Marking 70 Years of Volunteers Serving Veterans

“Even if it’s a little thing, do something for those who have need of help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.” —Albert Schweitzer

By Hans Petersen

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, is a great time to showcase the impact and power that VA volunteers have on those they serve.

VA Voluntary Service is celebrating 70 years of Volunteer support and philanthropic donations to VA facilities this year. It is through the sincere dedication of volunteers and trusted partnerships that allow us to live up to the VHA mission of “Honoring Service and Empowering Health” of Veteran patients nationwide.

Personal contributions of time and expressions of care are the hallmark and the foundation of VA Voluntary Service. VA volunteers epitomize the one-to-one sharing and caring that is a core value of our Nation. Last year, over 76,000 VA volunteers gladly gave more than 11 million hours of service to Veterans.

Three generations of Volunteers.

The human connection is essential to providing great clinical care. Without volunteers, the quality of VA services and programs would be lessened.

Our volunteers do the endless list of jobs that are necessary in caring for Veterans. Some of our volunteers even blaze their own paths, using their unique skills and creative vision to find new ways to thank Veterans.

Our volunteers do what it takes to make their heroes feel at home.

A Veteran Patient work with a member of Voluntary Services

Voluntary Services, helping Veterans.

Our volunteers do what it takes to make their heroes feel at home. They read to patients, provide recreation transportation, entertainment and training. They offer respite for caregivers, coaching and friendship. Sometimes the value of a volunteer is as simple as the offer of a sympathetic ear.

Award-winning actor Gary Sinise asks “What will you do?”

VA’s Voluntary Service Office Director, Sabrina Clark, adds that, “The volunteer’s personal dimension of kindness and concern goes to the heart of VA health care. We are blessed to have volunteers who make life better for those who gave selflessly of themselves. As we treat increasing numbers of Veterans at VA, our reliance on community support and involvement continues to grow.”

A new generation of proud, young American fighting men and women is serving and sacrificing for freedom around the world, and they are coming to VA medical facilities like ours for care. Their special needs and challenges require the hearts and hands of a new generation of VA volunteers.

Hear stories from VA Volunteers and patients.

VA’s Voluntary Service program is a key link between Veterans who seek care with VA and their communities. It is an avenue through which every citizen and organization can show our Veterans, young and old, that America cares and remembers.

Find out how you can volunteer.

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