WEST CHESTER (September 28, 2020) – State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that David’s Drive 831 (DD831), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting homeless and hospitalized veterans, will receive $20,000 in state funding through the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF). The funds will go to provide housing support and services to veterans.
The program, which is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), is funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily make a $3 donation when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID and renewing a motor vehicle registration. Additionally, proceeds come from the sale of the “Honoring Our Veterans” and “Honoring Our Women Veterans” license plate and private donations.
“Our veterans have given so much for us, putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation and our communities. These donations and organizations are one way in which we can show our gratitude for their service,” Dinniman said. “I am grateful to know the Turner family and support all they do for local veterans in David’s name. I could not think of an organization more worthy to receive this backing.”
David Turner Sr., who with his family founded the group in memory of his late son, said the funds would go a long way as DD831, like many nonprofits, continue to weather the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The demand is up, but it’s a difficult time to ask people in our community for help or donations because so many of them are in need themselves,” he said. “But we’re going to stay with it as long as we can. We’re going to keep helping veterans because we should and because it’s what David would have wanted.”
Turner Sr. and his family started DD831 following the sudden passing of David Turner Jr. from a suspected cardiac arrhythmia in December 2009. Turner Jr. worked at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center and had a passion for serving veterans in need.
That May, the Turner family held a cookout at their home to celebrate what would have been David’s 21st birthday. Guests were invited to bring new packages of socks, underwear, and t-shirts – the items most in demand by veterans at the Coatesville VA. That day, the Turner family collected thousands of items and was nearly overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity. From there, DD831 was born.
Last December, Dinniman joined with the Turner family and over 200 volunteers for the 10th Annual Christmas Gift Wrapping Extravaganza. The volunteers wrapped over 1,000 gifts for veterans in need.
DD831 was one of 18 charitable and veterans services organizations statewide to receive $650,000 in total funding through the Pennsylvania VTF this year. Funding priorities for grants in this category were veterans’ programs focused on transitional housing/community living, unique veteran health services or other programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
In addition, 10 Pennsylvania county Veterans Affairs Offices will receive a total of $150,000 in grants.
Grantees slated to receive funding identified $428,220 in matching funds pledged toward grant-funded initiatives. Combined with the VTF grants, this will result in more than $1.2 million for veterans’ initiatives during the next two years.
Since the grant program began in 2013, a total of $3,732,860 has been awarded to organizations that serve Pennsylvania veterans.
For more information on David’s Drive 831, visit www.davidsdrive831.org.