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Top 6 Reasons to Volunteer at a VA or Military Hospital

6. Really adorable sweet old people

old man SAF

Anyone who had the privilege of knowing their grandparents heard how the World Wars affected your family, whether or not they served. Older vets often just want company and someone to hear their stories, and as the WWII population decreases, we don’t have much time left to serve this generation and preserve their history. You can even be a part of the Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project, which you can read more in a future post! 


5. Puppies!

SAF helper dog Toffee

Lots of them! This is Toffee, who volunteers with the Red Cross as a professional VA pet visitor. (Look how proud he is!) VAs are filled with these professional pups.


4. Super cool Red Cross vest

Talk about a fashion statement! This vest says that YOU are with the American Red Cross, carrying on the tradition that Clara Barton started on the Civil War battlefields of helping service members. See? She rocked one too back in the 1800s.
Tim Gunn Clara B Blue Vest


3. Fun activities!

SAF Arts & Crafts

Lots of recovering vets just need a buddy to hang out with! Doing arts and crafts or playing videogames totally counts as volunteering here.


2. Scholarships

SAF Santa

There are SO many scholarships out there you can get because you volunteer at VA and military hospitals! This looks like a MUCH more fun way to pay your way through school than crummy college jobs. A common one is the VA’s Parke Scholarship, but search online or talk to your local Red Cross about others.


1. Really hot young men and women!

Bryden

VAs these days are not the dreary  facilities that my Vietnam-vet stepdad used to drag me to as a kid. The average age of a new patient at a VA or Military Hospital is in his/her mid-20s, but most volunteers are 65+. Vets are just like anyone else- they want someone to hang out with and help the time pass as they recover. And these are American’s strongest and bravest… *wink wink nudge nudge* Just saying…you’re more likely to meet a high-quality bachelor or bachelorette at a VA than at that dive bar down the street. Actually, THE Bachelorette Des Hartsock gets it! 26-year-old Iraq War vet Bryden has now received two roses in that show that you pretend you don’t watch. I can’t guarantee all new vets have Bryden’s adorable man bangs, but I can promise that you’ll make some awesome friends—and maybe more ;) —at your local VA.


How can you help?

Contact your local Red Cross, or your local military installation’s Red Cross station manager, and ask how you can volunteer at VAs and Military Hospitals! Then you can be as proud as Toffee!


Red Cross PhotoBeing that this is my first post on the blog, here’s a little bit about me:

My name is Lindy Ross, and I am the new Sr. Associate for Service to the Armed Forces (SAF), in the Policy & Program Development unit. I have been here at the Red Cross National Headquarters in DC for a few years, but I am new to this role and excited to continue learning about Red Cross SAF with you!

I have four grandfathers and a stepdad who served, and I grew up hearing how the Red Cross helped them in WWII and Vietnam. As a 25 year old, I’m passionate about getting our generation involved in supporting our troops and their families, who now are often of our generation.

Other important things to know about me: I grew up in California and Georgia (had a parent in each), I went to UC Berkeley (Go Bears!), and I love all things politics, Disney, Tina Fey, chocolate, DC, history, high-quality movies & books, and low-quality TV shows & food. I’m infamous as the #purplesweatergirl who couldn’t keep a straight face next to President Obama during his Superstorm Sandy press conference at Red Cross NHQ. Find me @LindyLikeTheHop

2 Responses to “Top 6 Reasons to Volunteer at a VA or Military Hospital”

  1. Being a volunteer is a tough job, and there are no rewards for this but the feeling of satisfaction being a help to other people.

    I’m sure many organizations are looking for volunteers. If you want to be a volunteer and looking for some opportunities you can go to “online help directory in the US” and search somewhere near your community.

    Make a difference! :)

  2. Great post Lindy! Welcome to the SAF program! It is great to see blog posts highlighting the perks of volunteering with SAF.

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