Governor Quinn Launches Annual Holiday Card Drive for Wounded Troops
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by local students to light the state of Illinois' Christmas tree and launch the annual Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive. The Governor encouraged students from across the state to take part in the annual drive by making holiday cards for servicemembers who are away from home during the holiday season. Today's launch is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to support the men and women who have served our nation.
"As we celebrate the holidays here at home, it's important we remind those veterans who cannot be with us how much we value them," Governor Quinn said. "The Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive is one small way we can show our appreciation for the sacrifices our soldiers have made to defend our country and our freedom. No matter where they're stationed, our thoughts and prayers are with our servicemembers this holiday season."
Governor Quinn has always made honoring our veterans, servicemembers and their families one of his top priorities. He championed numerous veterans' causes during his service as Lieutenant Governor and Illinois Treasurer. In 2011, Governor Quinn launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to support Illinois servicemembers seeking homeownership. Governor Quinn recently launched the newest Veterans Cash instant lottery ticket, a $5 ticket with all proceeds going to benefit Illinois veterans' organizations. Since the Governor first championed and launched the program in 2006, Veterans Cash has awarded more than $11.7 million in grants to more than 240 veterans' organizations statewide. The Illinois Lottery's Veterans Cash game is the first lottery game in the United States to earmark 100 percent of net proceeds to veterans.
As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, which established a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help servicemembers and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expenses they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty. The fund has distributed more than $15.1 million to 29,625 Illinois military families to assist with the financial burden at home when a loved one is deployed overseas.
For more information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive, please visit www.OperationHomefront.org.