Founded in 1946 to provide for veterans in VA healthcare facilities, the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) is the largest volunteer program in the Federal government, with more than 350 national and community organizations involved in support of their mission. Volunteers assist patients by augmenting staff in such settings as end-of-life care programs, foster care, community-based volunteer programs, hospital wards, nursing homes and veteran outreach centers. AMVETS serves as one of the 60 major veteran, civic and service organizations that comprise the VAVS National Advisory Committee.
In the last fiscal year ending September 2013, (2,057) AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of AMVETS provided a total of (158,218) hours of service. (89%) of those hours were “regularly scheduled” hours. Based on the current Independent Sector formula for calculating the value of volunteer hours, the AMVETS family provided $3,502,947 dollars worth of service.
To become involved, contact the VA facility nearest you. Ask for Voluntary Service and tell them of your interest in becoming a VAVS AMVETS volunteer. Or better yet, call your VAVS Rep to get the details and accompany him or her on their next visit.
VAVS Appointment of Representatives and Deputies
The following resolution was passed as amended by the delegates at the 2004 AMVETS National Convention:
RESOLVED, that bi-annually, at the time each Department elects their N.E.C., (A-M even years, N-Z-odd years) the new Department Commander will reconfirm the health, interest and performance of each of their VAVS Representatives and Deputies no later than 31 July each year; and be it further
RESOLVED, The Commander or his designate will inform the National VAVS Representative that a review has been completed and if a change is required, the new Appointment form will accompany the notification.
AMVETS Because We Care Day – Annually, the first Wednesday of April the AMVETS National Service Foundation provides personal care kits, that are distributed to our veterans by our VAVS volunteers at all of the VA Medical Centers that have certified AMVETS Representatives.
Holiday Phone Cards – Annually, in the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas the AMVETS National Service Foundation also provides “phone cards” for our hospitalized veterans.
AMVETS National VAVS Leadership Awards
Help AMVETS say thank you in a big way by encouraging the VAVS Chiefs at your local VA Medical Centers to use the applications they receive from the National Programs Department to recommend an AMVET, a Ladies Auxiliary and/or a Sons of AMVETS volunteer for this award. The nominations must be received no later than 30 April each year. Awards are presented during the National Convention as part of the Commander’s & President’s Banquet.
VAVS National Advisory Committee Volunteer of the Year Award
This award is given annually by the NAC during their annual meeting. It is to recognize extraordinary service to our nation’s veterans. Posts or Departments may submit the name of an outstanding AMVETS VAVS volunteer for consideration. The award is not restricted to Reps and Deps., any active and dedicated VAVS volunteer may be considered. Submit to Nat. Programs Dept. no later than 15 Feb each year.