The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has announced the recipients of Veterans’ Grants for the fourth quarter of FY22. These grants are awarded to organizations that provide vital services to veterans, including job training, housing assistance, post-traumatic stress treatment, health insurance costs, long-term care, disability benefits and employment. The grant is funded by the Winter Winnings Illinois Lottery ticket.
Goodwill Industries of Central IL received $30,000 to support the Veterans Employment Program and the Central Illinois Stand Down for Homeless Veterans event. This grant will positively impact 320 veterans and their families in Peoria and surrounding communities with employment opportunities and by providing resources and supplies for the upcoming winter months.
Impacting Veterans Lives Inc, dba Midwest Veterans Closet received $97,684 to provide a free, one-stop shopping experience for homeless veterans and those at risk. They call themselves, “a super spreader of food, goods, and dignity for our military heroes.” They also assist active-duty personnel assigned to the Navy bootcamp and training center in Great Lakes, IL. The grant is expected to impact up to 12,000 veterans, servicemembers and their families.
“Veterans’ Cash Grants is an opportunity for organizations to gain critical funds to operate and make a significant impact on veterans,” said IDVA Director Terry Prince. “We are pleased to award these grants to Goodwill of Central IL and Midwest Veterans Closet and thank them for their partnership in serving Illinois’ 600,000 veterans and countless family members. They represent just two of the thousands of organizations supporting veterans and their families. I encourage other organizations to visit the IDVA website and learn how they can apply for these impactful grants.”
Winter Winnings is the first lottery game in the United States to designate 100% of net proceeds to veterans. Since 2006, more than $18 million in grants have been awarded to about 400 veterans’ organizations statewide. The Winter Winnings $2 lottery tickets are sold between November and February.
“The Illinois Lottery is proud to support Illinois Veterans with an annual specialty scratch ticket. With over $18 million in funding raised to date, it goes to show how a seemingly small act – buying a ticket – can make a big impact,” said Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays.
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs awards these funds in the form of Veterans’ Cash Grants. Applications for the grants are accepted throughout the year. IDVA’s committee reviews applications on a quarterly basis and awards grants to groups that have demonstrated proven need. Eligibility is open to government agencies, not-for-profits, veterans’ organizations, and tax-exempt entities currently providing veterans’ assistance or wishing to expand to veterans’ assistance.