America Supports You: Fund Assists Severely Injured Veterans
By Meghan Vittrup
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 9, 2008 An organization that focuses on helping severely injured veterans channels its efforts toward providing the kinds of assistance they don’t otherwise get.
The Independence Fund provides “the tools, therapies and guidance that they are otherwise not receiving,” said Steve Danyluk, the organization’s president.
The Independence Fund, he explained, is built upon three pillars of support. These pillars, according to the Independence Fund Web site, include providing specialized tools and therapies to troops and veterans, promoting the overall well-being of severely injured veterans through physical and leisure activity, and providing advocacy and guidance through veterans and family members who have experienced similar events and injuries.
For example, the Independence Fund provides assistance such as iBot wheelchairs and sports equipment that has been modified so disabled veterans can take part in athletic pursuits or leisure sports.
The fund also provides two different types of therapies to injured troops.
“Sports and art therapy are the two big programs we champion,” Danyluk said. “Some of the art has become part of our traveling art exhibit, which is steadily growing and been displayed, most recently at the Indianapolis [Veterans Affairs] hospital, and next at the Arlington Art Center in Virginia.”
Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans can apply for funding through the Independence Fund’s Web site, where a downloadable document also is available, Danyluk said.
Once an application is accepted, an Independence Fund case director conducts an interview, and a grant funding board then reviews the application to determine whether the candidate receives a grant, Danyluk explained. The funding for grants distributed through the Independence Fund comes mostly in the form of donations, he added.
The Independence Fund is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.