National Volunteer Week is April 19-25, 2020. The week recognizes those who donate their time, talents and resources to support VA in it’s mission to care for Veterans. VA Voluntary Service celebrates this special group of more than 60,000 volunteers who served more than 9.2 million hours in fiscal year 2019.
“VA would like to extend a huge thank you to the diverse group of people that make up the VA Voluntary Service ranks, as well as the more than 7,400 community organizations that support VA in its mission to care for Veterans, their families and caregivers,” said Sabrina Clark, director of Voluntary Service.
Unfortunately, the current health crisis has forced VA facilities to postpone their annual volunteer recognition and awards banquets. Many of these dedicated individuals can’t volunteer inside VA hospitals right now.
VA’s COVID-19 response has required all but the most essential assignments to be suspended for the safety of patients, staff and volunteers. Nonetheless, VA volunteers’ commitment to supporting Veterans has never waned.
COVID-19 has been a shared traumatic experience for the United Sates and the entire world. In times of crisis, VA tends to fare better than most not only because of dedicated staff of heath care workers, but also its best-kept secret — VA Volunteers.
VA Voluntary Service leverages 61,000 volunteers and hundreds of community partners. This includes Veterans service organizations as well as civic, academic, nonprofit and corporate groups, to supplement care and services for Veterans. While the amount of volunteer hours accumulated each year is astounding, their support also is demonstrated through generous contributions. In fiscal year 2019 alone, VA received more than $99 million in monetary and in-kind donations.
VA volunteers remain hard at work informing their local communities about the ongoing ways to provide support.
- Phone and phone cards for homeless Veterans to make sure that they can stay in contact with their VA coordinators
- Non-perishable food items for VA food pantries
- Gift cards to grocery stores
- UBER/LYFT transportation
- Puzzles, games, playing cards, adult coloring books and pencils to keep Veteran patients and community living center residents actively engaged
- iPads and Facebook portals to help our staff connect Veterans with their families
“VA takes great pride in knowing that there is a dedicated support network of volunteers,” Clark said. “They never forget the service and sacrifice of America’s Veterans.
To contribute to the needs of Veterans at VA facilities today, please contact the VA Voluntary Service office at your local VA medical center. You also can visit https://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/.
As the country celebrates National Volunteer Week, there is no better time to join the VA Voluntary Service family.