Green Bay Packers Give Back announced this week the organization has awarded a $250,000 Veterans Impact Grant to Racine, Wis.-based nonprofit Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin.
Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin works to make a difference in the lives of at-risk veterans. Their mission is to assist primarily homeless and at-risk veterans as they strive for normalcy, providing them with resources such as food, clothing, shelter and other basic human needs.
"The Packers are pleased to support Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin and their critical work providing much-needed assistance to those who have served our country," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "We look forward to seeing how the grant will help this deserving organization grow as they work to ensure veterans in need have access to resources, community and a place they can call home."
In 2015, Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin began operating a food pantry, recognizing that food insecurity was a big concern for many veterans. Their current VOW Marketplace serves over 450 veterans. In 2017, they worked to tackle the issue of homelessness by kickstarting their tiny home program. The organization also provides services supporting financial literacy, veteran peer support groups, weekly wellness activities, job facilitation, work training, education and service, all aimed at allowing veterans to engage and feel connected with the broader community.
With this grant, the program hopes to expand their tiny house project, continuing to give homeless veterans a place to call home. Their village currently consists of 15 tiny homes, supplying veterans with the tools needed to break the cycle of homelessness and providing a warm, welcoming environment. Since they conduct so many community-wide activities, the nonprofit plans to grow their efforts by acquiring a nearby building to use as a veterans' community center. They also plan to institute a Mobile Veteran Marketplace, where a branded bus will act as a traveling food pantry for veterans across Wisconsin. They aim to expand the reach of their efforts and make it easier to collaborate with other veterans organizations throughout the state.
"We are very excited to continue to spread our mission across the state of Wisconsin for our veterans," said Zach Zdroik, executive director with Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin. "This impact grant allows us to focus on the food insecurities, housing and mental health of our veteran community. We are incredibly grateful for all the support from the Green Bay Packers organization!"
This is the third consecutive year that Packers Give Back has awarded the Veterans Impact Grant specifically for organizations that serve veterans and their families. A component of the Green Bay Packers Give Back program, the grants, combined with other Packers charity endeavors, contribute to a comprehensive Packers charity impact in excess of $9 million in the past year.