WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) joins a grateful Nation to celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 15-21.
“Volunteers are invaluable and they mean so much to our organization,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “They are an irreplaceable part of the care and services provided to our Veterans.”
Officials at VA are always looking for more Americans to join the Department’s corps of 87,000 volunteers, who are passionate about serving Veterans and their families. In 2011 alone, volunteers and their organizations contributed over 12 million hours of service and an estimated $90 million in gifts and donations for a total value of $354.6 million in volunteer giving.VAVS has contributed 66 years of service to America’s Veterans seeking care in VA health care facilities. Since 1946, VAVS volunteers have donated more than 736 million hours of service; and VAVS is one of the largest volunteer programs in the Federal government. More than 350 national and community organizations support VAVS. The program is supported by a VAVS National Advisory Committee, composed of 57 major Veteran, civic and service organizations, which reports to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs through the Under Secretary for Health.
National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing an annual celebration of volunteering. During National Volunteer Week, the Department honors and recognizes VA volunteers for their service to Veterans.
To become a volunteer or learn more about the VAVS program, contact the nearest VA facility, or visit www.va.gov/volunteer.