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Past Programs

Empty Bowls fundraiser: 2018-2019

We were able to assist with the Empty Bowls fundraiser by supplying active duty military and veterans from CCVC organizations to assist with making butcher blocks, trays and other wooden utensils. This uplifting event unites businesses, religious and civic groups, professional and amateur potters, restaurants and others, as we use our collective creative energies to make a difference in the lives of others.
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Veterans Organic Garden Map: Groundbreaking May 2013

The Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden’s (VEBCOG) mission is to provide transitional employment for homeless and disadvantaged veterans. In addition, we provide a location for the rehabilitation of disabled veterans using Horticulture Therapy. But our program has expanded to include so much more, from the Children’s Garden and its programming to the Annual Veteran’s Stand-down. We are a social entrepreneurship, which has an innovative, value creating activity that occurs within Eastern North Carolina.
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Hurricane Florence/Michael rebuild

We were severely damaged by Hurricane Florence. We had 4-5 feet of water that may have been mixed with sewage, oil and fuel. Insurance only covers on-site injuries, not storm damage. We lost 90% of our seeds and plants, and we are working with Cooperative Extension to find out what we need to do to get our soil back in shape for plantings. We mulched 8 wooden beds for the winter and all of that floated away.

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VEBCOG Veterans Internship Program

VEBCOG was able to provide programs outreach and advocacy to 113 members of the Craven County community, we increased the development of the 11 Veterans Farmers interns and exposed 257 volunteer active duty members to agriculture as a career choice. We held an outreach program specifically for veterans in which we were able to provide services to 85 veterans over a 2-day program.
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RED day with Keller Williams

A throng of the red shirted people moved through the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden behind the Stanley White Recreation Center on Chapman Street on Thursday, cobbling together wooden raised bed frames, getting assignments, putting up solar panels, attaching gutters to work sheds and planting. They were employees of Keller Williams Realty and they were participating in the company’s “RED Day.” It’s a day each year that stands for Renew, Energize, Donate, a time when the company gives back to the community. While a woman stopped Singleton long enough to give her a potted red flower, Michelle Brinson, an employee at Keller Williams, was raking mulch on the lasagna bed.

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Veterans Stand-down: 2013-2020

What is a veteran’s stand-down? The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, send and receive mail letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. We are expecting up to 200 Veterans that will be in need of services

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Vets talk about Vets: 2014-2015

An event for veterans to just talk. Those of us who have served in the military and gone on to have productive lives have valuable skills to teach. However, introducing these new ideas in the veteran community takes more than just having knowledge and a willingness to share it. That is when we have to meet people where they are: For me it has evolved by considering city farming opportunities, establishing a farmer’s market, encouraging a “farm-to-fork” program to promote local food, teaching veterans benefits classes. We are thinking long term and thinking in terms of an overall vision for veterans as they leave the military. As veterans we can respond to what America says that it needs. We can also encourage and reignite the dreams of other veterans who are working for a healthy community. I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realized I am somebody.

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VEBCOG Women’s Veteran Outreach

According to the Department of Defense, in 2010 more than 30,000 single mothers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and as of 2006 more than 40% of active duty women have children. For any veteran with dependent children, being identified as homeless creates a threat and fear of youth protective services assessing the situation as dangerous and removing the children from their parent. This is one of the reasons VEBCOG and NC Works partnered together to hold a Women Veterans and Active Duty Women Outreach Event.
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VEBCOG Youth Programs

Duffyfield community lacks adequate access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food choices. It is a pocket of the city which features fast food, liquor, and convenience stores selling unhealthy, high-fat, high-sugar foods. We are providing opportunities for youth to engage with NC Cooperative Extension, Craven Community College, and the Health Department staff. The high cost of private clubs, sports teams and other youth activities is often not an option for many of the local families struggling to meet basic needs. Providing access to training and skills that relate to fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income neighborhoods is a challenge, but teaching children in these same neighborhoods, provides a learning foundation that they can take home to their families, reproduce in their own yards and incorporate in their employment foundation.

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