Each year, the VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement (CDCE) joins the nation to observe and celebrate National Volunteer Week. The annual recognition campaign honors volunteers and their contributions to the communities and organizations where they live and serve.

The contributions and efforts of VA’s volunteer workforce significantly enhance the quality of services provided to our nation’s Veterans and their families. During National Volunteer Week, VA will formally recognize and honor our volunteers for their profound impact to not only Veterans and families but to our dedicated VA employees whose work is supplemented through the contributions of these individuals.

Essential roles as COVID-19 screeners

In fiscal year 2021, over 25,000 volunteers served more than 2.6 million volunteer hours. Individuals and partnering organizations gave over $101 million in gifts and donations. This effort accounts for a total value of more than $175 million in resources to Veterans at VA medical facilities across the country.

Continued to serve in pandemic

In the midst of a global pandemic, VA volunteers continued to serve. They provide in-kind, monetary and material donations in support of VA’s COVID-19 efforts.

They included the donation of personal protective equipment and tablets and other electronic devices. These devices allowed patients to stay connected with loved ones as visitation in medical facilities became restricted. Volunteers facilitated the delivery of meals for front-line hospital employees and contributions to relaxation stations for our heroic clinical providers and staff.

Volunteers even continued their hands-on service. Although onsite assignments were limited, their contributions were essential. They served as COVID-19 screeners at facility entrances. They also served in a newly developed program, the Compassionate Contact Corps. That program virtually connected volunteers with Veterans in an effort to reduce isolation and loneliness. This award-winning program was recently recognized by The Beryl Institute for Innovation in Patient Experience and is being rolled out across VA.

Impossible to calculate caring and sharing volunteers provide to Veteran patients

Today, volunteers and community organizations continue their support. As we navigate these uncertain times, volunteers are continuing to serve in various capacities to support Veterans.

Over 76 years of service

To express our sincere gratitude to our volunteers, VA proudly joins the nation in observing National Volunteer Week from April 17-23.

  • The VA Center for Development & Civic Engagement has provided more than 76 years of service to America’s Veterans seeking care in VA health care facilities. Since 1946, volunteers have donated more than 740 million hours of service to support Veterans.
  • CDCE is one of the largest volunteer programs in the federal government. More than 7,400 national and community organizations support CDCE. A National Advisory Committee supports the program. Fifty-five Veteran, civic and service organizations comprise the committee. Together, they comprise a National Advisory Council on improving volunteerism in VA.
  • Volunteerism in VA is not just within the walls of VA facilities anymore. CDCE has evolved to include virtual volunteer assignments. It also is expanding VA’s ability to engage the community and organizations in innovative ways to support Veterans, families and caregivers.

Monetary estimates aside, it is impossible to calculate the amount of caring and sharing that these CDCE volunteers provide to Veteran patients. CDCE volunteers are a priceless asset to our nation’s Veterans and VA.

By Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

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Published on Apr. 18, 2022

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One Comment

  1. Barry Schrutt April 20, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    For the last ten years this is the best job I’ve ever had But I don’t consider this a job, it is a honor to serve those who have served so well

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