In 2024-25, the ENVSC will award $1,000 Freedom Grants to 1,000 Lodges for qualifying projects. We are excited that even more Lodges will now have access to grant funds specifically to serve our nation’s veterans and/or military members in need!

The process this year is different than in the past, so please read carefully.

Freedom Grant projects must serve veterans and/or military members in need of support or services. Projects must focus on one of these five areas: employment, homelessness and housing, current military members and their families, health, and educational support. These are broad categories and are intended as a guide for identifying local needs.

Dates and Details:

Applications will be available online April 1 at 12:01 AM Central Time. Applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. We will award grants to the first 1,000 Lodges that submit a qualifying application.

Freedom Grants are first-come, first-served. That said, please take the time to ensure your application is detailed, complete, and follows all guidelines. Once an application is submitted, it is final. We will not follow up with questions.

Upon approval of a Lodge's online application, an approval letter and grant check will be sent to the Lodge address.

Here are some great examples of what other Lodges have accomplished with $1,000 Freedom Grants.

  • Auburn Opelika, Ala., Lodge No. 1834 hosted a barbecue and bingo games for 90 residents of the Tuskegee VA. Each veteran also received a gift bag with books and supplies.
  • Kellogg, Idaho, Lodge No. 1841 purchased first aid kits, hygiene products, and daily necessities for 35 local veterans experiencing homelessness.
  • Easton, Md., Lodge No. 1622 chartered a boat to take veterans with disabilities on a day-long, wheelchair-accessible fishing trip. Elks provided assistance, snacks, and a post-trip meal.
  • Salem, Ill., Lodge No. 1678 worked closely with the Veterans food pantry at the Marion VA to purchase needed items like soups, canned meat and pasta. Elks served 100 veterans with the food, and were inspired to start an ongoing food drive at the Lodge.
  • Peekskill, N.Y., Lodge No. 744 purchased tools and assembled 60 complete tool kits for veterans exiting homelessness and moving into new homes.

Essential Guidelines:

Click here for a one-page flyer with guidelines, including this year's Freedom Grant application questions.

  • Projects must serve at least 4 veterans in need and cannot focus on just one or two individual veterans.
  • Appreciation dinners open to all veterans, like a community Veterans Day dinner, do not qualify.
  • Monetary donations qualify if made to nonprofit organizations that specifically serve veterans in need.
  • Donations to member organizations like the VFW and the American Legion must be specifically designated for a project that serves veterans in need. Funds can’t go toward general operations.
  • Projects must be locally focused. General donations to state and national organizations don’t qualify.
  • Memorial projects don't qualify. Grants should be focused on serving living veterans.
  • If you are purchasing home supplies for veterans, please use the Welcome Home Kit program.

Resources

Project Planning Tips:

Research what veterans in your community need. Coordinate with the nearest VA facility. Recruit volunteers. Talk to Veterans Service Officers in your area. Read the guide to connecting with local veterans in need. Consider practical ways for your Lodge to help.

If you are unable to access the Freedom Grant using the button above, please click here.

Questions? Email Vets@elks.org or call 773/755-4736.