2019-2020 National Hospital Ambassador
The National Mid-Year Conference and Celebrating America’s Freedom Event at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, were both festive and informative. Attendance was tremendous and member interest at our ceremony, meeting and Program update presentations was deeply appreciated. I was able to speak with many attendees and hope my input will assist Department Presidents and Hospital Chairmen to achieve their goals.
Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Awareness
Many Auxiliaries host and/or support activities at VA medical facilities, nursing homes and local hospitals. In fact, one out of every 10 Auxiliary members volunteers through our Hospital Program. During this time of COVID-19:
- Be aware of the facility’s safety regulations.
- Some facilities are choosing to limit, suspend or cancel patient activities provided by outside organizations. Call or email your facility contact two to three days before showing up to volunteer. They will advise you on whether you are to come to the facility or not.
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid shaking hands with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home of you are sick or becoming sick.
- Read the following information provided by the VA:
Keeping you and our veterans healthy is our first priority.
National Volunteer and Community Recruitment:
April 19-25, 2020 is stated as “National Volunteer Week” and “Community Volunteer Recruitment Week”. Volunteers are essential for nonprofits, especially in our hospitals and medical facilities where there is usually more work to do than staff to do it.
- Boost the power of employees
- Lightens the load during heavy peak times
- Increases the impact of care to our Veterans
When doing research on when we should ask people to volunteer, I found the following:
- Best time of day is from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
- Best day of the week is Tuesday.
- Best Month of the year is ANY MONTH!
Our Hospital Volunteer Recruitment Kit can be found on our website: www.vfwauxiliary.org/resources/hospital
Bring in Spring!
Believe it or not, Spring is begins this week! Make a plan to boost the morale of those who have been confined to a medical or care facility all winter. Easter is Sunday, April 12 and Passover begins on Wednesday, April 8. A few ideas to brighten someone’s day:
- Have youth dye eggs or fill plastic eggs with candy. Deliver them to the facility.
- Have youth make a flower craft for patient rooms and/or doors.
- Deliver a bouquet of hand-picked spring flowers (daffodils and tulips come to mind).
- Bring in the green! Send a small, sturdy houseplant.
- Send a thinking of you card.
- Purchase a spring themed puzzle for the facility.
Spring is filled with days and months designated to honor our service members and their families:
- Month of the Military Child (April)
- Gold Star Spouses Day (April 5)
- Month of the Military Caregiver (May)
- Loyalty Day (May 1)
- V-E Day (May 8)
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day (Friday before Mother’s Day – May 8, 2020)
- Armed Forces Day (Third Saturday in May – May 16, 2020)
- Memorial Day (Last Monday in May (observed) – May 25, 2020)
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month. I encourage you to look ahead and think of ways to honor those in medical facilities on these days.
Robes for Female (and Male) Veterans, from Kathleen Ditch, Department of Missouri
Ask Auxiliary, Post and community members to donate new robes to inpatient female (and male) veterans. Robes should be long/full length for complete coverage. Pockets and a waist tie are also essential. The robes will a welcome gift to assist in the dignity and comfort of patients.
You are ALL doing a GREAT service to our veterans in our VA Medical Centers, Veterans Homes, and all medical facilities who serve our veterans every day.
Keep up the good work “Serving Our Veterans with Aloha!”