pearson
24 months ago

I live down the street. I would love to help out someway.... Maybe cleaning, gardening, paperwork and my son in law has been involved in creating a veteran s organization. I would like to pass your info on to him.

+ Read More
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