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Colorado Trust funds: innovation & commitment.

Grants from the Colorado Trust are made for more direct and sustaining service to disabled veterans and their families.

The Colorado Trust, established nearly a decade ago, continues to be a great way for Departments and Chapters to turn innovation into service commitment.

One look at the support the Trust affords the Hospital Service Coordinator program and the expansion of the Transportation Network demonstrates just how effective the Trust can be providing services to our nation's disabled veterans.

The Colorado Trust was formed in 1996 when National Adjutant Arthur H. Wilson and other DAV leaders began looking for ways to more fairly distribute resources to support worthy service programs. Through the Trust Chapters and Departments that have built up substantial reserves have a tremendous opportunity to put that money to work--in a highly responsible way--helping today's and tomorrow's disabled veterans and their families.

With a growing number of veterans returning disabled from the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the need for innovative service programs and commitment to those programs is growing. The Colorado Trust may be the ideal way for Departments and Chapters to meet growing service needs.

It is important to remember the Colorado Trust is a "restricted fund" within the DAV National Service Foundation. So, funds are strictly limited to service for veterans and their families, the purpose for which they were collected. The Trust doesn't make grants to repair the roof on a Chapter home or the parking lot, or buy new uniforms for the color guard. Grants front the Colorado Trust are made for more direct and sustaining service to disabled veterans and their families. A project to renovate three guest rooms at the VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas is such an example.

The project, undertaken by DAV Chapter 20 in Foil Worth, recognized a need for guest rooms for spouses of veterans to stay overnight at the facility due to long distances many had to travel to be with their hospitalized veteran.

Here was a service project that would keep on serving veterans and their families for many years to come in a direct and meaningful way, but to remodel three rooms formally used as intern quarters would cost $21,000. The Chapter decided to make application to the Colorado Trust, stipulating the Chapter would finance half the cost and that the VA would place plaques in each room noting the gift by DAV Chapter 20.

The application was carefully reviewed to ensure it met the requirements of the Colorado Trust before it was unanimously approved by the National Service Foundation Board of Directors.

What Chapter 20 may not have been able to accomplish on its own was made possible by the Colorado Trust. The ability to level the playing field to allow Departments and Chapters to effectively provide service to veterans and their families is truly a unique aspect of the Trust.

Chapters and Departments with substantial reserves can contribute excess funds to the Colorado Trust, which in turn makes them available to Chapters with fewer resources, giving those Chapters an opportunity to provide needed services to a greater number of disabled veterans and their families.

It is equally important for Departments and Chapters to continue seeking innovative ways to provide services to disabled veterans and their families. This mix and the willingness to work together continues to make the Colorado Trust an amazing service resource.

To get an idea of just how meaningful the Colorado Trust is, one needs only to look at those three rooms at the Dallas VA medical center. For spouses who may have otherwise spent hours on the road to be with their hospitalized veteran, the rooms have afforded comfort and calm and an opportunity to remain close to loved ones.

Today those rooms may well be occupied by the young wife or husband of a veteran disabled in Iraq or Afghanistan. The rooms are still doing the job they were created to do, sustaining DAV service to disabled veterans and their families. That's the kind of service the Colorado Trust is striving to accomplish--support it and use it to keep building better lives for America's disabled veterans and their families.
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Publication:DAV Magazine
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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