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Ford Fund Gives $25,000 to Veteran Causes on NBC’s ‘GIVE’

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Ford Fund President Jim Vella joined actor Blair Underwood to surprise veteran organizations with contributions as part of NBC’s GIVE television series

Ford Motor Company Fund and NBC’s GIVE teamed up for a special episode on Saturday that saw the automaker’s philanthropic arm awarding $15,000 to the Armed Services Arts Partnership and $10,000 to Bunker Labs DC.

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In the episode, Ford Fund President Jim Vella and GIVE host Blair Underwood determined how to best divide a $25,000 grant between the two organizations. Both ASAP and Bunker Labs DC focus on supporting military veterans in their post-service career aspirations.

“Most important is community need—you always want to meet the greatest need,” Vella told Underwood. “You make some of the decision with your head and some with your heart.”

ASAP aims to provide veterans a means of self-expression through the arts, providing vets with the opportunity to learn the art of stand-up comedy, creative writing, and other arts.

“This is incredibly humbling,” said Sam Pressler, founder of ASAP. “We will be able to take this check and empower hundreds of veterans to come home and find a voice and purpose in the community. It’s incredible. We’re so grateful.”

Bunker Labs DC helps veterans start and expand their own businesses by providing access to mentors and networking opportunities. The $15,000 grant will be put to use in the development of an app that will connect Bunker Labs’ nationwide network.

“You’ve all had the opportunity to serve our country and this is a way that our employees can serve you for a change,” Vella told veterans at Bunker Labs during the presentation of the grant.

“We’re all going to use it,” said Todd Connor, founder of Bunker Labs. “This will bring our whole community together.”

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