Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation
The mission of the Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation Program is to enhance the lives of veterans, military and their family.
Like Department President Vickie’s symbol—the white mustang—we Auxiliary members “run free” because of all the men and women who have sacrificed their time, family, and in some cases even their lives to keep America free. In return we can volunteer to make their lives easier and better, and who knows, maybe your life may be enriched as well.
There are several things we can do. We can volunteer to serve veterans and their families at VA health care facilities through the Veteran Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS), and we can ask others to join us. Be sure to enter all your VAVS hours through the volunteer hour tracking system, which is different than tracking your Service to Veterans Hours outside the VAVS system to earn service bars (See VA&R—Service to Veterans)
You can assist veterans in accessing VA benefits and coordinate with local American Legion posts to identify the local Service Officer.
You can assist in activities to help homeless veterans by participating in the VA Project CHALENG for Veterans. You can volunteer at homeless veterans’ Stand Downs. You can crochet hats, scarves or mittens to be distributed to homeless veterans or contact a homeless veteran’s emergency shelter and identify the organization’s volunteer and in-kind contributions needs (hygiene kits/buddy baskets), etc.
You can support rehabilitation and healing of veterans through arts, crafts, and hobbies by donating supplies to help supplement visual veterans artists’ needs for their projects. Contact your local VA hospital coordinator or Dept. chairman for a list of items. You can donate through department, funds that help local veterans attend state and national Wheel Chair Games, Veterans Creative Arts Festivals and ParaOlympics.
You can help promote job fairs for veterans and their families or volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, especially if the house being built is for a Veteran and is supported by the Legion.
You can assist and support caregivers of Veterans. Become familiar with the VA caregiver support program.
Monetary Donations: They should always be sent to Dept. Office earmarked for the facility of your choice. Send a letter to that facility to tell them of your donation and what you want it used for.
Department and National Awards
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Award for donations made through the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation: 3 levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold—for donations received—August 1, 2017—July 31, 2018.
Veteran Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) Award: awarded to the nominee who has given extraordinary service to our nation’s veterans through the ALA VA&R program and the VAVS program. Nominee must serve in an established VA assignment and be defined as a regularly scheduled volunteer. Should be active in any one of the following areas; outpatient clinics, nursing homes, homeless veteran programs, hosted veteran-related functions outside the VA, or visited veterans confined to their homes.
10,000 Hour Volunteer Service Award: given to volunteers who have reached 10,000 hours of service in a VA facility during this year (April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018).
20,000 Hour Volunteer Service Award: given to volunteers who have reached more than 20,000 hours of service in a VA facility during this year (April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018)
VA&R narratives on how you have served our Veterans and our Military in our VA Medical Centers or CBOC’s or any other VA sponsored program. These narratives are due by April 30, 2018.
There is much more information to be found on the National website, if you’re interested.
It would be very helpful to me if you could send me information on what you’ve been doing in the VAVS system by December 1, 2017, and again by April 15, 2018, either via email or through a narrative that you send to me, so that I may submit my mid-year and year-end reports to Central Division and National.
Let’s “freely run” out and volunteer for Veterans and their families through the VAVS system and make this the best year ever for our Veterans and their families.
Plan of Action 2017-2018