Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced today that 10 Pennsylvania county Veterans Affairs Offices will receive a total of $150,000 in grants, and 18 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, and private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $3,732,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
“The VTF has always been an important funding resource for organizations that help Pennsylvania veterans and their families, but this year while we work through the fallout from the pandemic this program is more important than ever before,” said Gov. Wolf. “Without the VTF, Pennsylvania’s heroes would be at risk of not having shelter, an outlet for getting food, the ability to learn a job skill, help navigating our criminal justice system and so much more.”
Grantees slated to receive funding identified $428,220 in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $1.2 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years.
“There are so many Pennsylvania veterans in need of help, especially during these disruptive times of COVID-19,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “That is why we are grateful for the VTF grantees and the vital work they do enhancing the lives of our veterans who earned this help with 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:
- Allegheny County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to expand veterans’ outreach
- Bucks County Office of Veterans Affairs: $14,812 to expand veterans’ outreach services
- Juniata County and Mifflin County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $28,450 to expand mobile outreach services
- Lehigh County Office of Veterans Affairs: $10,180 to provide mental health first aid training
- Mercer County Office of Veterans Affairs: $11,387 to expand veterans’ outreach services
- Northampton County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to provide housing services to veterans
- Perry County Office of Veterans Affairs: $5,171 to expand veterans’ outreach services
- Snyder County and Union County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $40,000 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 (York County): $50,000 for transportation services to veterans
- American Legion Post 210, Harrisburg (Bucks County): $12,500 for outreach services to veterans
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Harrisburg (Dauphin County): $50,000 to support the MilitaryShare program
- David’s Drive 831, Inc., Coatesville (Chester County): $20,000 to provide housing support and services to veterans
- For the Love of a Veteran, Inc., Hanover (York County): $45,000 for care packages for deployed troops and homeless veterans
- Greenforge, Inc (PA Veterans Farming Project), Greensburg (Westmoreland County): $4,250 to provide workforce development and recreational/therapeutic services to veterans
- Jarett Yoder Foundation, Fleetwood (Berks County): $50,000 to provide housing and supportive services to veterans
- Operation Homefront, Doylestown (Bucks County): $10,000 to provide financial assistance to veterans in need
- Operation Touch of Home, Brodheadsville (Monroe County): $40,000 to provide financial assistance to veterans in need and provide care packages to deployed troops
- Operation Troop Appreciation, McKeesport (Allegheny County): $45,000 to provide welcome home kits to at-risk veterans
- Pennsylvania American Legion Housing for Homeless Veterans, Harrisburg (Dauphin/Cumberland Counties): $40,304 to provide housing services to veterans
- Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors, Camp Hill (Cumberland County): $45,000 for emergency financial assistance to veterans in need
Second Harvest Food Bank of NW Pennsylvania, Erie (Erie County): $50,000 for its MilitaryShare program
- Travelers Aid Society of Pittsburgh, Inc., Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $50,000 to provide transportation assistance to veterans
- Veteran Community Initiatives, Inc., Johnstown (Cambria County): $39,746 for its rural veterans’ outreach project
- Veterans Helping Hand, York (York County): $38,200 to provide housing services to homeless veterans
- Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): $50,000 to provide housing services to homeless veterans
- Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship, Bellwood (Blair County): $10,000 to provide equine-assisted therapy to disabled veterans
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.