Shot gun start of the 2018 Operation KAVIC golf outing fundraiser

operation k.a.v.i.c.

OPERATION K.A.V.I.C. (Keller Assists Veterans in Crisis) was created to prevent our local military and veterans personnel from enduring financial hardship. Keller Logistics Group together with Defiance County Veterans Services and Ravens Care of Defiance handle the operations of the fund. Keller Logistics Group plans and coordinates the fundraising efforts, the Veterans Services qualifies the individual and Ravens Care is the financial arm. 

This fund provides Active Duty, Veterans, Reservists, & National Guard members with financial assistance where their veteran benefits may have gaps. Most often we help with rent/mortgage payments and medical bills but the flexibility of the Operation K.A.V.I.C. fund our veterans are able to receive assistance with a variety of expenses including dental, home repairs, and even therapy animals. If you can think of it, we’ve proably covered it for our veterans. 

100% of funds raised go to assisting veterans in crisis in Defiance County. 

For more information on receiving aid from OPERATION K.A.V.I.C. contact: Defiance Veterans Affairs Office – 419.782.6861 

Upcoming Fundraising Events

2nd Annual Golf Outing

Saturday, August 3rd 

Eagle Rock Golf Course

4th Annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner

November 7th, 2019 

Defiance K of C Hall

 

In creating Operation K.A.V.I.C., we are so touched to hear the stories of how we helped several of our local veterans who were experiencing a financial crisis; my heart goes out to them. I am proud that we at Keller have put together a fund to help them when in need.

Bryan Keller

CEO, Keller Logistics Group

The Defiance County Veterans Office is so very thankful for this fund, it has provided such a relief and goodwill in the veteran community.

Tanya Brunner

Manager, Defiance County Veterans Services

Common requests for assistance from Operation KAVIC are: rent/mortgage, medical bills, utilities, car repairs, and groceries.

When we first met with the Defiance County Veterans Office to discuss the idea of a charity specifically for Defiance County veterans, we heard their stories of how many veterans are doing fine financially and then something unexpected happens; an illness or needed repair and they aren’t able to make ends meet. The veterans office can provide some aid, but dental expenses, car repairs, and travel to non-VA medical appointments are not provided. 

Operation K.A.V.I.C. began providing financial assistance to veterans and their families in Defiance county in 2016.

In 2016, $30,381.80 in aid was provided. The most common need categories were Rent/Mortgage (28%), Medical Bills (19%), Utilities (12%), and Car Repairs (12%). 

In 2017 we saw a dramatic increase in the need for assistance with funeral repairs. In total $44,234.64 was given to local veterans and their families to provide assistance with: Rent/Mortgage(23%), Medical Bills (17%), Funeral Expenses (11%), and Utilities (9%). 

We saw the need shift a little bit in 2018 while providing $47,601.25 in financial assistance. The top category for assistance was Utilities (20%), next were Medical Bills (15%), then Food (14%), and then Rent/Mortgage (13%). 

In three years $122,217.70 has been used in a wide variety of expenses. The most frequent categories for assistance are: 

  • 21% of of the funds spent were used to help pay rent or a mortgage
  • 17%  went to medical bills, which includes helping to pay for prescriptions
  • 14% was used to keep utilities currents
  • 9% provided veterans and their families with assistance with food
  • 9% helped pay a portion of car repair bills so our veterans have safe and reliable vehicles

Other categories of assistance include: car insurance, dental expenses, funeral expenses, gas/fuel for cars, home repairs, medical equipment, and taxes.

The fund continues to gain momentum as more veterans become aware of the additional resource that can provide aid during a financial hardship.

“This unique charity fund is very rare for the State of Ohio, because so many donations to veterans’ charities are not able to be used locally. All the monies donated to this fund provide for families right in our own backyards.” – Tanya Brunner 

 

Hear Veterans Stories

Watch the video to the right to hear from those who’ve been received assistance from Operation K.A.V.I.C. and how it has positively affected their lives.

From car repairs, to living expenses, to help purchasing and training a therapy dog, Operation K.A.V.I.C. is assisting our local veterans every day. 

When a veteran goes to Veterans Services for assistance, their veterans benefits are used first. If they have a need that can not be supported by those benefits, they use the Operation K.A.V.I.C. funds to assist.

Hear one surviving spouse’s story about the help she received, “I’m very grateful, that was my lifeline. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I’m 80 years old, I can’t go out and get a job.” 

If you are a veteran in need of assistance, please call the Defiance County Veterans Office, 419.782.6861.

operation k.a.v.i.c. History

Operation K.A.V.I.C. Keller Assists Veterans In Crisis logo

After receiving quite a few sponsorship requests from local businesses to support their charities, Bryan Keller, our CEO got to thinking. Keller Logistics Group’s growth over the past few years has put us in a position to be able to choose a corporate philanthropy to support in the way major corporations fund raise for a cause near to their heart.  We believe that a responsible corporation gives back to its community.  We believe that companies help solve community issues.

While thinking about possible charities, Bryan determined Veterans would be our focus, for a few reasons:

  • An industry fact stated that 30% of professional truck drivers are veterans, turns out, that statistics is true for employees of Keller Trucking.
  • Tom Keller, our founder, is a veteran
  • In 2014, employees’ jeans day money went to purchase gift cards for local veterans during the holidays. We received great feedback about how those gift cards positively helped our local veterans during the holidays.

To determine which organization would work best as a partner, we met with the Defiance County Veterans Services team. They were very excited our new initiative and told some interesting stories. One theme we heard over and over was that there gaps in the benefits provided to our veterans. For example, one veteran had a reoccurring dental infection. His benefits would pay for the antibiotics to get rid of the infection but would not pay to have the tooth removed; which was the best course of action. Most of us feel that the Veteran community is under-served.  They along with their families have sacrificed so much.  Our veterans have been through traumatic events that for some has prohibited them to live the lives that we live.  There are some that are one step away from a crisis that could cause them to lose their job and/or their home.  Its disturbing that with all the programs that are out there with a “veteran’s theme” there is this huge gap.

We, at Keller, are about fixing issues.  We felt this cause was our calling helping veterans when no one else will, helping them when they were one crisis away from devastation.  We believed we could make a difference in our community.  This is our purpose.

So, we decided to create our own fund that would fill the gaps in benefits. We partnered with Ravens Care of Defiance to handle the finances of the fund, which is a 501 (c) 3, giving our donors a tax advantage. The Veteran’s Office will determine the need and see what funds could help the veteran.  If there were no funds, they could spend up to $500 on each veteran/instance. If the need was bigger, they are to call Bryan.  I have never received a call that didn’t warrant going above the $500.

Next, our fund needed a name, so we went to our employees. We gave them two weeks to submit a name for the fund and from that Operation K.A.V.I.C. Keller | Assists | Veterans | In | Crisis was created.

We had the idea, the purpose, and now a name, next up how to raise money to support Operation K.A.V.I.C. We decided to host a free veterans and their family appreciation luncheon and provided business partners and local businesses the opportunity to sponsor the event. With overwhelming support from the community, we raised over $36,000 that first year!

Since then, the support for Operation K.A.V.I.C. continues to grow, along with the awareness in the veteran communities.

operation k.a.v.i.c. fundraising

Since our first fundraiser in 2015, Keller Logistics Group has raised more than $196,000 to assist veterans and their families in Defiance County from enduring financial hardship. Our primary fundraiser is the annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner where we ask business partners, local businesses, and community members in Defiance County to sponsor the dinner. In 2018,  we incorporated two additional fundraisers:

  • Buffalo Wild Wings Eat Wings Raise Funds was on July 25th and raised $265
  • 1st Annual Operation K.A.V.I.C. Golf Outing on August 4th raised $2,445!

100% of funds raised go to the Operation K.A.V.I.C. fund for our local active duty, veterans, reservists, and national guard members. For more information on donating to Operation K.A.V.I.C., visit our Donate to Operation K.A.V.I.C. page.

2015 Fundraising for Operation KAVIC check presentation of $36,000

2015 Fundraising

In our first year of fundraising, we raised $37,235 for veterans and their families.

2016 fundraising check presentation to Operation K.A.V.I.C. for $42,160

2016 Fundraising

In 2016, we saw support for Operation K.A.V.I.C. grow and raised $42,160.

Katye, Tanya, Bryan and Ken at the 2017 Operation KAVIC Veterans Appreciation Dinner

2017 Fundraising

1matters.org founder Ken Leslie spoke in 2017 and we raised $50,898.67.

World War II memorabilia at the 2018 Operation KAVIC dinner

2018 Fundraising

In 2018 and raised $66,165 and had a special tribute to World War II veterans.

4 Year operation k.a.v.i.c. Sponsors

Thank you to the Operation K.A.V.I.C. sponsors who have been generouly donating to veterans in crisis since we hosted the first veterans appreciation dinner in 2015!

Double A Trailer

Stykemain Trucks

Daimler Financial

AMRI

First Federal Bank

Robinson Investments

Stoops Freightliner

Service Master by McCann

Shoppas Material Handling

Wendy’s

Love’s Travel Stops

B&A Miller & Sons Trucking

ELKS 147 Charities, Inc.

Hudsonville Trailer Company

Mark Moats Ford

State Bank

Clemens, Kohrn, Liming & Warncke, LTD

Roehrig Painting

Shultz Huber & Associates

Hubbard Company