Everyday Heroes

Veterans Groups Get Grants to Support Those Who Served

$800,000 will go to veterans groups, including 3 in Allegheny County that are supporting a diverse range of vets with diverse needs.

The state just announced $800,000 in grants to support organizations that support veterans, and we were excited to see one of the organizations we previously profiled on the list. The money comes from the Veterans Trust Fund, which is where your $3 goes when you donate while applying for a driver's license, or when you buy an Honoring Our Veterans license plate.

Operation Troop Appreciation in McKeesport is getting $45,000 to provide welcome home kits to at-risk veterans. Back in November, we told the story of how they help veterans here and overseas. Their Welcome Home program provides household items for returning vets. Active Duty Military Support sends items -- everything from snacks and hygiene supplies to sports equipment and computers -- to troops serving away from home.

Other local organizations awarded grants are the Travelers Aid Society of Pittsburgh to provide transportation assistance to veterans, and the University of Pittsburgh to fund their ELeVATE program, which assists wounded, injured or sick veterans with the transition from military to college.

"It is important for us to connect with all of our veterans who need assistance, but the DMVA cannot do that alone," said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general and head of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs . He called organizations like Operation Troop Appreciation "vital community partners that help to broaden our reach from the big cities to rural and isolated areas."

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