Everybody can use a helping hand once in a while, and at MacFarlane Pheasants, we believe that help should start at home. That’s why we work with Wisconsin-based nonprofit Caravilla in our hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. Together we’re able to offer hope to those military veterans in our community who feel they’re at the end of their rope.
Rock Valley Community Programs started Caravilla in 2011. Their mission is to provide transitional housing for veterans in our community through a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment. It’s truly a massive undertaking, and they’re able to serve up to 48 veterans at a time with housing as they rehabilitate and prepare for what’s next. During any typical week, you can expect to find around 42 men and women of all ages making determined steps toward a better tomorrow.
That’s where MacFarlane comes in. Along with providing financial support, we believe in the redeeming value of a hard day’s work, which is why we offer seasonal employment to Caravilla vets interested in working toward a better life.
“It’s a chance for them to get back on their feet, save money, and get a fresh start in life,” says Robert Phipps, Caravilla community service coordinator, and Caravilla Employment Agency representative. “It’s one of the best ways that they’re able to move on from shelter into society.”
At MacFarlane, we’ve had many great experiences getting to know these men and women in our community better, but they’ve become more than just employees: they’ve become family. We’ve been in awe of their dramatic changes as they’ve worked their way toward a better life free from the habits and addictions they’ve struggled with for so long.
While Caravilla employees may start with MacFarlane as seasonal or part-time staff, it’s truly up to them how long they stay. We have several men who have become full-time employees after coming through the Caravilla program, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to be part of their journey. And as we’ve grown, so has our commitment: “We’re tending to grow with the farm, so as MacFarlane grows, so do we,” Robert says. Year-to-date, he says that he’s already placed 40 vets into employment, and the program has helped over 100 individuals since its inception.
MacFarlane has been providing some of the world’s best pheasants and pheasant chicks for almost 90 years, but even we have been amazed at how gamebirds can change lives of veterans from all over Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
MacFarlane and Caravilla Team Up to Help Veterans in Need