2019 KAVIC dinner

In this file photo from 2019, Keller Logistics Group presented the Defiance County Veterans Office and Ravens Care of Defiance with a check for $76,701.18 to fund the needs presented to Operation K.A.V.I.C. in 2020. Pictured with the check are Katye Katterheinrich (left) of Ravens Care of Defiance; Tanya Brunner of the Defiance County Veterans Office; and Bryan Keller, CEO Keller Logistics Group.

What began as an effort to lend a financial hand to local veterans and military personnel has grown steadily over the past six years.

Operation K.A.V.I.C. (Keller Assists Veterans in Crisis) was the brainchild of Bryan Keller, CEO of Keller Logistics Group, and uses donated funds which are made available to veterans, as well as active duty military members and their families in need. This fund provides these individuals with financial assistance where their veteran benefits may have gaps.

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, Defiance County Veterans Services qualifies the individuals for assistance and Ravens Care is the financial arm. One hundred percent of the funds raised go to assisting veterans in crisis in Defiance County.

“We wouldn’t be able to do this without our partnership with Defiance County Veterans Services and Ravens Care,” said Meredith Mickey, Operation K.A.V.I.C. project coordinator at Keller Logistics Group. “Ravens Care handles the money and cuts the checks, while Defiance County Veterans Services qualifies the individuals for our assistance. They work with the veterans to get them all of the government assistance they can and then we step in to help with additional needs.”

Most often Operation K.A.V.I.C. helps with rent/mortgage payments and medical bills, but with the flexibility of the group, 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, they’ve probably covered it for a veteran.

Primarily through donations from local and regional businesses, as well as local service organizations, Operation K.A.V.I.C. has raised more than $60,000 so far this year and a total of more than $330,000 since its inception in 2015.

“We’ve seen tremendous generosity from individuals, our business partners and service organizations,” said Mickey. “They see there is a need for veterans assistance and have really stepped up to fill in some of those gaps in service.”

For more information on receiving aid from Operation K.A.V.I.C., contact the Defiance County Veterans Affairs Office at 419-782-6861.

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