HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf announced this week that nine Pennsylvania county Veterans Affairs Offices will receive $150,000 in grants, and 20 charitable or Veteran Service Organizations will receive $650,000 in grants from the Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF), administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).
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 that come from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring Our Women Veterans license plates, or by making private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $4,532,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
“County offices and civic organizations count on funding from the Veterans’ Trust Fund to optimally serve veterans throughout our communities,” said Governor Wolf. “Veterans in need of housing, employment, behavioral health counseling and other social services would be facing unmet needs without these important funds.”
Grantees slated to receive funding identified $702,517 in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $1.5 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years.
“The DMVA routinely connects veterans to benefits and programs, but we cannot provide this crucial service without help,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “The VTF program is successful because of the generous donations of Pennsylvanians and our ability to reach deep into every community thanks to the work of the grantees. This collaborative effort helps to ensure veterans receive every benefit they earned through their service to our nation.”
Up to 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 two areas of emphasis for grantees in this category were veterans’ outreach and veterans’ courts. The grantees, the specific award amounts, and the programs supported are as follows:
- Bedford County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to expand veterans’ outreach services
- Cambria County Office of Veterans Affairs: $17,416 for digitization of veteran records
- Fayette County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to expand mobile outreach services
- Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to provide service dogs to veterans
- Mercer County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to expand veterans’ outreach services
- Montgomery County Office of Veterans Affairs: $8,176 to provide transportation services to veterans
- Northampton County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to provide outreach services to veterans
- Snyder County and Union County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $24,408 to support homeless veterans and provide emergency assistance
The VTF grant also identified up to a total of $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 veterans programs focused on homelessness, behavioral health initiatives, veterans’ court initiatives or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families. The grantees, the specific award amounts, and the programs supported are as follows:
- 3P Ride, Inc., York: $49,900 for transportation services to veterans
- Alpha Bravo Canine, Philadelphia: $10,132 for supportive services to veterans
- Building Bridges Foundation at Anderson Farm, Conestoga (Lancaster County): $25,000 to provide interactive equine therapy to veterans
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $50,000 to support the MilitaryShare program
- Clinical Outcomes Group, Inc., Pottsville (Schuylkill County): $47,840 to provide outreach services to veterans
- Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County, Sharon: $32,762 to provide nutritional food to veterans and their family members
- Dog T.A.G.S. Program, Mechanicsburg (Cumberland County): $49,995 to provide service dogs to veterans
- Meghan’s Shortt Wilent Foundation, Doylestown (Bucks County): $11,100 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Montgomery County Community College Foundation, Blue Bell (Montgomery County): $28,575 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Operation Troop Appreciation, McKeesport (Allegheny County): $45,000 to provide housing assistance to at-risk veterans
- Outreach Center for Community Resources, Scranton (Lackawanna County): $34,100 to provide supportive services to veterans
- PA Lions Beacon Lodge Camp, Mount Union (Mifflin County): $22,845 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Pennsylvania Outdoor Veterans, Inc., Lehighton (Carbon County): $23,356 to provide rehabilitation services to veterans
- Robin’s Home, Butler: $23,750 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Steven A. Cohen Military Family, Philadelphia: $49,490 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Travelers Aid Society of Pittsburgh, Inc., Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $50,000 to provide transportation services to veterans
- United Disabilities Services Foundation, Lancaster: $19,000 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Valhalla Veterans Services, Scranton (Lackawanna County): $50,000 to provide housing assistance to at-risk veterans
- Valor Clinic Foundation, Brodheadsville (Monroe County): $12,155 to provide supportive services to veterans
- Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship, Bellwood (Blair County): $15,000 to provide equine-assisted therapy to veterans
All grant awards are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.
The DMVA states it 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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