14 Pennsylvania county veterans affairs offices will receive $200,000 in grants, and 34 charitable or veteran service organizations will receive $1.15 million in grants from the Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF), administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).
“The Veterans’ Trust Fund helps to fill gaps in services to veterans that would otherwise go unfilled,” said Gov. Wolf. “The county offices and civic organizations who receive these grants do incredible work supporting our veterans. They truly improve the lives of veterans, providing them with life-enhancing programs and services. Pennsylvania owes a debt of gratitude to everyone who contributes to this program, either as a donor or hard-working recipient.”
The VTF is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $5 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 private donations. Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $5,332,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
Grantees slated to receive funding identified more than $1 million in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $2.4 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years.
“As Pennsylvania’s biggest veteran advocate, the DMVA connects veterans to benefits that meet their daily needs. Our goal is to reach every veteran in the commonwealth. The best way in obtaining that goal is by collaborating with other organizations to conduct our outreach campaign,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “It is through this collaboration and these grants that veterans receive the help they need and earned by serving our nation. I would like to personally thanks all those that donate to ensure our veterans get the best we can give them.”
Up to a total of $200,000 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, veterans’ courts, and training and capacity building. The grantees, the specific award amounts, and the programs supported are as follows:
- Berks County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to implement a county veterans temporary assistance grant program
- Cambria County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to provide veterans outreach forums
- Erie County Office of Veterans Affairs: $2,000 to support the veterans court program
- Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to support the service dog and equine therapy veterans’ programs
- Juniata County and Mifflin County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $35,000 to expand veteran outreach programs in the region
- Monroe County Office of Veterans Affairs: $11,756 to provide financial assistance for veterans in need
- Montour County Office of Veterans Affairs: $8,500 to expand and enhance services provided to veterans
- Northampton County Office of Veterans Affairs: $4,244 to support and expand outreach services to veterans
- Snyder County and Union County Office of Veterans Affairs (joint application): $35,000 to grow the veteran emergency assistance project
- Venango County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to establish a program to combat veteran suicide
- Warren County Office of Veterans Affairs: $3,500 for veteran outreach activities
- Wayne County Office of Veterans Affairs: $20,000 to expand mental health services to veterans