HomeBensalem TimesDonations needed this holiday season to support veterans, service members and their...

Donations needed this holiday season to support veterans, service members and their families

Nonprofit, tax-deductible programs include the Veterans’ Trust Fund and Military Family Relief Assistance Program

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This holiday season, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is urging Pennsylvanians to donate to programs that support the commonwealth’s nearly 800,000 veterans, service members and their families.

“The holiday season is upon us and we are often asked how the public can honor and support current and former service members and their families as a way to thank them for serving,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “At the DMVA, we administer nine tax deductible programs designed to aid those who are facing unexpected challenges and need financial aid, shelter, food, employment training or other assistance. These life-changing programs rely on donations from generous Pennsylvanians.”

Monetary donations to these nonprofit, tax-deductible programs can be made by individuals, corporations and companies. Programs administered by the DMVA are:

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 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 donate 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 by those who donate online or by mail.

Six Resident Welfare Funds: Resident 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’ and Sailors’ Home (Erie), Southeastern Veterans’ Center (Spring City) and Southwestern Veterans’ Center (Pittsburgh).

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund: Located in 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. It’s 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.

Visit donate.dmva.pa.gov to make a donation and for more information.

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