Every person has skills and talents that can be helpful in the medical setting. Volunteers are needed at our medical facilities in Northampton, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester, and Fitchburg in a variety of assignments listed below. However, if you have special skills to offer, please call us so we can discuss how you can best use your talents to help our patients ... America's Heroes.
- Clerical Assistance Volunteers: Clerical assistance is needed in a variety of patient care and administrative office areas/support services. There are many opportunities to utilize computer skills to process Word/Excel documents, assist business and clinical operations, teach veteran patients to understand and operate a computer, etc. Volunteers are also needed to answer phones and complete small filing tasks. This is a high priority area of need.
- Ambassador Volunteers: Meet/greet veteran patients, guests, etc. and provide guidance as to Medical Center services. Escort veteran wheelchair patients to appointments/activities as needed.
- Patient Assistance Volunteers: Nursing assistance is needed to serve as helpers, including escorts to get patients to and from clinic appointments, delivering/reading mail, etc. on the inpatient units. These volunteers are needed any day or evening, including weekends. Volunteers are also needed to help with opening containers and setting up patient trays - any day, any meal.
- Recreation Volunteers: Entertainment groups, music performers, adult-supervised children groups, and individuals to socialize with veterans and assist with recreation activities, etc. Escort patients in wheelchairs outdoors in nice weather and/or to the recreation hall for events, etc.
- Chapel volunteers: Need individual Sunday escorts to and from inpatient units and religious church services in Northampton. Also, volunteer groups to furnish conserve light refreshments following biannual Chaplain's Memorial service. Family's of those veterans who passed away at this facility during the previous six-month period are notified of the service and invited to attend. Volunteers or groups are also needed to furnish and/or serve refreshments for special receptions, etc. on an "as needed" basis.
- Driver transportation volunteers: These volunteers are special people who provide veterans living in local communities with rides to and from VA medical center facilities for clinical appointments. Vans are provided by the VA healthcare system. Hours vary according to the volunteers availability-generally during mornings, i.e. you may provide services often as daily or as little as once a month. Before starting a driving record and legal background check will be accomplished, you have a physical (provided by VA), you will have to provide a current driver's license and be fully insured. The United States Government provides all drivers further coverage, while performing their volunteer work.
- Veterans History Project Volunteers: Need interviewers to collect and record first-hand accounts of American war veterans. This project is sponsored by the library of Congress so that future generations may hear the direct stories and better understand the realities of war. Training will be provided on the specific format used for this project.
VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System can accept donations from service organizations, individuals and community groups in support of veterans' health care programs. Examples are:
Financial/Memorial gifts and or Bequests
Checks/money orders should be made payable to VA Central Western Massachusetts and directed to one of the following General Post Funds:
1002-Veterans Patient Care, Educational equipment (TV/DVD/Radio/etc)
1003-Indigent Veterans, Clothing/Toiletries/Shoes
1006-Patient Personalized Christmas, Holiday Gifts
1007-Chapel, Spiritual Comfort needs of veteran patients
1009-Recreation, Canteen Coupon books/Bus rentals/etc.
1013-Palliative Care, Comfort items/etc
1034-Visual Impairment/Blind Veterans Program, support items, refreshments, etc.
1039-Mental Health Homeless Veterans Programs, comfort items, etc.
In-kind/donations are identified as:
Phone Cards, 60 to 120 minutes.
Canteen Coupon Books for activities / CD’s / DVD’s.
Personal care hygiene comfort items, new clothing.
New VHS / DVD System Units for the medical center wards.
New music CDs for hospice and/or the elder veteran patients on the Community Living Center.
New Wii games for all inpatient units and/or the Pittsfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic.
I-Pod's for the younger veterans returning from the OIF and OEF wars.
Sponsor recreation hall or ward entertainment activities.
Items such as used equipment/clothing and medical devices can not be accepted due to safety regulations.
For further information, contact Anne Murray, Voluntary Program Manager, at (413) 582-3042.