VyStar Foundation awards grants for veterans services

Published on June 14, 2023 at 12:16 pm

VyStar Foundation has awarded $197,092 to 10 nonprofit organizations that support active military, veterans, and their families.

VyStar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of VyStar Credit Union. The awards are part of the foundation’s first grant cycle, which focused on nonprofit organizations that support military members. Priority was given to programs that handle food and housing insecurity, employment and small-business counseling, and mental health services, VyStar said in a news release.

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“Each of the 10 nonprofit organizations selected as part of this grant cycle are truly making a difference in the lives of our military, veterans and their families,” foundation President Patricia McElroy said in the release.

The organizations are:

  • Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, Alachua County — The Basic Needs for Homeless Veterans program ensures veterans have access to nutritious meals.
  • America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia Network, Chatham County, Georgia — A mobile food pantry provides food for active military and veterans at Hunter Army Airfield in Chatham County.
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  • Beaches Habitat for Humanity, Duval County — The Hometown Heroes Program provides critical home repairs to improve the quality of life and living conditions of veterans.
  • Five STAR Veterans Center, Duval County — The Weaver Wellness Mental Health Program provides case management, on-site housing, and 24-hour-a-day mental health services.
  • Northeast Florida Women Veterans Inc., Duval County — HerSPACE provides a safe space for women to access intense case management and stable housing.
  • Operation New Uniform Inc., Duval County — The organization provides employment and small-business counseling to help veterans transition from military to civilian careers.
  • SD Gunner Fund Inc., Chatham County, Georgia — The Service Dogs Program provides service dogs and training to veterans to improve their mental health.
  • Task Force Hydro 1, Duval County — The program provides service members, veterans, their families and friends with mental health support through the healing powers of the ocean and outdoor recreational activities.
  • United Way of Northeast Florida, Duval County — The Mission United Veteran Emergency Needs Program provides access to a basic needs fund for military/veterans and their families who need emergency financial assistance to help overcome immediate crises.
  • Veterans Entrepreneurship Initiative, Orange County — The initiative provides support, resources and education to help veterans transition into entrepreneurship and contribute to the economic growth of their communities.

Vystar Foundation’s grants are available to nonprofit organizations whose purposes and missions align with the foundation’s focus on military, youth and community building.

The foundation’s next grant cycle will occur in August. Funding priority will go toward organizations that support underserved youth. The youth program application opens Aug. 21 and closes on Sept. 30.

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