The DAV of MN Foundation has announced that they have committed $250,000 grant to assist MN Statewide Counties in the purchase of new vans for their veterans’ transportation program. Details of the grant are:
- Counties who seek community funding for the purchase of new vans used to transport veterans to and from their medical appointments at the VAMCs can apply for a $3,000 grant from the Foundation.
- The $3,000 if approved by the board will be committed to the fundraising campaign up front.
- The Funds will be disbursed to the County veteran’s service office when all funds needed to purchase the van are committed by donors or County (including the $3K DAV funds). I.e.: The DAV will grant the $3K upon completion of the fundraising campaign.
DAV Foundation Executive Director Stephen Whitehead stated “ the MN DAV/VA/County veterans transportation program is the largest program in the Nation where in 2012 volunteer drivers contributed over 80,000 volunteer hours, drove over 1.7M miles and transported over 26,000 veterans to and from their medical appointments”. He further stated “we are proud of our volunteer drivers and the Statewide Counties for their support for this program”.
The DAV has donated vans to the VAMCs in St. Cloud and Minneapolis metro areas over the years and provides volunteer drivers to cover a 50 mile radius of the VAMCs. This coupled with the County programs are play a major role in the quality of life for MN veterans. The DAV also provides for a DAV employee at the two MN VAMCs responsible for coordinating the transportation needs in the metro area of St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, as well as provides support to the County drivers while they are onsite at the Hospitals.
In addition, to this grant, the DAV of MN Foundation is spearheading the establishment of a veteran’s transportation program in NW MN in Counties who currently do not have the vans needed. This program will transport those area veterans to the Fargo VAMC. This will involve the purchase of three vans. The funds for these vans will be raised through local donors as well as the DAV organization and other veteran’s organizations who want to partner to establish the needed program.
DAV State Commander Bob Erickson of St. Paul commended the DAV Foundation Board for their action stating “because the generosity of the DAV of MN Foundation many veterans who find it difficult to travel to the outstanding care given by the VAMCs will be provided the transportation they need and these veterans will enjoy a better health and receive the care they are entitled to”.
Whitehead stated that the grant process for the County support is open effective March 1. He can be contacted at 651-291-1212 or Stephen@davmn.org