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Veterans hospital support organizations

American Red Cross
Volunteerism in VA & Military Hospitals -- Red Cross volunteers serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. Volunteers, which includes many veterans and their families, provide vital assistance in the areas of rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who answered their country’s call and who are now cared for each day in military hospitals and VA medical centers.

Daughters of the American Revolution
DAR members are passionate about supporting our active-duty military and veterans and they do so in a variety of ways.

DAR members volunteer their time to provide assistance to veterans in both Veterans Administration hospitals and non-VA facilities and provide more than 200,000 hours of volunteer time to veterans annually.

DAR works with youth volunteers on veterans’ projects in local communities. Younger children make greeting cards, make tray favors, visit nursing homes, march in parades and help stuff ditty bags for stand downs. Older children volunteer at facilities, visit with and play games with veterans, help with craft/rehab activities, run errands for veterans, deliver meals, assist in veteran services offices on campus, deliver mail, and help decorate for the holidays.

Salute to Hospitalized Veterans: DAR members partner with and encourage school students, Children of the American Revolution members, and other youth in the community to make greeting cards for hospitalized veterans. The DAR delivers thousands of cards to facilities and volunteers plan special visits with hospitalized veterans during the month of February.

Golden Age Games: DAR members assist the sponsoring Veterans Affairs Medical Center with hosting the games each summer, including volunteering at the games as timekeepers, working information booths and food service booths, and acting as escorts for the athletes.

Supporting Veterans from Home: Home volunteers sew items needed by facilities, including wheel chair bags, trachea bags, bibs, lap robes, and tote bags. Volunteers are urged to contact their local facility to inquire about what is needed and to obtain patterns and/or the dimensions for these handmade items. Party favors and tray favors are created and assembled by home volunteers. Personal care items, magazines, games, puzzles, and other gifts are collected by home volunteers for delivery to facilities. DAR home volunteers prepare handwritten cards and notes that are sent to facilities and distributed to veterans.

Gold Star Dads - Old Guard Outreach Projects
Our Old Guard Outreach Projects at the VA Hospitals and Veteran Centers is an ongoing project that many of our Dads do as part of our Community Service Commitment.

Help Heal Veterans
For 50 years, we’ve supported the healing and rehabilitation of our veterans by providing them with therapeutic craft kits, completely free of charge. It sounds simple, but the benefits of creative craft projects run deep. Decades of research have shown us that arts and crafts can foster healing that medicine and bed rest alone can’t achieve. Help Heal Veterans was founded in 1971 after many discussions with hospital staff, physicians, therapists and patients, and we designed our programs to work in harmony with veterans’ medical care.

Some of the healing effects of our craft kits include:
  • Improved fine motor skills
  • Improved concentration
  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Support for recovery from substance use
  • Help managing PTSD
  • Improved self-worth and self-esteem

Craft kits are provided to veterans as well as active-duty military personnel who have sustained injuries, and to treatment facilities that serve those who served. The kits are created through the generosity and compassion of countless donors and volunteers eager to honor our veterans. No one is ever charged a fee for one of our kits because our service members have already paid the price through their sacrifice and service to our country.

Hero's Bridge (Warrenton, VA)
HONOR GUARD - Unfortunately, nearly 10 million aging veterans were never given respect and gratitude for their service. Many of our nation’s heroes, especially those who served in Vietnam, returned home and experienced animosity and disrespect from those who opposed the war.. As veterans age, Hero’s Bridge recognizes that they often need a way to reflect on their time in service and reprocess those experiences in a healthy constructive way. Our Honor Guard provides many services such as replacing lost medals, finding lost comrades, recording life stories, portrait sessions and hosting veteran socials. We involve volunteers from the community, especially youth, wherever possible. The Honor Guard places a special emphasis on serving the sometimes overlooked veterans in nursing facilities and care homes.

PAW PATROL - Many of our heroes have lost or had to give up pets that were dear to them. Others are having difficulty caring for pets they have loved for years. Recognizing the positive impact of pets in our veterans' lives, our Paw Patrol team arranges home and nursing facility pet visits. They also help the veteran care for aging pets and help find loving new homes when our veteran makes that difficult decision.

RESOURCE SCOUTS - Hero’s Bridge® Resource Scouts consists of a team of veteran service officers, social workers and other concerned individuals. They help bridge our heroes with sustainable resources to support a better quality of life. Many aging veterans returned from war decades ago to a country, and a time, much different than today. Individuals without catastrophic injuries often returned quietly to their life without enrolling with the Veterans Administration (VA) or seeking any treatment for their invisible wounds. Many of older heroes are unaware of or did not secure the appropriate benefits they so bravely earned years ago. Our Resource Scouts work tirelessly through a web of bureaucracies, agencies, systems, and rules which older veterans may not be able to navigate on their own.

TELEHERO - TeleHero is an exciting and innovative initiative to reach and help heroes wherever they may live. We provide senior friendly tablets that give medication reminders, health tips, educational videos and prompts to increase activity. Most importantly, our tablets provide on demand video visits that connect to Battle Buddies or our care coordination hub.

Operation Paperback
Operation Paperback provides books to veterans hospitals located within the United States.

Painted Paws for Veterans (Peyton, CO)
Painted Paws for Veterans is a Colorado non-profit senior and disabled canine sanctuary and therapy program. At Painted Paws for Veterans, we believe that everyone can benefit from owning or spending time with a canine companion. We offer several programs to veterans and the general public, including adoption services, therapy visitations and a monthly pet pantry.

Soldiers' Angels Veterans Affairs Support Team
The Soldiers Angels Veteran Affairs Support Team assists patients at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, nursing homes and Stand Downs. This support can range from visiting patients to providing comfort items and clothing, to sponsoring special events like BBQs or assisting VA facilities with large-scale efforts to improve in-patients' quality of life.

The VA Team proactively connects with VA Volunteer Service Directors in each state, building relationships to better serve our veterans.

They also work within our local communities to obtain much-needed funds and items listed on each VA’s "wish list," volunteer at the VA events designed to bring a little light to veterans at their facility, and sponsor fundraising efforts to assist the VAs in obtaining comfort items and big-ticket purchases that they may not be able to afford otherwise. The VA Team also reaches out to individual veterans in times of trouble, assisting and supporting them in any way we can.  

VA Voluntary Service
Over 140,000 volunteers gave more than 11 million hours in service to America's veterans. It is impossible to calculate the amount of caring and sharing that these VAVS volunteers provide to veteran patients. VAVS volunteers are a priceless asset to the nation's veterans and to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veteran Aid
VeteranAid.org was created to provide information, free of charge, to veterans, their spouses and families. If you are a veteran, the surviving spouse of a veteran, or the responsible family member of a veteran, we urge you to apply for the VA Aid and Attendance Special Pension at the earliest time possible. This benefit could make the difference between a veteran or surviving spouse living in a high-quality assisted living facility or in a state-operated nursing home.

Wounded Warriors Family Support - Veteran Baskets
Thousands of our older veterans live in nursing and veterans homes around the country. Many of them have no family or friends near them. World War II, Korean, & Vietnam War veterans will no longer be with us in a few years. Some will die alone because they have no family or friends who come to visit.

 It is simple, contact a local rest home, VA hospital, or homeless shelter. Ask to talk to the activity director or manager to see if they have any dietary restrictions. Put together some creative baskets, cookies, or candy bags to give to them. Decorating your baskets in red, white, and blue is a huge plus! Then go give them to the veterans!

Challenge your friends, family, or other groups to also deliver Veteran Baskets!
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Copyright 2008 - 2023 Benita Koeman, Operation We Are Here.  All rights reserved.
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Veteran hospital support programs
Be sure to check out these ADDITIONAL resources:

Supporting the active duty military & veteran community with:

Art therapy programs

Health & wellness resources,
Hospice resources

Homeless veteran support programs
Resources for supporters of military and veteran families
  • Practical insights in caring for
             Home front families
             Military personnel
             PTSD, wounded warriors
             Loved ones of the fallen

Military and veteran family resources
  • Christian encouragement
  Bibles, devotionals, studies
  Bible verses that offer hope
  Of grace and gratitude
             peer support, sexual assault,
             suicide prevention
  • Deployment support for
  Military personnel
  Military spouses
  Military children, teens
  • Downloads and printables
  Brat Town Bugle TM
  Coloring pages
  Flat Brat TM
  Military house ornament

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