RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We're passing on $300 to the founder of an outreach center that provides vital services to veterans -helping them acquire the benefits, tools and training to transition back to civilian life. A volunteer says David Williams has created a space where vets get assistance they need and Acts of Kindness they deserve.
"He's actually on site now working with some veterans and helping them fill out their claims and paperwork and stuff," said Sandra Pryor.
Sandra Pryor says church trustee David Williams aka Captain Dave, is on a strategic mission.
"He used to be in the military. He was in the Air Force. He just said God gave him this vision," she explained. "He actually got his non-profit license in 2008 and he brought the property on Chamberlayne Avenue and opened up the center. When they come into the center, it's about you've served and did what you've done for our country, now it's time for us to help you, alright."
SABRINA: "$100, $200, $300."
SANDRA: "Thank you!"
SABRINA: "For the veterans."
SANDRA: "Ok, we're gonna take this over and put it right in Mr. William's hands."
We head over to the center at 2706 Chamberlayne Avenue, where Sandra's been volunteering for a year and a half.
"He is totally surprised, he doesn't know anything," she said.
SANDRA: "How are you?"
SABRINA: "How are you?"
DAVID: "Man, everybody caught me by surprise. I'm fine. (laughter)"
SABRINA: "You're this week's acts of kindness recipient."
DAVID: "Oh thank you."
SABRINA: "Sandra nominated you and we are so impressed by your commitment, your compassion to veterans."
DAVID: "Thank you."
SANDRA: "And because of that I want to present you with $300. You go above and beyond and this is just something just to help you in your challenge and on your way to make a difference in the lives of veterans."
DAVID: "Thank y'all. Thank you Sandra."
SANDRA: "You're welcome, you are truly welcome."
David says the center's mission is to offer an extension of services provided by VA hospitals.
"We do financial management, we do pastoral care," David said.
Job retraining in minor automotive repair, the center's assisted hundreds of vets.
"At least 600 or more," he said.
Iraq war vets Steven and Michael found a resource and refuge.
"Knowing about the benefits that you are eligible for," Steven said.
"Just to have someone to talk to, someone that's really in your corner, that understands you," added Michael.
Tango Perry wound up jobless and homeless after 7 years in the Army.
"I have epilepsy now, I have migraines and I have some nerve damage also, and I was homeless for 3 years," she said.
The center found her transitional housing and help getting disability.
"If it wasn't for David and his family I don't know where I would be," Perry said.
Perry now volunteers along with many of Williams family and friends
"We don't have the funds to pay anybody at this point. I took my retirement and I invested into doing this because I'm committed to it," David said.