We help service members and their families in Lake, Southern Kenosha and McHenry Counties with care services, financial crisis help, family support, peer counseling and camaraderie.

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We foster a community of care for Veterans and Families. A community is only as strong as those who build it, and we need your help in the form of funding and volunteer services in order to sustain our objectives which are:

• Connect Veterans with each other and the resources they need and deserve through a bond of trust.
• Reduce the time it takes for a warrior to ask for help.
• Provide 100% free and confidential services to Military, Veterans, Service Members, and their Families with service-related issues through a strong peer support network.
• Educate and counsel families supporting Veterans or Service Members through trauma-informed care.
• Raise competency in trauma-informed care.
• Reduce Veteran hospitalizations.
• Provide a safe environment for those in need to reduce the stigma associated with their needs.


    For Veterans and their Families.

    • • Post-traumatic Stress
      • Domestic Violence
      • Children’s Emotional Issues
      • Legal Issues
      • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
      • Substance Abuse
      • Mood Issues, Suicidal Thoughts, Depression, Anxiety, Hopelessness
      • Adjustment related to Deployment, Re-Deployment, Discharge or Reintegration
      • Grief
      • Education, Employment and Vocational Support
      • Financial Support
      • Housing/Homelessness

Ruck Up 2021...

was our most important annual fundraising event of the year.  Your involvement as a marcher, supporter, volunteer or corporate sponsor was invaluable to us and our fight in stemming the suicide trend.  We thank all of the women and men who participated to raise awareness and donations.

Accepting Ruck March donations until 12/31/2021

St. Patrick High School Ruckers

St. Patrick High School Ruckers Take Off


The Ruck March for 2021 was a huge success for all of us, thanks to Paul Meincke and other testimonials featured here.  Thanks to all!  

***********          Major Foundation Donors          ***********

Major Resource Partners

The Latest News from LCVFS 

Free Horseback Ride at Equestrian Connection Sat. Oct. 22nd from 3:30 to 5:30 pm

Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation (LCVFSF), in partnership with Equestrian Connection, is offering Veterans, service and/or immediate family members an opportunity to go horseback riding under the guidance of a professional handler. If you are new to...

Another Success: LCVFSF Concludes Fifth Annual Ruck March of Lake County

September is always National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month, and for the fifth consecutive year Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation (LCVFSF) held The Ruck March of Lake County called Ruck Up 2021.  The annual event is held to increase awareness...

Three LCVFSF Partners Paint Equestrian Connection’s Barn

Equestrian Connection (EC), a provider of equine therapy for special needs children and adults, benefitted recently from the collaboration of Rust-Oleum, Boys Scout Troop 672 and Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation. Parents of Joey Dimock Troop 672...

St. Patrick High Students Spread Word About Veteran Suicides

Students from St. Patrick’s High School in Chicago developed creative ways to raise awareness of the tragedy of Veterans taking their own lives.  The effort supported September as Suicide Prevention Month as well as LCVFSF’s Ruck March of Lake County, a virtual march...

How LCVFSF Fights Veteran and Service Member Food Insecurity

LCVFSF Fights Veteran Hunger with the Help of AbbVie and The Bob Woodruff Foundation Even before Covid began taking its toll, food insecurity challenged many Veterans and their loved ones.  Covid-related financial pressures have made it even harder for some to put...

Four times as many troops and vets have died by suicide as in combat, study finds

Some combat experiences — like ambushes or killing a civilian — more closely linked to suicide, study finds A years-long study of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans found three combat experiences most closely linked with suicidal behavior.  The report explores a wide...

Veterans with PTSD Do Better at the VA

The men sitting in the conference room at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Mare Island, Calif., are all Vietnam veterans in their late 60s and early 70s. After suffering for decades from panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, anger and other assorted...

Postvention — VA offers support after suicide loss

Veterans have a significantly higher suicide rate than other adults in the U.S. This means Veterans are also more likely to have known someone who took their own life. Uniting for Suicide Postvention (USPV) helps make sense of a suicide loss. The program connects...

The Foundation


The Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation is a 501c (3) non-profit organization founded in 2012.  Originally a Department of Health and Human Services grant, today we are 100% funded by private donations which means we need your help to serve those in our Lake, McHenry and Southern Kenosha County Communities who have served, sacrificed, and continue to struggle emotionally, financially and vocationally.


Our mission is to connect Service Members and their families with each other and to the resources and benefits they earned and deserve, free and confidentially regardless of discharge status.  Through our professionally trained Veteran Peer Specialists, we provide “help from those who’ve been there” for support services, counseling, program resources, and a sense of hope and purpose.

Financial Disclosure:  Click here for latest filed 990.

Guiding Principles

Peer Support

Peer support is an essential component for our success. Those who have been there are the ones who can truly understand and guide someone through recovery from the impact of their military experiences.

A Community of Care

Community support is not bound by legal or traditional military restrictions. When issues emerge that affect our target consumer, we will engage all those affected.

Employment and Volunteerism

We believe that employment and volunteer work are significant contributors to an improved feeling of worthiness and normalcy for our target consumer.  Our focus is to develop these principles of connection in our community for veterans and their families.

Family Integrity

Our primary goal prior to, during, and after deployment is to keep families intact, engaged, and flourishing. We acknowledge support persons as a part of the family to be included in the process.


All interventions will be confidential, and any discussion or dissemination of information associated with the interaction of our programs or partners will be consumer-controlled.

Suicide and Homeless Prevention

Our support of programs that thwart suicide and homelessness is grounded in the value of developing the individual’s hope that things can get and stay better.

We will support programs that recruit, train, and certify the next generation of trauma-informed providers of our transformational care.

Veterans are 1.5 times for likely to die of suicide than Americans who never served in the military.

For years the number 22 represented the average number of veterans committing suicide every day.

That number increased 50% from 2007 to 2017 and has increased four of the past five years.

Accomplished in 2020

By The Numbers

People Engaged

Cases Handled

Dry Hooch Contacts


Increase In Contacts

Those We Have Helped

Don Stressler

Don Stressler


The only thing worse than having your refrigerator die is finding out it would cost $800 to repair. Being disabled and unable to work, Don S. didn’t have $800.  That left he and his two sons without a refrigerator and struggling to make meals at home.

Don contacted Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation to ask for help.  The foundation’s staff actively searched online and visited several appliance stores in and around Don’s Round Lake Beach home, looking for a good fit for Don’s family.

They quickly found a good fit and made the purchase.  Don’s sons saved delivery charges by picking up the refrigerator and taking it to its new home.

“My sons and I thank the foundation for helping us out,” Don said.  “We’re back to eating our regular meals at home.”

The Carlton W.  Family

The Carlton W. Family

Veteran/Father/Family Person

Veteran Carlson W. depended on his car to get to work and to take his special needs child to physical therapy.  But he discovered that his car’s suspension was shot, and the vehicle was unsafe to drive.  He needed a quick repair job fast but did not have the funds to pay for it.

Carlson reached out to LCVFSF and the foundation was able to contribute a large part of the total bill.  But some of the bill remained.  That is when a LCVFSF Veteran Peer Specialist (VPS) called the maintenance manager of the dealership repairing the car.  The VPS negotiated the bill downward so that there was no remaining balance.

Carlson now is back on the road and very grateful to the foundation.

Keenan Chapple-Brown

Keenan Chapple-Brown


Veteran Keenan Chapple-Brown had a problem.  He had travelled all the way from Arizona to Lake County to see his mother.  He had finished his visit and now he needed to get back home.  But someone had stolen his debit card, the one and only source of cash he had available.

He contacted Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation to ask about any possible funds to cover his trip home.  LCVFSF’s Dean Adams arranged for gas and food cards through the foundation’s Vets-in-Need program.  Keenan had what he needed to get home.

That should have been the end of the story.  But Keenan got as far as Missouri and found that there were no gas stations around with the same brand as that of the gas cards.  Dean figured out a way to transfer him funds via a bank transfer application.  Keenan then bought enough gas to get him home and returned the unused gas cards.  He’s home now — safe, sound and very appreciative.

DryHootch Drop-In Center

Free Coffee and snack

100 So. Atkinson, Suite 110
Grayslake, Illinois 60030

Hours We’re Here

Mon-Fri: 10am – 5pm

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