Banding Together for our Veterans
Soaring Above and Beyond for Veterans
The HOSPITAL PROGRAM is one of the first nationally adopted programs for the VFW Auxiliary. VFW Auxiliary members have been volunteering in hospitals since 1914 at the organization’s inception.
This year’s “National theme “Banding Together for our Veterans”, and the Department of Mississippi’s theme, “Soaring Above and Beyond for Veterans” assures the Hospital Program will to be great again. The past few years has made it difficult to take care of our veterans like we wanted. The volunteer efforts of our members and working together with the hospitals, etc. will make a huge difference in the lives of our hospitalized veterans.
The Hospital program offers hope and encouragement with compassionate care. There are four (4) particular areas to focus on this year.
VALENTINES FOR VETERANS
Share the love we have for our veterans and service members this Valentine’s Day by sending a valentine, hosting a party, recognition event or dinner in their honor.
WOMEN VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Women have served our nation for generations and are the fastest growing group within the veteran population. Comprehensive health services are available and tailored to the unique needs of women veterans.
The Honors Escort Program is an opportunity to honor each veteran in a respectful and open manner and provides an opportunity for a veteran’s family and friends, other veterans and medical facility staff to participate in a display of high regard and reverence for the individual at the time of death.
NATIONAL SALUTE TO VETERAN PATIENTS
The week of February 14 is your opportunity to thank a special group of men and women who are cared for throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, outpatient clinics and nursing homes. The purpose of the National Salute to Veteran Patients program is to pay tribute and express appreciation to veterans, increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center and encourage citizens to visit hospitalized veterans and become more involved as volunteers. Our hospital volunteers contribute to VA personnel and patients. It is because of volunteers like you who bring a touch of happiness to those veterans’ faces.
Success of the hospital program will be thru good communications of the members and volunteers. It is my job to inform and motivate you to become involved. All volunteers should be creative when planning hospital activities. The Hospital program offers hope and encouragement with compassionate care.
Volunteer Recruitment, Recognition and Support
This year, as in the past, one of the main objectives of the Hospital Program is the necessity to recruit new members! Every day the need to recruit new volunteers is crucial to offset millions of dollars in expenses in health care. Volunteers also create a friendly and caring atmosphere wherever they volunteer!
Here are some tips for recruiting:
- Put up a monthly signup sheet at your Auxiliary and your Post for regular Volunteer events.
- If a volunteer opportunity comes up, contact each volunteer by how they prefer to communicate (email, phone call, Facebook or texting).
- Public recognition for current volunteers.
- Be specific about what is expected and the time involved.
- Just because someone says “no” to one event, does not mean they will not volunteer for something else! Please ask again!
Volunteers can serve in local hospitals, Veterans’ homes, nursing homes, domiciliaries and both VA and non-VA medical clinics and facilities. Anyone can serve; Members, non-members, youth and families. Volunteers can do many things depending on the facility. Some facilities have varying types of opportunities to suit different ages and abilities. Some facilities have a volunteer program in place with specific jobs, events and needs. Whichever facility is available, make sure you know and follow the guidelines of the facility.
Auxiliary members can earn Hospital Volunteer Service Pins from National Headquarters. Your Auxiliary Hospital Chairman should keep track of all volunteers’ hours (both VA and non-VA) and submit an application for the pins. Non-members can earn a one-time only volunteer pin for 100 hours.
I have already started getting reports from auxiliaries who have been going to see veterans, giving them parties and having fun. Please continue to do this and report all activities to me.
CELEBRATING NON-TRADITIONAL HOLIDAYS
Our veterans love celebrating the traditional holidays, but they would also enjoy celebrating some non-traditional holidays also. Some of these July Holidays are:
National Fried Chicken Day, July 6
National World Chocolate Day, July 7
National Kitten Day, July 10
National Ice Cream Day, July 16
National Hot Dog Day, July19
Plan an event that is different and usual!