2016-2017 National Hospital Ambassador
Easter (and Two Other) Ideas
Easter is just around the corner and with it comes thoughts of beautiful spring colors, joyous religious celebrations, and the giggles of little children searching for hidden eggs. We’re all looking forward to what it means to each of us and spending quality time with our family, friends, church family and/or community.
Please remember our hospitalized veterans and those residing in nursing homes this Easter. A little effort will go a long way in brightening their spirits and will make them feel special and included in the festivities of the Easter season. You can do this before the holiday or leave the item with the activity director to deliver during their scheduled activity (if they have one planned).
Here are a couple of ideas:
- Make centerpiece baskets for the dining room tables in a local nursing home to be set out on Easter Sunday. Fill each basket with plastic eggs filled with sugar free jelly beans and a little note that reads “Wishing you an eggstraspecial Easter” for each resident. To make sure the jelly beans don’t fly all over the place when the eggs are opened, put them in a small sealable plastic bag. These little bags can be found in the party section of your local discount store.
- Take individually wrapped marshmallow bunnies with an Easter message from your Auxiliary on a tag attached to a veteran’s home or hospital. The marshmallow bunnies are usually five or six to a pack for a dollar and in the party section of a discount store, you’ll find string tags used for garage sales and such. Be sure to call ahead to find out how many to bring. Some patients/residents may not be able to have them for fear of choking or diabetes. The facility staff member can tell you what you can bring for them so they don’t feel left out.
- Make Easter wreaths or another type decoration for the room of a nursing home veteran as found on the following VFW Auxiliary Pinterest link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/428756827011029995/
- Make and drop off a festive cake for the families of hospitalized veterans in the waiting room of the Medical/Surgical ICU.
Here are two additional hospital volunteer ideas:
- I recently visited the Salisbury VA Medical Center and while touring, the VA Voluntary Services Chief told me about a unique volunteer in the medical center. She does alterations! What a phenomenal service to our veterans! The VAVS Chief told me from the moment her service was announced, the veterans responded in big numbers. Just imagine what the value of her tailoring for amputees is to them! Priceless! If you or your fellow Auxiliary members sew, consider offering the same volunteer service in your area VAMC, nursing home or physical therapy clinic. It might sound overwhelming, but as a volunteer, you can set your own days and times to do this.
- Per Wikipedia, “Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.” When you think of Loyalty Day (May 1), medical personnel probably aren’t the first people to pop up in your mind. While our military veterans fought for our freedoms, doctors and nurses are loyal to our veterans by choosing to be their VA Medical Center or veteran’s nursing home providers. They would likely appreciate a cake inscribed with the statement, “You take the cake for our veterans!” Be sure to send along a BIG thank you card signed by members of your Auxiliary. Ask the facility’s director when would be a good time to present it and take a photo of the presentation for your Auxiliary scrapbook and post it to your Auxiliary Facebook page.
Remember to recognize your hospital volunteers during National Volunteer Week (April 23 – 29th)! It can be as simple as a public ‘thank you’ during your regular meeting or a more formal brunch or dinner. This is an excellent time to present hospital pins to your volunteers who have achieved at least 150 hours of hospital volunteering. You can order the pins (for free!!!) from National Headquarters by filling out and submitting the order form available on the Program & Publicity Resources page behind Member Login.
Thank you for all the amazing work you do for our hospitalized veterans!