Veterans Day observances honoring the men and women who defend our freedoms are an important way to recognize the sacrifice of all those touched by the military. For some committed volunteers, the work of honoring military veterans and personnel extends far beyond just one day. These folks give their time to lift up veterans in need.

For some #volunteers, honoring our #veterans goes beyond 1 day/year. #VeteransDay #TrueCelebrity Click To Tweet

Rachel Gutierrez, a veteran of the second Iraq war, returned home from her tour to find herself in a silent battle with PTSD. She felt isolated, depressed, and lonely. Through a friend she found The Mission Continues, an organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life after the military.

Rachel Gutierrez - Cabot Community Celebrity

Rachel Gutierrez identifying and aiding homeless veterans in her community

The Mission Continues, along with the leadership, Rachel launched a grass roots movement to engage local veterans in her Arizona community through civic action. Her work and rallying of local veterans led to large scale renovations of homeless shelters and nighttime street outreaches to find, identify, and help homeless veterans. The program has created a new veteran family for Rachel and tasked them with missions of effecting positive change in their local community.

Ben Shambon - Cabot Community Celebrity

Ben Shambon

Ben Shambon has spent countless hours at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC. It was during a break from college that Ben first started volunteering at the hospital. He was tasked with walking hospital hallways with a convenience cart for patients, delivering anything from deodorant to a toothbrush.

Walter Reed - Cabot Community Celebrity

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

What he didn’t expect when he started was how his interactions with wounded soldiers could comfort them. His cart walks soon evolved into hours of conversation. Through the sharing stories, laughs, and at times tears, Ben found the hospital to be a place of great hope and positivity for recovering soldiers. Ben now runs the cart program and manages a staff of volunteers at the hospital who are following in his footsteps, delivering daily essentials with an open ear and a big side of comfort for those who need it.

Honoring our Veterans is necessary and important, but supporting them is equally essential. The volunteer work of Rachel and Ben is changing the course of soldiers’ lives. It creates safe places where veterans can talk through personal issues or channel their many skills for good in the community. It is building a culture of support for those that give the most to protect our way of life.

The farm families who own Cabot often volunteer in the communities in which they live and they hope to inspire others to do the same. The Cabot Community Celebrity Cruise was created to honor outstanding individuals in communities across the country committed to changing lives for the better.

Cabot Creamery Cooperative and their partners are working to evolve the notion of celebrity as recognition of community service and volunteerism. The 1200 farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative are often the first to volunteer in their own communities and that spirit of giving back permeates all we do. The Cabot Community Celebrities, along with our Reward Volunteers program, and the traveling Cabot Gratitude Grille illustrate the many ways our dairy farm families honor, amplify, and reward those who give time to do good.  Even simple acts can lead to big change. We are proud to work with sponsors such as AARP/Create the Good, National Cooperative Bank and the Points of Light’s Hands on Network to celebrate these good people for their good deeds and build networks of help that can last a lifetime.

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