MONTPELIER -- Gov. Peter Shumlin today reminded taxpayers of a simple way to help veterans and their families by checking off the box on their Vermont State tax return (form IN 111) to donate a dollar to the Vermont Veterans Fund. Other voluntary check-off boxes include the Vermont Nongame Wildlife Fund and the Children’s Trust Fund.
The Veterans Fund is the newest of the options, created in 2010 to provide financial assistance to organizations supporting veterans. Over the last two years, fund grants have supported homeless veteran transition programs, peer counseling, emergency assistance with rent and utilities, assurance that no veteran in Vermont need die alone, and funeral honors for those who have passed on.
"This is a simple, effective way for Vermonters to thank our veterans and their families for the sacrifices they make in service to our state and our nation," said Gov. Shumlin. The fund has generated about $159,000 since its launch, according to the Tax Department.
"We encourage all taxpayers to check these boxes on their tax returns. These small donations add up to significant support for organizations helping veterans escape homelessness, live with dignity and assure proper care and compensation for those disabled by service," notes Richard Reed, Veteran Services Director at the Office of Veterans Affairs. "I am often asked by people what they can do to help veterans in Vermont. Here is an easy, painless and highly effective way to help."
Donations can also be made directly at any time by sending a check made out to the Vermont Veterans Fund to the Office of Veterans Affairs, 118 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05620-4401. Donations are tax deductible, whether made directly or through the state income tax return. A committee representing the Governor’s Veterans Advisory Council, Veteran Service Organizations, VA Medical and Benefits, the National Guard, the Vermont Department of Labor and the Vermont Agency of Human Services review all applications in early summer and make grants. "This committee really works overtime, volunteering to try to distribute grant money fairly and effectively. Last year they made grants totaling more than $39,000, this year they would really like to do more," said Reed.
For more information on the VT Veterans Fund, contact Richard Reed by email at Richard.Reed@state.vt. us or call the office at 802-828-3379.
In addition, the Tax Department’s form offers a check-off option for the Nongame Wildlife Fund (which raised $76,000 last year) and the Children’s Trust Fund (which raised almost $64,000 last year). These donations are deductible on next year’s federal tax return as a charitable contribution.
Vermont Children’s Trust Fund Keep Vermont a great place to raise kids. Support community-based prevention programs for children, including after-school care, parenting education, teen leadership, literacy programs, preschool programs, and substance abuse prevention. Visit www.vtchildrenstrust.org or call 888-475-5437.
Vermont Nongame Wildlife Fund Preserve Vermont’s wildlife heritage that makes our state a beautiful and special place to live and adds quality to our lives. Your gift helps protect and restore Vermont’s endangered wildlife including bald eagles, turtles, butterflies, and bats. Item 29a on your tax form. Visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com or call 802-241-3700.
Vermont Veterans Fund Help Vermont’s nearly 60,000 honorably discharged veterans. The fund provides aid to veterans who are homeless, need long-term care or transportation. It also helps veterans apply for benefits and supports recognition programs. Item 29c on your tax form. Visit www.veterans. vermont.gov or call 802-828-3379.