Around the State: Veterans Trust Fund accepting grant applications

Around the State - Rep. Marty Flynn
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Just as we celebrated Veterans Day in November, Gov. Tom Wolf announced grant applications are being accepted for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans.

Nonprofit organizations, veterans service organizations and county directors across Pennsylvania can apply for a combined total of $800,000 in the 2019-20 cycle.

Individual counties may receive up to $20,000 per grant cycle.

Up to $150,000 in grant funding is available for new, innovative or expanded programs and services operated by county directors of veterans’ affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The areas of emphasis for this grant amount are veterans’ outreach and veterans court programs.

Hard copy or electronically submitted applications must be received by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18. My office can help with the application process.

Organizations and officials that intend to file a grant application are encouraged to notify my office at 570-342-4348 and let us know how the money would be used so that we can possibly provide a letter of support for the applications.

Funding is available for programs that target the needs of veterans such as homelessness, behavioral health and veterans’ courts.

Since the program began in 2013, 155 grants totaling more than $3.7 million have been awarded to organizations providing services to veterans across Pennsylvania.

In 2018, the Lackawanna County Office of Veterans Affairs was awarded $20,000 from this fund to help run its veterans’ court.

Each of our veterans made a commitment to protect our freedoms at home – despite the personal risks and sacrifices required. The sad part is that not every soldier returned home from where they served. Many of them died for their country and for future generations like us.

For those who did come home, we graciously owe them the programs and services that are available in Pennsylvania. The rights that we have — free speech and freedom of religion — are given to us by our Constitution and protected by our veterans.

It’s always important to keep in mind that we must continue to assist our veterans, whether it’s by state programs or private donations. They protected our freedoms. It might have been a parent, grandparent, sibling or a district relative who served in the United States military and we should honor all of them.

I am proud of our veterans in Lackawanna County for the sacrifices they made. We live in a community that truly appreciates and remembers the services of its veterans.

The VFT is funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing driver’s licenses, photo IDs or vehicle registrations. In addition, donations come from residents who purchase Honoring Our Veterans license plates or private donations.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at www.donate.dmva.pa.gov. To learn more about the VTF and the grant application process, visit www.vtf.pa.gov

For veterans who wish to mail inquires the address is: Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Office of Administration, Bureau of Budget and Finance ATTN: Division of Grants, Edward Martin Hall. Building 0-47, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003-5002.

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Around the State

Rep. Marty Flynn

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-991-6405 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.