Generous Pennsylvanians looking for a patriotic way to spread cheer during the holiday season are reminded that they can give to programs that support the commonwealth’s nearly 700,000 veterans, service members and their families. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) manages these programs. Monetary donations to these tax-deductible programs can be made by individuals, corporations and companies.
“The DMVA administers nine tax deductible programs that support veterans, service members and their families who are facing difficult times during the holiday season and are in need of assistance,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “When you support one of these programs, you are sending a clear message that Pennsylvania has not forgotten, and we are grateful for the service and sacrifice of our veterans.”
The tax-deductible programs administered by the DMVA are:
Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP): The MFRAP provides financial assistance, in the form of grants, to eligible Pennsylvania service members and their eligible family members who have an immediate financial need based on circumstances beyond their control. This program is made possible by generous donations from taxpayers who designate all or part of their Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax refund to support Pennsylvania military personnel and their families, and by those who donate online or by mail.
Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF): The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to help veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. The VTF also issues temporary assistance grants to individual veterans that have qualifying financial needs. The grants are funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo identification card and renewing a motor vehicle registration, from proceeds generated by the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring Our Women Veterans license plates, and by those who donate online or by mail.
Six Resident Welfare Funds: Resident Welfare Funds at each of the DMVA’s six veterans homes help to keep the residents active and healthy by providing activities and entertainment. Donations are made online or through private donations by mail. The six Pennsylvania veterans homes and their locations are: Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home (Philadelphia), Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center (Scranton), Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home (Hollidaysburg), Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home (Erie), Southeastern Veterans’ Center (Spring City), and Southwestern Veterans’ Center (Pittsburgh).
Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund: Located at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County, and maintained by the DMVA, the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial is the first in the commonwealth to honor veterans of all eras from the Revolutionary War forward and it is the largest veterans memorial located in any of the national cemeteries. Donations are accepted online or by mail to help fund the maintenance and repair of the memorial. The memorial is currently under-going structural renovations.
When an online donation is made, donors may choose to enter honoree information and a plaque in their honor will be displayed on the Virtual Donor Wall. Online plaques will show that donations have been made: ‘in honor of,’ ‘in memory of,’ or ‘on behalf of’ someone.