SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced $205,637.43 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help six non-profits deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community.
“As more and more recent veterans return to Illinois, and as many veterans from earlier conflicts continue to struggle, Veterans Cash grants are making a powerful, direct impact in the lives of thousands of these heroes,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “These six grants are just the most recent way that, by playing Veterans Cash, Illinois citizens are empowering our veterans to thrive here at home as they did in uniform.”
Veterans Cash has funded programs for veterans throughout Illinois since its 2006 creation by then-Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. Proceeds from ticket sales are deposited into the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund, making it the first Illinois Lottery ticket for which 100 percent of net proceeds are dedicated to support Illinois veterans.
Second-quarter (FY13) grants have been awarded to the following organizations:
• American Legion, Department of Illinois (Bloomington)—$13,600 to purchase new computers and software for the Legion’s appeals office at the VA Regional Office.
• Featherfist (Chicago)—$50,000 to provide much needed repairs and improvements to their transitional housing facility.
• The Impact Center (Washington, D.C.)—$22,227.50 to support the expansion of the Veterans Collaborative Online Platform that will provide increased collaborative tools to increase transparency and navigability of veteran support and resources in Illinois.
• John Marshal Law School (Chicago)—$12,500 for purchase of computer software that will assist the clinic in research and filing of federal disability appeals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
• Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (Wheaton)—$50,000 to provide operational support of the shelter’s ongoing mission to aid and house homeless veterans with employment training, life skills training, sobriety/relapse counseling, and intensive case management and clinical therapy.
• The Salvation Army (Champaign)—$57,309.93 to purchase new equipment in their homeless shelter and to provide transportation to low income veterans to the Danville VA Medical Center.
On a quarterly basis, IDVA’s Veterans Cash Grant Committee reviews applications and awards grants to groups that help veterans address challenges associated with PTSD, homelessness, health insurance costs, long-term care and disability benefits. To date, nearly 200 organizations have shared more than $10 million in funding.
The Illinois Lottery recently introduced a new, $2 Veterans Cash instant game that is expected to raise nearly $900,000 for future grants. The game features prizes of up to $20,000, and is available at more than 8,100 retailers statewide.
“Everybody I talk to in Illinois loves the idea of Veterans Cash,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “What better way is there to try your first lottery game: you can win up to $20,000 instantly, or, if luck isn’t with you, contribute to veterans causes throughout our state.”
To apply for a grant, please download an application at the Veterans Cash website. For more information about IDVA and its programs, please visit the agency’s homepage.