American Dream Grant Recipients.

Providing For Their Future
American Dream Grants, awards and scholarships guarantee our Heroes will have the chance – and the resources – to personally live the lives they fought for. From start-up fudge companies to nationally recognized gyms, Holidays for Heroes has helped our veterans and their families get their businesses off the ground.

A Hand Up – Not a Hand Out
From $2,500 to $25,000, American Dream Awards further education & training for small business start-ups for Heroes committed to building a future. Grants for homestead handicap retrofits or down payments for a place to live relieve the pressures of providing a home for family, so a hero can focus on building their future.

Behind Every Hero There Is A Family
Every hero has a family who has loved, supported, and sacrificed. Holidays for Heroes seeks to support and empower each hero as a family unit. In so doing we fill a niche that is too often left unattended. H4H American Dream Grants are funded by sponsors, foundations, private donations and by the annual American Dream Tribute & Gala.

americandreamgrantmichael

Our 2017-2018 American Dream Grant recipient, Michael Lammey of Safety Happens, states "on an ordinary day, under what seemed to be ordinary circumstances, Safety Happens was forged in the seven hundred degree heat and steam of a boiler explosion aboard the USS Frank Cable in December 2006." Michael attributes what happened not to a safety protocol violation, but to complacency backed by a false sense of security. Michael took his personal experience and created an innovative program called Safety Happens.

Safety Happens offers 1-hour impactful presentations that focus on personal responsibility, the dangers of complacency, and the dangers of a false sense of security. The presentation is designed to provide organizations and employees with the basic knowledge required to comply with OSHA standards while simultaneously motivating employees to take personal responsibility for their own safety to prevent accidents.

When routinely performing dangerous tasks, one can become desensitized to the inherent risk of what could happen, should a hazardous situation occur.  The repeated completion of tasks while working with dangerous equipment can give one a false sense of security. This misperception can produce catastrophic results. Lammey aims to change this misperception with a message that draws on his expertise and personal experience.

For the next year, Holidays for Heroes is working with Michael to help him make his business the best it can be. Our grant will provide the mentorship and resources needed to assist Michael with taking his entrepreneurial endeavor to the next level. Safety Happens is an effective and innovative program that will no doubt change the way employers and employees think about their safety every day. Stay tuned for the new and improved Safety Happens website being released in 2018! The bottom line is...Safety Happens if YOU Make it Happen!

Success Stories

Aaron&McKayla

Extra Ordinary Delights, a Holidays for Heroes American Dream Grant recipient, has come a long way since the start of the company. Aaron Hale and wife McKayla Tracy are busier than ever fulfilling orders for their growing business. From creating unique flavors to handcrafting every batch, they are hard at work bringing quality fudge to their customers. Aaron and McKayla have partnered with a Savannah, Georgia based confections company to be their co-packer. This means that all of EOD’s delicious treats will be crafted, boxed, and shipped straight to you from their 60,000 square foot facility. This has been a game changer for the growing small business based out of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Having launched a new website and started selling their product in local Florida stores, this dynamic duo is headed to the top of the confections market!

Mike McVay

After a long road in a crashed economy, Mike McVay opened an Anytime Fitness in Dodgeville, WI, on Jan 8th, 2011. Mike originally started by leasing 2100 sq. ft. of space, but having a limited amount of space meant his gym was unable to offer all of the amenities that a regular Anytime had. With financial struggles due to sticking as much money as possible back into the business, Mike knew they needed more space and finances or it wasn't going to last.

The American Dream Grant gave Mike $50,000 to help him achieve his business goals. Mike was able to make the down payment to finance the purchase of the entire building and was able to remodel the inside of the building. 

In just year, Mike doubled their membership, hired full and part-time employees, and now profits $3000 a month after all overhead expenses are paid. The biggest accomplishment reached was when Mike's Anytime Fitness was ranked 168 out of all clubs in the entire franchise (3500 plus in the world). That put his company into Club Purple. Club Purple is the top 20% of Clubs in the Franchise.

With this ranking, Mike has been encouraged to open another location. Mike is also on the verge of being in the top 5% of the entire franchise, as his company was recently ranked at 124 (The 94.6%ile)! These impressive numbers are the result of hard work, dedication, and a little help along the way. We are so excited about what the future holds for Mike and his growing company!

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