PENNSYLVANIA — The Department of Military and Veteran Affairs in Pennsylvania has announced grants totaling $800,000 from the Veterans’ Trust Fund. These grants will be distributed to 12 county Veterans Affairs Offices and 21 charitable or Veteran Service Organizations. The funding will provide critical support to Pennsylvania veterans, including transportation services and peer support groups. With matching funds from grantees, the total investment in veterans’ initiatives over the next two years will exceed $2.8 million. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs aims to connect over 700,000 veterans in Pennsylvania to these programs, emphasizing the importance of partnerships and community support.
The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, photo ID, or a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, the VTF receives proceeds from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring Our Women Veterans license plates and private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $6,682,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
“Our veterans served our country and defended our freedoms – they have sacrificed for us and they deserve access to quality care and services when they come home,” said Gov. Josh Shapiro. “Thanks to the generosity of Pennsylvanians who donate to the Veterans’ Trust Fund, service organizations all across the Commonwealth will be able to provide critical support to our veterans – everything from transportation services to peer support groups. Under the leadership of Major General Schindler from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, my Administration will continue to make sure we are fulfilling our obligation to be there for our veterans.”
Grantees slated to receive funding identified over $2 million in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $2.8 million for veterans’ initiatives in Pennsylvania over the next two years.
“Connecting Pennsylvania’s more than 700,000 veterans to these programs is DMVA’s top priority and we cannot do it alone,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “The VTF program is crucial and helps expand our network of services by partnering with organizations that can expand our outreach. We are grateful to all Pennsylvanian’s who donate and to the grant recipients who put these funds to good use helping veterans and their families.”
A total of $150,000 in grant funding was available for new, innovative, or expanded programs or services provided by County Directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The three areas of emphasis for grantees in this category were veterans’ outreach, transportation services, and homelessness. The grantees, the specific award amounts, and the programs supported are as follows:
- Butler County Office of Veterans Affairs: $12,000 to support and expand outreach services to veterans
- Chester County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to provide outreach and awareness services to veterans
- Clearfield County Office of Veterans Affairs: $13,200 to support a veteran peer program
- Delaware County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to expand outreach services to veterans
- Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to support service dog and equine therapy veterans’ programs
- Jefferson County Office of Veterans Affairs: $4,800 to provide outreach services to veterans
- Juniata County and Mifflin County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $25,000 to expand veteran outreach to include mobile outreach in the region
- Lawrence County Office of Veterans Affairs: $10,000 to provide transportation services to veterans
- Montgomery County Office of Veterans Affairs: $15,000 to provide transportation services to veterans
- Snyder County and Union County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $25,000 to grow the veteran emergency assistance project
The VTF grant also, identified $650,000 in funding available to Veteran Service Organizations with 501(c)(19) status and non-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Funding priorities for grants in this category were transportation services, behavioral health initiatives, homelessness, and employment and education. The grantees, the specific award amounts, and the programs supported are as follows:
- Alpha Bravo Canine, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $20,007 to provide service dogs to veterans
- Battle Borne, Allentown (Lehigh County): $6,657 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Building Bridges Foundation at Anderson Farm, Conestoga (Lancaster County): $40,000 to provide interactive equine therapy to veterans
- Center for Community Action, Everett (Bedford County): $30,052 to provide services to homeless veterans and their families
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $40,000 to support the MilitaryShare program
- Council for Relationships, Inc., Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $39,600 to expand emergency aid and access to mental health resources for veterans and their families
- Good Karma Garage, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $39,100 to provide reduced vehicle repair costs and services to veterans
- Guitars for Vets, Chapter 90, Lancaster (Lancaster County): $4,950 to provide therapeutic services to veterans
- Heroic Gardens, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $32,510 to provide therapeutic services to veterans
- Metro-Erie Meals on Wheels, Inc., Erie (Erie County): $38,325 to provide food services to veterans
- Northbound and Co, Stroudsburg (Monroe County): $6,794 to provide peer support groups to veterans
- Operation Troop Appreciation, McKeesport (Allegheny County): $35,000 to provide financial assistance veterans
- Pennsylvania Warhorse Inc., Myerstown (Lebanon County): $40,000 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Pittsburgh Hires Veterans, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $40,000 to provide employment services to veterans
- rabbitCARES, York (York County): $35,000 for transportation services to veterans
- Steven A. Cohen Military Family, Philadelphia (Philadelphia County): $35,000 to provide mental health supportive services to veterans
- Veteran Community Initiatives, Johnstown (Cambria County): $39,750 to expand supportive services to veterans
- Veterans Brotherhood, Pennsburg (Montgomery County): $35,000 to provide housing services to veterans
- Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $40,000 to provide supportive services to homeless veterans
- Warrior Strong, Lackawanna (Lackawanna County): $12,814 to provide therapeutic services to veterans
- Women Veterans Empowered and Thriving, Inc., Allentown (Lehigh County): $39,441 to assist veterans with the transition from military to civilian life
All grant awards are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.
The DMVA is authorized to solicit and accept donations to the VTF on behalf of the Commonwealth. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov or mailed to: PA Veterans’ Trust Fund, Bldg. 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.
To learn more about the VTF, visit www.vtf.pa.gov.
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