Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, one of his deputy executives and 12 county commissioners are bringing much-needed help to 28 area veteran service organizations impacted by COV
Deputy County Executive Sean Carlson and County Commissioner Angela Powell, D-Pontiac, made stops at three Pontiac organizations Dec. 21 — American Legion Post 20, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1370 and Aces Veterans Annex to deliver checks to help the organizations get through challenging times. Other deliveries are planned for Tuesday in Auburn Hills, Clarkston, Highland Township, Lake Orion and Oxford.
“Like so many others, these organizations have struggled as they have been unable to hold major sources of income such as fundraisers and banquets since the pandemic began,” Coulter said. “The services they provide to our communities and veterans are woven into the fabric of who we are as a county and a country. It’s important we do all we can to help sustain these organizations as we take the necessary steps to recover safely.”
The distributions began Dec. 16 in White Lake Township with Commissioner Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake, and Carlson delivering the first check to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 133. Coulter was joined Friday by Commissioner Janet Jackson, D-Southfield, and Carlson at American Legion Post 346 in Farmington.
The deliveries conclude Dec. 22 with Carlson dropping off a check at VFW Post 9914 in Highland Township. In between, Commissioners Michael J. Gingell, R-Orion Township; Bob Hoffman, R-Highland Township; Adam Kochenderfer, R-Rochester; Penny Luebs, D-Clawson; Tom Middleton, R-Clarkston; Powell; Michael Spisz, R-Oxford; Shelley Goodman Taub, R-Bloomfield Hills; Phil Weipert, R-South Lyon; and David Woodward, D-Royal Oak dropped off checks in Clarkston, Pontiac, Holly, Troy, Oxford and Southfield.
The grants may be used to help organizations cover operating expenses such as payroll, rent and the cost to acquire personal protective equipment.
The county also offered grants to individual veterans who needed help. It provided about $800,000 to 340 Oakland County veterans or their dependents who were harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans could apply for up to $2,500 in emergency aid for such necessities as food, housing assistance, utility bills or childcare.
The $1 million Oakland County Veteran Service Fund was created by an allocation from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners using money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and a grant the county’s Veterans’ Services division received from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.