VA has four regional polytrauma centers and 17 network polytrauma centers. These facilities treat veterans and returning servicemembers for traumatic brain injury, amputation, blindness or other visual impairment, complex orthopedic injuries and mental-health concerns. These patients and their family members have many needs. Ask your local VA hospital’s chief of voluntary service how to help.
Community-based outpatient clinics are designed to improve veterans’ access to primary care by providing it in local communities. Volunteer opportunities include making coffee, answering phones and scheduling appointments. Each CBOC has a VA administrative officer who certifies volunteer hours.
The Fisher House Foundation provides lodging and other support for families visiting military and VA hospitals for extended periods of time while their loved ones receive care. Donations of paper goods, linens, food, books and videos are needed. Fund-raising efforts support existing Fisher Houses and build new ones. For more information or to get involved, ask your VA hospital’s chief of voluntary service.
Volunteers at state veterans homes help plan social events, assist with transportation, direct patient care, coordinate food and beverage services, and answer phones. Volunteers receive the same recognition and credit for hours as VAVS volunteers.
Vet Centers offer veterans and their families professional readjustment counseling, community education and outreach to special populations, and more. Vet Centers work with community organizations and are a key link between veterans and other services available within VA. Opportunities include answering phones, making coffee, transportation, and planning holiday and social activities.
Student volunteers are an important part of the VA medical centers' treatment team. They will receive valuable experience and training which will benefit them in applying for college and jobs. The James H. Parke Memorial Youth Scholarship Award provides scholarship opportunities to students who volunteer at VA medical centers (nomination criteria can be obtained from your local VA health care Voluntary Service staff). Student volunteers are liaisons with their communities and provide a valuable element of caring for veterans. The VA Voluntary Service program offers students excellent opportunities for: exploring health-care careers, gaining experience in a health-care environment, learning new skills and making new friends.