SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced a total of $241,582 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help fourteen non-profits and local governmental entities deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community.
“The Veterans Cash grants program continues to make a real and direct impact in the lives of thousands of our Illinois Veterans,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Thanks to the leadership and strong support of Governor Quinn for our veterans, we have these funds to help the groups and agencies selected to help our veterans. It’s heartening to know that they represent a small sample of the many that are doing great things to help our veterans.”
Veterans Cash has funded programs for veterans throughout Illinois since its 2006 creation by then-Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. Proceeds from lottery 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 (FY2014) grants have been awarded to the following organizations:
• Health and Disabilities Advocates: $30,000 for supporting a statewide system to increase the clinical skills of behavioral health providers treating veterans.
• Southern Illinois University: $15,000 for supporting the Veterans Legal Assistance Program.
• Transitional Living Services (TLS Veterans): $6,582 to support the Veterans Reintegration Program for homeless veterans.
• The Salvation Army – Springfield: $20,000 to support the Veterans Assistance Program for homeless veterans.
• National Veterans Art Museum: $15,000 to support art therapy/therapeutic art program for veterans.
• Great Lakes Adaptive Sports: $15,000 to support the Military Veterans Program for veterans with disabilities.
• United States Veterans Art Program: $15,000 to support the Artistic Tools Program at VA medical facilities for veterans.
• Chicago Botanical Garden: $15,000 to support the Therapeutic Horticulture Program for veterans.
• Senior Services Plus, Inc.: $20,000 for an Independent lifestyles program for senior veterans.
• Department of Illinois – American Legion, Bloomington: $25,000 to support the Gifts to Yanks Program for veterans.
• The Chicago Lighthouse: $15,000 to support the Veterans Center of Excellence that provides job placement and training for veterans.
• Revelation Golf: $10,000 to support the Veterans Golf Program for returning veterans with PTSD and TBI.
• Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans: $25,000 to support the Larson Transitional Program for homeless veterans.
• Hope for Tomorrow, Inc.: $15,000 to support the residential homes and clinical services provided to veterans.
The $2 Veterans Cash instant tickets (game #919) are currently available at about 1,000 retail locations across Illinois. There are three top prizes of $20,000 in Veterans Cash that have not yet been claimed. The Lottery has raised over $11.4 million for Illinois Veterans groups to date. Veterans Cash instant game proceeds exclusively benefit Illinois veterans, and are provided as grants to dozens of groups that provide vital services to, and in many cases employ, Illinois veterans. A series of videos highlighting some of these groups can be found at http://mobile.illinoislottery.com/en-us/Specialty_Tickets/VeteransCash.html
“The essence of a lottery is to raise funds for the common good," said Lottery Director Michael Jones. "Through the sale of Veterans Cash instant tickets, the lottery is able to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for programs that assist veterans who served with honor and now need our help. Nothing defines why we have a lottery in a more effective manner than supporting the IDVA in this manner.”
On a quarterly basis, IDVA’s Veterans Cash Grant Committee (VCGC) reviews applications and awards grants to groups that help veterans address challenges associated with employment, PTSD, homelessness, health insurance costs, long-term care and disability benefits. To date, nearly 219 organizations have shared more than $11.4 million in funding. The VCGC reviewed a total of 23 grants at the February 26, 2014 meeting. The fourteen selected non-profits and local governmental entities selected to receive grants proposed to deliver specialized programs and services beneficial to the Illinois veteran community.
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The IDVA welcomes Veterans Cash Grant applications from non-for-profit organizations, Veteran Service Organizations and services that help Illinois veterans in one or more of the following six categories: Health insurance costs; Long-term care; Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research or treatment; Disability benefits; Housing assistance; or Veteran employment and employment training.
To ensure equitable distribution of resources, the IDVA encourages those organizations that have not previously sought a grant to consider doing so in our next cycle, which ends on Monday, March 31, 2014. To apply for a grant, please visit www.illinois.gov/veterans/programs/Pages/veterans-cash.aspx to download an application at the Veterans Cash website. For more information about IDVA and its programs, please visit: www.illinois.gov/veterans