Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service – better known as V A V S
Hello, Mothers – everywhere! Especially Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.
You have joined one of the finest women’s organization with which I have been affiliated! The Mothers whom I have met over the years are dedicated to support our military warriors. We send packages and mail as often as we can. However, there is an area that we need to be in as soon as possible – the VA Hospitals!
Every Chapter needs a hospital chairman (chairwoman, chairmother – you choose) whose responsibility is to promote the hospital program. Okay, you ask, what is the hospital program?
We have over 150 V A Medical Centers/Healthcare Centers across the country. We have CBOC’s (pronounced seebocks) Community-based Out-patient Clincs.
Many of our heroes will come back from the wars in need of some kind of medical care. They will join warriors from past wars in some of the VAMC’s and will have some of the same problems. No VAMC/HCS will have just Iraq or Afghanistan veterans. There are, at last count, over 475 CBOCs.
All of the facilities need volunteers. There are many areas where a volunteer can help; reading to a blinded hero; writing letters; playing card games of bingo; talking personally for 10 or 15 minutes; putting on treats in a ward or recreation hall; bringing in a well-behaved pet; baking cookies; having a picnic; Halloween party, birthday party; working in nursing; doing escort service; work as a receptionist or greeter; et cetera ad finitem.
As a volunteer, you choose where you want to work, what you want to do, how often you want to do it and when you want to do it. You must register in the Voluntary Service office if you can be a regular volunteer. Occasional volunteers (perhaps once every 3 months) will not be required to obtain badges or parking permits. Every hospital is DIFFERENT!
Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. need to have a VAVS Representative in every VA facility! The Rep is responsible for recruiting volunteers to help and to collect donations for that facility. Donations can be monetary, comfort items (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant,soap,lotion,tissues,pad of paper and pen, shaving cream) No mouthwash unless non-alcohol. Books, magazines, lap robes, ditty bags, wheelchair bags and afghans are always needed. When you check with your facility, ask what they need.
When our Heroes signed on to serve our country, we promised to take care of them! Will Blue Star Mothers keep that promise? YOU BET!