Memorial Day 2022: 10 Grants for Veterans and Their Loved Ones

Memorial Day is celebrated every year on May 30th in the USA and it is a day we remember America’s fallen heroes. We honor the memory of those who have died fighting for our freedom. Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971 after it had already been celebrated by several states across the country. We salute our country with a day of remembrance and celebration.

There is actually a very important backstory to this day. The day started to honor the end of the Civil War and the brave soldiers who fought and died to end slavery.

GrantWatch has many grants for veterans. This year and every year in the past, GrantWatch offers a 5% rebate to any nonprofit whose mission statement includes serving veterans. And in honor of Memorial Day, GrantWatch will be sharing 10 of these grants below!

The First Nationwide Memorial Day

When Memorial Day was first celebrated people knew it as Declaration Day. The first nationwide celebration took place on On May 30th, 1868. General John A. Logan, a leader of Nothern Civil War veterans called for this day on May 5th of that same year. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he said.

On this first official Declaration Day, General (and future President) James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition, 5,000 volunteers decorated the graves of 20,000 Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery.

Prior to it becoming an official holiday, almost a hundred years after the conclusion of the Civil War, memorials to fallen soldiers took place all around the country. According to some records, former slaves held one of the earliest recorded Memorial Day celebrations. A professor of American History at Yale University named David Blight discovered an early commemoration that took place in 1866. What Professor Blight found in a box of unsorted materials lent to him by Harvard’s Houghton Library was enlightening. A file labeled ‘First Decoration Day’ and a narrative written by a veteran, along with a newspaper article were in the box. This material told the story of a march that took place on a racetrack in 1865.

Honoring the Fallen

The racetrack was Washington Race Course and Jockey Club in Charleston, South Carolina. Toward the end of the Civil War, the Confederate Army transformed it into a prison for Union captives. More than 260 union soldiers died from the disease and exposure here. When Charleston fell, enslaved people were finally free, and the now-emancipated people stayed. They took the time to give proper burials to these soldiers. They built a new cemetery to re-inter each of these soldiers, with words printed on a large white fence, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

On May 1, 1865, as reported both by The New York Tribune and The Charleston Courier, a group of 10,000 people staged a parade directly on this race track. As reported this crowd was mostly freed slaves, as well as some white missionaries. Three thousand African-American school children marched with flowers and songs. Members of the famous 54th Massachusetts and other Black Union Regiments participated. Ministers recited bible verses. Most of the story is unknown. What we do know is featured in David Blight’s book, Race and Reunion, published in 2001.

Memorial Day Becomes an Offical Holiday

While the holiday started out in recognition of the end of the Civil War, it grew to include other conflicts.

Now the holiday recognizes those lost in:

  • World War I & II
  • The Vietnam War
  • Korean War
  • The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • And many other conflicts

And even the date has changed. in 1968, Congress passed the Monday Holiday Act, which would go into effect in 1971. This moved the date of the holiday to the last Monday in May. It also created a three-day weekend for federal employees.

10 Grants Veterans Grants for Memorial Day

  1. Grants are available to U.S. military veterans for financial support upon returning from deployment overseas. The purpose of funding is to ease the transition from military service to civilian life and to prevent veterans from entering the poverty cycle.
  2. There are also grants for injured, ill, or wounded service members and veterans and their loved ones to cover airfare expenses.
  3. In addition, grants are open to military service members and veterans for urgent financial assistance.
  4. Funding of $5,000 to U.S. active-duty and military veterans, National Guard and Reserve, and unmarried surviving spouses or civil union partners of eligible veterans for a home purchase, home refinance, or home renovation loan that will take place in the next 6-12 months.
  5. There are grants of up to $1,000 to qualifying military veterans and military spouses to cover unexpected expenses. Funding is to allow veterans and their spouses to complete postsecondary education programs and succeed in a competitive job market.
  6. In-kind grants of specially adapted custom housing are also available for veterans to accommodate severe injuries they have from serving the country.
  7. Funding is available for U.S. families of military veterans who are injured or died while serving their country. The purpose is to mitigate financial hardship associated with the loss of a parent or spouse.
  8. Additionally, grants are open to first responders, military personnel, and veterans with disabilities for fitness programs that enhance physical & mental health.
  9. There are grants to nonprofits to improve the lives of injured veterans and their families. Funding is to support a range of services and programs including therapeutic and recreational activities, career training and education, rehabilitation programs, shelters for the homeless, and the supply of mobility items.
  10. Finally, there are grants available to U.S. and Puerto Rico nonprofits for projects that benefit homeless veterans in eligible locations.

GrantNews Notes

Looking for similar grants? GrantWatch features an entire category for grants for veterans. This category includes more than 150 grants for veterans, veteran serving organizations for homes, home improvement, and businesses. It also has grants for disabled veterans, small business grants for veterans, and grants for individuals and organizations supporting veterans and their families.

Also, make sure to sign up for a paid subscription to GrantWatch. By doing so, you and your organization can receive access to almost 8,000 grants for nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals. This includes full eligibility criteria, contact information for grant funders, and application links.

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