SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) today announced a total of $396,000 in grants from Veterans’ Cash scratch-off lottery ticket sales to help nine non-profits and local governmental entities deliver specialized programs and services to the Illinois veteran community.
“Veterans Cash grants program continues to make a real and direct impact in the lives of thousands of our Veterans,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “The groups and agencies selected 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.
Third quarter (FY13) grants have been awarded to the following organizations:
• American Legion, Department of Illinois: $86,000 for American Legion’s efforts to assist Illinois veterans in accessing federal benefits.
• SALUTE, INC.: $80,000 for emergency financial assistance for Illinois veterans.
• Veterans Assistance Commission of Kankakee County: $60,000 for dental and audiology support for low income Illinois veterans.
• Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Department of Illinois: $59,000 for support of DAV’s mission to assist Illinois veterans in accessing federal benefits.
• United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Greater Chicago: $33,000 to support UCP’s Ramp Up program, which helps provide access to residences of disabled veterans.
• Senior Services Plus: $27,674 for an Independent Lifestyles program for senior veterans.
• Willing Partners Canine Education, Inc.: $20,000 for training certified therapy dogs and matching them with Illinois veterans.
• Volunteers of America of Illinois: $18,000 to assist veterans who have fallen on hard times.
• North Side Housing and Supportive Services: $12,500 for clinical services for homeless Illinois veterans.
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 PTSD, homelessness, health insurance costs, long-term care and disability benefits. To date, nearly 210 organizations have shared more than $10.8 million in funding. The VCGC reviewed a total of 17 grants at the January 29th, 2013 meeting. The nine non-profits and local governmental entities selected to receive grants proposed to deliver specialized programs and services beneficial to the Illinois veteran community.
The Lottery has raised over $10.8 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 men and women served by grants funded by Veterans Cash gave feely to our country,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “It is more than fitting and proper that we give back to them. The Lottery’s Veterans Cash games are a wonderful way that people 18 or older can give back and say ‘thank you veterans.’”
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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 of the following six categories:
• Health insurance costs
• Long-term care
• Post-traumatic stress disorder research or treatment
• Disability benefits
• Housing assistance
• 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 Sunday, March 31, 2013.
To apply for a grant, please download an application at the Veterans Cash website (www.illinois.gov/veterans/programs/Pages/veterans-cash.aspx). For more information about IDVA and its programs, please visit our us at: www.illinois.gov/veterans