Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to help coordinate the donations and grants made by the public toward Illinois’ veterans.
“When it comes to supporting our veterans, Illinois is second to none,” Quinn said. “This law is just another way a grateful state can say ‘thank you’ to those who served. Now we can help ensure our service members receive the support they deserve for all of the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedoms.”
Senate Bill 3222, sponsored by State Sen. Mike Hastings (D-Matteson), a West Point graduate and Iraq veteran, and State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Litchfield), a veteran and a retired Illinois Air National Guard officer, represents the next step forward for Illinois Joining Forces. The law allows Illinois Joining Forces to be housed in a nonprofit organization, the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation. The new partnership allows the Illinois Joining Forces program to solicit, accept and disperse grants and donations on behalf of the state’s veterans. This central coordination will ensure the most effective acceptance and distribution of assistance for veterans. The law is effective immediately.
“With so many organizations available to assist our military service members, veterans and families, it can often be overwhelming to know where to turn for assistance,” Rosenthal said. “That is where the Illinois Joining Forces excels. By creating a one-stop shop to help our military find the assistance they need, the foundation makes the process less daunting. Establishing the Illinois Joining Forces Foundation as a not-for-profit will allow for additional resources to be allocated towards their mission, services and programs.”
Illinois Joining Forces has been recognized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as an “innovative example” of expanding collaboration and information sharing at the local level. In February, IDVA received the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs for its creation of Illinois joining forces.
For more information on Illinois Joining Forces, visit www.illinoisjoiningforces.org.