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VA Begins Initiative for more Volunteers

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Erin Mairose
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The VA needs more volunteers. A nationwide initiative called a “Summer of Service” hopes to attract more volunteers to assist at Veteran facilities. 

Brenda Stevens is a spokesperson for the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System. She says fewer people are volunteering and she hopes a nationwide initiative will encourage more people to donate a few hours of their time to assist a veteran.

“Some of the things that we are looking for, for example, is that we now have kiosks, the stand alone sign in computers, so we’re looking for volunteers that would like to assist veterans logging into the kiosks to register their attendance for the day," said Stevens. "We also have a need for escort volunteers. Individuals who would like to come out and transport wheelchair patients, for example, from their room to a therapy clinic and then back to their room. We also have a need for people to come out and play bingo on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons with the veterans that are up on the CLC units. "So we have a wide range of volunteer positions available.”

Stevens says they also need volunteer drivers to pick up veterans from their homes and bring them into the VA for appointments. The VA has vans in 18 communities in Eastern South Dakota.

“It’s a great service not only to bring in veterans from outlying communities so they can get the care they need, but also the volunteer drivers are just absolutely an essential part to that program,” said Stevens.

The VA also accepts donations. For homeless veterans they need kitchen and bath items. But Stevens says as needs change, new donations are always helpful.

The VA facility in SF is one of three heath care systems for veterans in the state.   

On June 30th the VA center in Sioux Falls is hosting an informational session for people to learn about the different volunteer projects.