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VA Voluntary Service

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In the News

Massage therapist’s healing hands help Veterans
Disabled American Veterans is looking for volunteer drivers

As soon as licensed massage therapist Terry Smith starts to knead Veteran James Davis’s neck and shoulders, Davis begins to relax. “That feels so good,” says Davis, a patient in the Community Living Center (CLC) of the Columbia VA Health Care System. Smith, a U.S. Army Veteran, volunteers her hours at the Columbia VA Medical center. She is known as the massage therapist with the “healing hands.” Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 08/09/2019]

Disabled American Veterans is looking for volunteer drivers
Disabled American Veterans is looking for volunteer drivers

Since 1987, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Transportation Network volunteer drivers have logged 734.6 million miles, providing nearly 19 million no-cost rides for Veterans to and from VA health care appointments. This program makes an incredible impact on Veterans like 94-year-old Vincent Rolves, a former POW who served in WWII. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 08/07/2019]

Red Coat Ambassadors sponsors Veterans to attend Wheelchair Games
Red Coat Ambassadors at the 2019 Wheelchair Games

Red Coat Ambassadors are those who wear a red coat or vest and greet and escort Veterans, visitors and family members at VA sites. Most recently, they’ve helped out at the 39th National Veterans Wheelchair games. The ambassadors provide pleasant personal assistance with navigation and VA information sharing to Vets all around the country each day. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 07/23/2019]

Joshua Johnson: From Orlando VA to Louisiana State University
Joshua Johnson, Red Coat Ambassador at the Orlando VA Medical Center

No matter the way–driving a car or riding a bicycle–Joshua Johnson commits to serving Veterans. Johnson is a familiar face at the Orlando VA Medical Center. With over 700 hours dedicated to volunteering as a Red Coat Ambassador, he has befriended Veterans and gained chosen family. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 07/09/2019]

A portrait of volunteer service: Helen Glass
Helen Glass, VA Volunteer

As a little girl, Helen Glass visited a VA hospital in New Jersey with her father, a WWI Veteran, which sparked a lifetime of service to Veterans. At 96, Glass’ passion for volunteerism and serving Veterans is still thriving. “Back then, they didn’t have volunteers; they didn’t have equipment; they didn’t have anything,” said the Navy Veteran. “I volunteered without even knowing it.” Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 07/05/2019]

VA North Texas Summer Volunteer Youth Program brings together three generations of volunteers
Theresa Hill and her granddaughter Jacqueline Reeves volunteer at the North Texas VA

Since Jaqueline Reeves was a little girl, she has spent countless hours at VA North Texas Health Care System’s Dallas campus. Now, she’s doing it officially. Reeves is one of 53 teens in the Summer Volunteer Youth Program at VA North Texas. She spends 24 hours per week assisting the 134,000 Veterans who get their health care at one of 12 system facilities in 38 North Texas counties. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 06/26/2019]

American Legion Auxiliary partners with VA to help Veterans find their way around VA hospitals
Red Coat Ambassadors

Every April, the nation recognizes health care and other volunteers and the services they provide. Across VA, volunteers donate thousands of hours at various sites of care. To ensure a consistent and positive Veteran experience, the Red Coat Ambassador volunteer program is now at every VA medical center. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/17/2019]

Veteran inspired by his VA patient experience now leads volunteer program at Detroit VA
Detroit VAMC

More than 75,000 volunteers give 11 million hours a year in service to America’s Veterans. It is impossible to calculate the amount of caring, sharing and impact VA volunteers have on Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. For Army Veteran Bill Browning, spending time inside a VA hospital as a patient put him on the path to becoming the Chief of Voluntary Service at the Detroit VA Medical Center. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/15/2019]

VA Volunteers: Compassion, love, unselfish caring
VA Volunteers: Compassion, love, unselfish caring

VA salutes our thousands of Volunteers during this National Volunteer Week. We celebrate the volunteer service and shine a light on the men and women in VA facilities across America. We hope they inspire you to volunteer and, like them, lend your time and talent to help us care for our Veterans. Our volunteers come from every occupation and neighborhood. Here is the journey of one dedicated young lady from Volunteer to VA employee who proudly states that she is “Forever Rooted in VA Voluntary Service.” Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/09/2019]

Former Paratrooper Earns Volunteer of the Year Award for Work with Incarcerated Veterans
Red Coat Ambassadors: Improving the Veteran Experience

Master Sgt. Kevin Burrill spent 14 years on active duty in the US Army, as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, before his first combat tour to Afghanistan. He was a soldier’s soldier. His deployments to hostile-fire zones included Macedonia, Bosnia and multiple tours to Iraq. Burrill was a battalion mortar platoon sergeant on assignment with his unit on April 12, 2007, in the Ghazni Province, when the blast from an improvised explosive device upended their mission. Burrill and his team were injured by the impact of shrapnel, dirt, and pressure that pierced the hull of their tactical vehicle. His section mortar sergeant, a close friend whom Burrill had specifically asked to join him that day, was killed in action. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 01/30/2019]

Red Coat Ambassadors:  Improving the Veteran Experience
Red Coat Ambassadors: Improving the Veteran Experience

The Red Coat Ambassador Program is part of the new culture of customer service at VA Medical Centers across the country. The Orlando VA Medical Center was one of the first facilities to pioneer the program. Today, its VA employees and volunteers greet Veterans, their families and caregivers with a smile, and help them find their way around the facility. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 01/14/2019]

Volunteers Needed in D.C. to Assemble 25,000 Care Pouches for Operation Gratitude
Volunteers for Operation Gratitude

The Community Veterans Engagement Board (CVEB) is seeking volunteers in the Washington, D.C. metro area to assemble 25,000 Operation Gratitude care pouches. The charity organization “seeks to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities” by delivering individually addressed care packages to deployed troops and National Guardsmen, law enforcement officers, and firefighters in cities across America. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 12/17/2018]

Time to Honor Veterans’ Caregivers – National Family Caregivers Month
Veteran and caregiver wife

On November 11th we honor our nation’s Veterans. Did you know the entire month of November is also National Family Caregivers Month? National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers for their valuable contributions. Celebrating family caregivers during November enables all of us to raise awareness of the issues caregivers face, especially those who care for Veterans. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 11/01/2018]

Association for Health Care Volunteer Resource Professional (AHVRP) Member Spotlight

The AHVRP Member Spotlight for October 2018 is Alfredo Stokes, Voluntary Service Specialist, Alaska VA Healthcare System, Anchorage, Alaska. Read more
[This article appeared on the AHVRP website on 10/2018]

Brother-Sister Duo Spend Summer Serving Veterans at VA hospital in New Orleans
Rivera brother and sister team serving Veterans

In the spirit of attending to the needs of others, Mateo Rivera and his sister Dulcé spent some of their summer volunteering at their local VA health care system in New Orleans. The Rivera brother-sister duo joined over 30 other area high school students who participated in the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System’s Junior Volunteer Program and served in various roles helping care for the men and women who have worn the uniform. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 09/21/2018]

09/20/2018 – Red Coat Ambassadors Make Southern Illinois VA a ‘Happy Place’
Red coat ambassador

Red Coat Ambassadors wear a highly visible red coat or vest and greet Veterans and escort visitors and family members. They provide a personal, yet standardized VA experience that includes assistance with navigation, helpful information and the necessary support to make their visit to VA not only successful, but also pleasant. The Marion VA Medical Center in Southern Illinois utilized the Red Coat Ambassador Toolkit from VA’s Veterans Experience Office to restructure their volunteer ambassador program last year. Read more
[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 09/20/2018]