The First Niagara Foundation will provide the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York three installments of $50,000 over the next three years to grow its outreach efforts, it was announced Tuesday.
The grant, made in partnership with KeyBank, will fund the center's ability to grow and develop its own future fundraising abilities.
"The actual grant will be used to build development capacity within the organization," said Chuck Marra, president and chief executive officer of the Veterans One-Stop Center. "Basically, what that means is giving us the ability through additional staff, through marketing efforts and things of that nature, to build a sustainable funding flow for the organization."
The Veterans One-Stop Center has three offices - in Buffalo, Batavia and Lockport - and provides a variety of services to veterans living within the eight counties of Western New York. Marra estimates they have served about 7,500 veterans in its first five years of operation. But there are tens of thousands more in Western New York and Marra, saying he learned this from his years as an executive with the American Red Cross in Buffalo, believes there are pockets of veteran populations that need to be reached.
"We don't think it has reached the potential in the community itself," Marra said.