The needs of veterans are many, but the resources can sometimes be stretched thin.
That's where the new Yuma Veterans Fund will come in.
Established by the Yuma Community Foundation, the fund will provide grants to help those organizations meet a need, said Judy Gresser, executive director of the foundation. It won't be giving money directly to an individual but it can help an organization help a veteran, perhaps with up-front school costs, transportation for medical treatment, housing, transition back to the civilian world and assistance with disability claims and community resources.
Gresser explained that the fund will be endowed. The principle will exist in perpetuity, invested to generate money to fund grants from the interest earned each year.
A local grant distribution committee will be responsible for grantmaking recommendations. The committee will include individuals with a stake in veterans' issues, such as a post chaplain, health care providers, military spouses and active and retired military.
The money will be used only in Yuma County to provide support for Yuma County veterans.
The first goal of the Yuma Veterans Fund was to raise $25,000 by March 31, 2013. It's already exceeded that, Gresser noted.
An anonymous donor who is a veteran stepped up and contributed $10,000 as a challenge gift to encourage donations to the new fund. The veteran will match every $2 donated to the fund with $1 from his gift.
Tax-deductible donations to the Veterans Fund can be made online by going to www.AZFoundation.org/YumaVeterans or by mailing a check to: Yuma Community Foundation, P.O. Box 6835, Yuma, AZ 85366. Donors should write “Yuma Veterans Fund” on the memo line of the check.
To learn more about the Yuma Veterans Fund, email Yuma Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (928) 539-5343.