The mission of VA Voluntary Service is to provide a structured volunteer program under the management of VA compensated employees in cooperation with community resources to serve America's veterans and their families with dignity and compassion.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) Program, the largest volunteer program in the Federal government, has provided 60 years of service to America's veterans seeking care in VA health care facilities. With more than 350 national and community organizations supporting the program, VAVS is advised by a National Advisory Committee (NAC), composed of 63 major veteran, civic, and service organizations. AMVETS is proud to be one of the organizations that serve on the NAC.
In the most recent fiscal year ending September 2008, two thousand five hundred and thirty AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, and Sons of AMVETS provided a total of 172,489 hours of service. Ninety-two percent of those hours were "regularly scheduled" hours.
Based on the Independent Sector formula for calculating the value of volunteer hours, AMVETS provided $3,492,902 worth of service at $20.25 per hour.
Monetary estimates aside, it is impossible to calculate the amount of caring and sharing that these AMVETS volunteers give to our veteran patients. Many volunteers, through regular visits with hospitalized veterans, provide the human contact that can be vital in lifting a patient's spirits and providing a better outlook in coping with illness or disability.
*In addition to the volunteer hours, the National Service Foundation provides for over $85,000 in personal hygiene kits and "Call Home for Christmas" phone cards that are distributed annually to our hospitalized veterans.