In the spirit of the holiday season, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs outlined ways Pennsylvanians can give to programs that support the commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans, active military and their families.
“As we approach the holiday season, people often ask how they can honor current and former service members as a way to thank them for their incredible service to our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “Many Pennsylvania veterans and current military need our help this year more than ever because of the challenges brought about by COVID-19. We are proud to administer four tax deductible programs that honor our veterans and provide them with aid, but these programs rely on generous donations from the public.”
Military Family Relief Assistance Program: The MFRAP provides financial assistance, in the form of grants, to eligible Pennsylvania service members and their eligible family members who have an immediate financial need based on circumstances beyond their control. This program is made possible by generous donations from taxpayers who designate all or part of their Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax refund to support Pennsylvania military personnel and their families, and by those who donate online, or privately by mail.
Veterans’ Trust Fund: The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to help veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. The VTF also issues temporary assistance grants to individual veterans that have qualifying financial needs. The grants are funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo identification card and renewing a motor vehicle registration, from proceeds generated by the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring Our Women Veterans license plates, and through private donations by mail.
Residents’ Welfare Funds: Residents’ Welfare Funds at each of the DMVA’s six veterans homes help to keep the residents active and healthy by providing activities and entertainment. Donations are made online or through private donations by mail. The six Pennsylvania veterans homes and their locations are Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home (Philadelphia), Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center (Scranton), Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home (Hollidaysburg), Pennsylvania Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home (Erie), Southeastern Veterans’ Center (Spring City) and Southwestern Veterans’ Center (Pittsburgh).
Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund: Located at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County, and maintained by the DMVA, the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial is the first in the commonwealth to honor veterans of all eras from the Revolutionary War forward and it is the largest veterans memorial located in any of the national cemeteries. Donations are accepted online or by mail to help fund the maintenance and repair of the memorial.
When an online donation is made, donors may choose to enter honoree information and a plaque in their honor will be displayed on the Virtual Donor Wall. Online plaques will show that donations have been made in honor of, in memory of, or on behalf of someone.
To make a donation online or by mail for any of these tax-deductible programs, or to learn more about each one, go to donate.dmva.pa.gov