A Few Minutes with Derek Cloutier, Founder of NEVA, USA
Today I had the chance to sit down with Derek Cloutier, the CEO and founder of the New England Veteran Alliance INC- Cultivating veterans since 2015.
Their mission statement says it all:
NEVA – New England Veterans Alliance is a 501c3 veterans’ nonprofit organization that cultivates veterans through alternative therapeutic programs.
What are some of the ways NEVA gives back to the local veteran community?
By advocating for higher quality of life for veterans through both self-sufficiency and by connecting fellow veterans to a growing network of veteran-owned and veteran-supporting resources.
Knowledge is power, and if we do not know we have these tools or resources available, you may feel hopeless. Cannabis seems to be a last resort for most people; we are here to show that this is not only incredibly valuable to issues like PTSD, depression, and chronic pain, but it also gives us a voice and a choice in what we feel is right for ourselves with healthcare. In a traditional VA setting, our opinions are not always valued.
Veterans are leaving an environment where there was structure in almost every minute of their day, from what time they ate to what time they woke up in the morning. That is all lost when the veteran separates from service. NEVA aims to educate veterans on a variety of ways they can create that structure through self-sustainability, education on the availability of jobs in the cannabis industry, skills related to growing their own crops to reduce the necessity for purchased goods, and mostly teaching veterans to live a healthier and more productive life by pointing them in the right direction towards resources to help achieve that higher quality of life.
We make these connections to veterans; extending an arm of support, education, and resources, to ensure they have every option available to us.
NEVA has a 501c3 status as a tax-exempt non-profit, how does this affect donations from your supporters?
Essentially what this means, is that our sponsors who donate can claim the donation when filing taxes- meaning they do not have to pay tax on this money for the year. We provide all the documentation that the IRS would need to be able to verify your donation to us. A receipt containing:
Our name, and your organization’s name
Value of gift
Date of donation
And a verification that you did not receive any services for your donation from NEVA
It is also a great way for local groups to fulfil the community outreach and social equity requirements put in place by the Cannabis Control Commission. If your local cannabis company wants to get involved, reach out to me at Derek@nevausa.org or to NEVA, USA at email@example.com. We love to collaborate on events, organizing volunteers, and other things such as:
- Monthly veteran check-ins
- Video content
- Donations directly to veterans
- Event Sponsorships
- Scholarships for certifications and medication
- Educational events
- Appreciation events
Really, there are so many ways for anyone to assist us in providing education and resources to veterans all over New England that will further our mission. Even something as simple as liking, commenting and sharing our social media posts allows us to have a better reach to local veterans due to the algorithms, this is a no cost way to seriously impact our visibility to a larger audience, in turn allowing more veterans access to accurate education and support purchasing medication.
What do you have in store for NEVA 2020 and beyond?
Some of the NEW things that we have been working on, has been our Veterans Cultivation Program where we work with industry professionals and community leaders raising funds to provide everything a veteran would need to cultivate their own medicine. We are also drafting up a new equipment program that repurposes used equipment into kits for veterans to grow as well.
We have some Veteran Athletes that we would like to sponsor in the future, whether that be BMX, Auto Racing, Fishing, MMA, Powerlifting or something else that may provide an unconventional therapy that can encourage veterans to seek a new purpose through passion.
Thank you so much for all you do for Veterans in New England!