This is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate service. Time to salute those great men and women in every VA medical center who give of themselves to others. And time to invite everyone else to come along and discover the power of making a difference.
You’ll meet them every time you visit a VA medical center. In 2014, more than 130,000 volunteers gave more than 11 million hours in service to America’s Veterans.
We can’t calculate the amount of caring and sharing that these VA Voluntary Service volunteers provide to Veteran patients. Our volunteers are a priceless asset to America’s Veterans and to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A Volunteer for More Than 50 Years
Katherine “Kay” Arnold
Kay Arnold, who turned 90 in February, is a classic example of selfless service.
Katherine “Kay” Arnold has devoted her life to community and Veterans services. She was born in 1925, and has seen many social, political and technological changes. But for Kay, the wife of a World War II Veteran, the love for her country and service to those who protect it has remained strong and constant.
Since 1959, she has logged more than 50,000 hours of volunteer service at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass. Her roles there include Veteran adviser, management assistant counselor, patient recreation leader and a formal appointment as the VA Voluntary Service Representative for American Ex-Prisoners of War.
She has also worked with the Veterans Benefits Administration, directing those Veterans seeking treatment, services and benefits to the proper agencies and offices.
As Arnold puts it, “The Veterans appreciate it. You give back.”
Saying “Thank You” to Veterans Every Day
Our volunteers carry forward the tradition of service embedded in our character as a people. These men and women say thanks to our Veterans every day, for all of us.
All of VA’s volunteers are great people. Some are singled out for their countless acts of kindness, generosity, and service. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we salute them for their outstanding efforts and dedication.
This year, the honor of Volunteer of the Year goes to:
Male Volunteer of the Year
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Female Volunteer of the Year
VA Illiana Health Care System (Danville, Illinois)
How do I sign up to volunteer?
Clicking on Volunteer or Donate will take you to a Web page form. Complete and click the button to submit and generate an email to the VA Voluntary Service Program Manager in your area. Once the email is received, someone from the local VA will contact you, either by phone or e-mail, and provide you with further information and possibly 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.
Sabrina Clark is the director of VA’s Voluntary Service.