VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How do I sign up to volunteer?
Online: Click on ‘Volunteer or Donate.’ This will take you to a web form page. Complete each field and then click the ‘Submit’ button. An email is generated to the VA Voluntary Service Program Manager in your area. Once the email is received, someone from the local VA will contact you to provide you with further information and to possibly set up an appointment for an interview.
In person: Contact your local VA Medical Center’s Voluntary Service Office. Tell them of your interest in volunteering. An appointment will be scheduled for you to come in to tour the facility and learn more about the many ways to serve America’s heroes. Return to Top
2. Do I have to have a background check?
Depending on the volunteer assignment you may need to go through at least a minimum background check. This may be as simple as a fingerprint check or as detailed as a full background check. Your volunteer assignment will determine the extent of the process. Again, our primary responsibility is the safety of our Veterans. Please call your local VAVS program office for further information. Return to Top
3. How do I involve my family and friends?
VAVS encourages family volunteering. Contact your local VAVS Program Manager to discuss potential projects for your family and friends. Return to Top
4. Will volunteering help me get hired by VA?
Simply stated, no. VAVS volunteers are to augment and support the work of VA paid staff, in order to better serve our Veterans. However, being a volunteer looks great on a resume. Return to Top
5. Can I bring my pet to visit the patients?
Pets who visit patients in a medical setting are required to be certified by an official pet therapy certification program. Your pet may be very docile and loving, but a strange surrounding such as a hospital with all the activity and unique smells could cause it to behave erratically. Please call your local VAVS program office for further information. Return to Top
6. Is VA currently accepting donations of COVID-19 related materials?
Yes, and there are established protocols to ensure only safe, compliant materials enter the VA supply chain. All donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) (i.e., masks, gloves, gowns, face shields) must be evaluated and approved by a medical center director-appointed infection control committee designee or group, before entering the facility supply chain.
All donations of handmade masks should also be evaluated by the appointee identified above, and if approved the items must be sanitized and distributed with direction as to their use, with explicit clarification that handmade masks are not considered PPE. All donations will be processed through the Office of Voluntary Service in accordance with VHA Directive 4721 to ensure consistent tracking and acknowledgment of COVID-19 donations. For questions, or to offer a nationwide donation, contact VHA10BCOM1VAVSStaff@va.gov.