HARRISBURG – The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has selected nine Pennsylvania-based organizations to receive $342,020 in grants from the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF).
“This is the first time ever that grants from the Veterans’ Trust Fund are being awarded, and Pennsylvania’s veterans and their families will soon be the fortunate beneficiaries,” said Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general. “The source of funds in the Veterans’ Trust Fund has grown significantly thanks to Pennsylvanians who have voluntarily made a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID and renewing a motor vehicle registration, as well as proceeds from the sale of the Honoring our Veterans license plate.”
DMVA received 16 grant applications totaling $902,650.16 from 13 different organizations. Grant applicants slated to receive funding identified $128,408.69 in matching funds to be used in conjunction with their grant request. Combined with the Veterans’ Trust Fund awards, this will result in veterans’ initiatives totaling $470,428.69 over a period of up to 24 months.
Grants of up to $250,000 as well as a maximum of five mini-grants up to $10,000 were available for charitable organizations with 501(c)(3) status and veterans service organizations to provide programs and projects to support Pennsylvania veterans and their families. Grants are being awarded to:
- Berks Counseling Center: $10,000 grant for ‘Helping Hands’ to provide supportive services to veterans and their families
- Marine Corps League of Pennsylvania Foundation, Inc.: $10,000 grant for ‘Humanitarian Aid Grants’ to assist a larger number of Marines and their families
- Operation Homefront PA/DE: $10,000 grant for ‘Emergency Financial Assistance’ to veterans in need
- Warren County Veterans Council: $8,000 grant for ‘Warren County Veterans Emergency Fund’ to provide assistance to veterans in need
- Veterans Multi-Service Center: $10,000 grant for ‘Women Veterans Still Marching’ to provide outreach and awareness support to women veterans
- Veterans Multi-Service Center: $120,000 grant for a ‘PA Veterans IT Training/Job Placement Program’
- Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania: $59,608 for ‘Project Beacon Retreat Weekends’ to offer additional retreat weekends for children of service members over the next two years
- Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors Inc.: $50,000 for ‘Match PA Wounded Warrior Dollars – 100 Homeless/Vets in Crisis’ to provide matching funds for emergency assistance to veterans in need
- Philadelphia Veterans’ Comfort House: $37,412 for ‘Operation Able Assist/ Mental Health Expansion’ to expand Operation Able Assist and offer full-time mental health services to veterans
Grants of up to $100,000 were available for new, innovative and expanded programs operated by County Directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The two areas of emphasis for these entities were health care enrollment and veteran outreach initiatives within Pennsylvania at the community, county, regional or statewide level. Grant funding is being awarded to the only applicant in this category:
- Berks County Department of Veterans Affairs: $27,000 for ‘Berks County Veterans Affairs Roadshow’ to provide Berks Countyveterans with benefits eligibility and assistance literature, conduct outreach workshops and educational events and increase awareness of available services
“Our goal with the Veterans’ Trust Fund is to build and expand partnerships with charitable organizations, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to fund improved assistance and support for Pennsylvania veterans and their families,” said Brig. Gen. Jerry G. Beck Jr., deputy adjutant general for veterans affairs. “This is just the beginning and we’ll be announcing additional grant opportunities as we move forward.”
All grants are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.
The Veterans’ Trust Fund was established in 2012 and the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the Commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations to the VTF can be made to: PA Veterans’ Trust Fund, Bldg. 0-47 Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.