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Gov. Wolf announces Veterans’ Trust Fund grant awards

Gov. Tom Wolf has announced 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 administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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 $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,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.

Lehigh County Office of Veterans Affairs was awarded $10,180 to provide mental health first aid training.

Jarett Yoder Foundation, Fleetwood, Berks County, was awarded $50,000 to provide housing and supportive services to veterans.

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 nonprofit, 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.

All grant awards are contingent upon the completion of a fully executed grant agreement.

Tax-deductible donations may be made at 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 vtf.pa.gov or follow DMVA on Facebook at facebook.com/padmva.