Did you know there are over 800 active volunteers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center? It’s true, and last year our volunteers spent 90,281 hours bringing help and smiles to our Veteran patients here. Although the value of their total time was over $2 million, their presence was priceless.
What does a volunteer do? Volunteer assignments include everything from greeting patients, delivering mail or driving a golf cart, to playing an acoustical instrument or bringing magazines and books to patients in waiting areas. For a complete lists of volunteer opportunities click here.
Why volunteer? “For the sense of satisfaction and self-esteem – people are proud of helping Veterans,” said Voluntary Service Assistant Director James McDermott. Veterans provide many important functions throughout our Medical Center to make our patients’ stay more enjoyable. It's a fulfilling way to give back.
What’s it take to be a volunteer? Our volunteers have a genuine desire to help others, are age 16 or older, many have a skill they would like to share, some need a valid driver’s license, and all potential volunteers fill out a volunteer application, available online here or at Voluntary Service (Bldg. 7, 1st Floor, Room 120).
At the moment we especially need volunteers for these assignments:
• Customer Service Concierge – Friendly greeter to patients and visitors. Help patients and visitors with information and clinic locations. Shifts: 8 a.m. - 12 noon, or 12 noon - 4 p.m.
• Escorts – Provide assistance with pushing patients in escort "Staxi" chairs to their scheduled appointments. Shifts: 8 a.m. - 12 noon, or 12 noon - 4 p.m.
• Parking Lot Golf Cart Driver – Drivers are needed to help transport disabled patients from parking lots to the front entrance, and from the front entrance back to their vehicles. Shifts: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
• Volunteer Van Driver – For Santa Rosa, Clearlake, Ukiah and Fort Bragg. Help transport Veterans to appointments for chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation therapy, or other outpatient treatments. Hours vary.
Every year SFVAMC Volunteers are recognized at a ceremony. This year’s Volunteer Recognition Ceremony and luncheon will be held on Friday, May 11 at the Kabuki Hotel. All active volunteers will receive an invitation with more information.
“It’s important to recognize the many caring hours graciously donated by our volunteers,” said Voluntary Service Director Owetia Dupree. “We depend on our volunteers for so many things, and their service really makes a difference to the Veterans. It brightens their day and makes their stay here even more welcome.”
If you’re not available to volunteer, no worries. “Voluntary Service is also the fundraising and fund-accepting arm of San Francisco VA Medical Center,” said Dupree. “We accept donations of any size.” Cash donations are used for the comfort and welfare of our Veteran patients, such as for purchases of hygiene products, refreshments, recreational activities, holiday celebrations and family assistance for hospitalized Veterans. Voluntary Service also accepts in-kind contributions such as telephone cards, new or gently used clothing, MUNI bus tokens, taxi vouchers, books & magazines, and refreshments.
For more information about donations and contributions call (415) 750-2144 or click here.