Benevolent Naval Veteran Inspired to
Establish Philanthropic Component to Benefit the San Diego Community and US Veterans
by Eva M. Stimson
Matthew Anderson spent eleven years in the US Navy as a Naval Aircrewman, performing Search and Rescue missions by operating out of H-60 helicopters (F, H and S models). During this time, he completed five deployments to the Middle East, visiting over 25 countries. He participated in a multitude of helicopter missions to administer a variety of services including delivering mail, cargo and personnel, conducting above-and-below water search-and-rescue efforts as well as providing medical support and transfer to personnel during humanitarian efforts worldwide.
Upon his re-entry into civilian life, Matthew was inspired to incorporate lessons he learned in the Navy to harness the power of teamwork. With a B.A. in International Business and a Masters Degree in Marketing, he found a passion for directing his talents toward the craft beer business in San Diego by creating a unique business model. His vision elevates the artisanal nature of craft breweries by partnering with his company to establish a consumer, membership-driven discount program that also donates a portion of proceeds back to veteran non-profit organizations in need of financial support.
Prior to establishing his business, he spent a year traveling throughout the country and conducted extensive research at 50 different craft breweries to determine a loyalty program that would encourage repeat business and incorporate the capacity to give back to the community. His survey results revealed that 98.2 percent of all customers surveyed preferred a “Happy Hour” price or regular discount price in order to attract repeat business. Thus the concept of his unique philanthropic component was born under the name “BotmsUp” (Breweries Of The Month Subscription, Unlimited Possibilities), and they opened their membership to the public on February 1, 2018.
Today, BotmsUp includes the participation of approximately 30 craft breweries, cideries and meaderies in San Diego, with additional future partnerships in San Diego and throughout the country. Craft beer aficionados in San Diego can sign up for a monthly membership for as little as $10 per month, and receive regular discounts on beverages, food, merchandise and invitations to special events. In addition, a portion of the BotmsUp membership fee goes directly into community projects as well as donations to nonprofit partners, many of which benefit US veterans.
According to BotmsUp CEO Matthew Anderson, “Our goal is to touch as many lives as possible on a grand scale through our charitable component, but also engage in the craft beer community to bring out the artistic talent of brewers, by encouraging them to hone their craft and introduce flavors that will provide unique sensations to a variety of consumers. Our philosophy integrates the community, craft beer and charity into one entity —- we feel the least we can do is give back to our veteran population in San Diego. In addition to the fundraising events we host locally, we have made a commitment to donate back 5% of all sales each month to Shelter to Soldier. Every day, we take great pride in living up to our moto of Together we can CRAFT a better life!”
Shelter to Soldier President, Graham Bloem, states, “Our vision at Shelter to Soldier from its inception has been veterans helping veterans and when I met Matthew Anderson, BotmsUp CEO, I saw another opportunity to further that mission. Being a Navy veteran himself, he understands first hand the need for our services and he’s also very passionate about helping homeless dogs. I admire his commitment to continue to serve by supporting fellow veterans and after learning more about the incredibly special local craft beer culture, this partnership made complete sense to me. Brewery owners and staff seem to really understand our mission and they want to get behind it…as do the craft beer lovers spending time at these partner locations. Now we can spread our mission to a broader audience that wants to support STS, and to many that also need our services. It’s a great partnership and I am grateful to have met this dynamic team and gain their support.”
BotmsUp is spearheading two fundraising events in April at partner facilities to benefit Shelter to Soldier, a San Diego-based non-profit organization that adopts dogs from local shelters and trains them to become psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain (TBI) and/or other afflictions associated with traumatic combat experiences.
The first April event will take place at the Mike Hess Brewing North Park Tasting Room, located at 3812 Grim Ave., San Diego, CA, 92104 on Saturday, April 21st from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The second event will be held at the Mike Hess Brewing Ocean Beach Tasting Room, located at 4893 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA, 92107 on April 28th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. There will be food and beverage specials, Shelter to Soldier merchandise, entertainment and opportunity drawings. There is no cost to attend and no need to RSVP in advance, however space is limited. For additional information, visit https://botmsup.org, or call 619-494-1291.
BotmsUp Chief Marketing Officer, Jessica Najar remarks, “We’re looking forward to hosting these two festive events in April that will benefit one of our charities of choice, Shelter to Soldier. The beautiful thing about San Diego is that it is predominately a transplant city —- people come here from all over the world and everyone who ultimately lands here has their own idea of what they do and don’t like in their taste for craft beer. Many of our customers have very sophisticated taste pallets and we enjoy bringing the best craft beer artisans together to provide a unique experience, while at the same time giving back to the community.”
Every day on average, twenty (20) U.S. veterans and one (1) active duty service member commit suicide (Department of Veteran Affairs) and every day, 3200 dogs are euthanized in the U.S. The services Shelter to Soldier provides for free to veterans and their commitment to adopt dogs, fulfills the mission of this organization by “Saving Lives, Two at a Time”.
Shelter to Soldier President, Graham Bloem, is the recipient of the ABC 10News Leadership Award, The Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Real Heroes Award, the Honeywell Life Safety Award and the 2016 Waggy Award in the Animal Welfare category. Shelter to Soldier recently relocated their headquarters to the Pacific Pet Resort and Dog Training Center located at 2909 San Luis Rey Road in Oceanside, CA, to better serve the increasing number of veterans in need of their services.
Shelter to Soldier is a gold participant of GuideStar and accredited by the Patriot’s Initiative. www.sheltertosoldier.org. To learn more about veteran-support services provided by STS, call (855) 287-8659 for a confidential interview regarding eligibility.