2017-2018 National Hospital Ambassador
Spring is the Season to Show Appreciation
Spring has sprung – according to the calendar, that is! Some parts of the country are still weathering snow storms while others are embracing rain showers. Whatever the weather, it’s an excellent season to show appreciation for our volunteers, nurses, mothers and the veterans we serve.
National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. This is an excellent time to host a volunteer appreciation event and recognize your Auxiliary Hospital volunteers for their work in medical facilities this year.
National Nurses Week is May 6-12 (it concludes on Florence Nightingale’s birthday). This is a wonderful time to thank nurses in all VA and non-VA medical facilities for the care and support they provide for our veterans. Ways to honor them include:
- Send flowers to the nurses’ station for all to enjoy.
- Deliver muffins, cookies or other sweet treats.
- Purchase lunch for them!
- Have the patients write thank-you notes for the nurses. Offer to help the veteran by writing it for them (be a writing aide).
Visit the National Organization’s Volunteer Appreciation Pinterest Page for 30 inexpensive ways to show appreciation for your Auxiliary’s volunteers and nurses in medical facilities.
There are several holidays coming up that present an opportunity to host events for veterans in medical facilities.
May 1: Loyalty Day
Loyalty Day is defined as follows in Title 36 of the United State Code
a. Designation.— May 1 is Loyalty Day.
b. Purpose.— 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.
c. Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue a proclamation—
1. calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day; and
2. inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.
I bet you can come up with many ideas to help celebrate loyalty to our county!
- Invite the Mayor to issue a proclamation declaring it Loyalty Day and ask him/her to issue it at a local nursing home. Have him/her recognize the veterans for their loyalty to our country through their military service. Sponsor a sheet cake for the celebration.
- Hold a “Reaffirm Loyalty” quiz. Name the freedoms we enjoy as Americans! Make it a trivia game of sorts. Team up the residents of veterans and non-veterans and ask questions pertaining to the Bill of Rights. Give everyone a small American Flag for their participation in the game. Bring red, white, and blue sugar-free cookies or cupcakes along with a carafe of caffeine-free coffee for refreshments.
May 3: National Day of Prayer
I think everyone today is concerned about the goings on in our country and for the safety of our service members. No one knows more about protecting our country and the potential harm our military face every day than veterans. Invite your minister/pastor, priest, facility Chaplain, or your Auxiliary Chaplain to participate in a “Day of Prayer.” Find ideas for bookmarks, place cards and other handouts on Pinterest.
May 13: Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a time to honor mothers and celebrate the positive impact mothers have in our lives. Hospitalized veterans may be unable to visit their mom, wife, daughter, etc. on Mother’s Day, so some other ways they can say “thank you” to the moms in their life are listed below.
- Host a “Remembering/Honoring Mom Tea” for veterans in rehab or a mental health outpatient clinic. It can be an informal social gathering that provides an opportunity for veterans to talk about moms; whether their moms are alive or deceased, whether the veterans themselves are moms, or the veteran is hospitalized and his/her mom isn’t able to come visit. Get together with the Recreational Therapist or Activity Director to plan something that will most certainly raise their spirits.
- Perhaps your Auxiliary would prefer to make something or provide materials for a craft to honor moms. You can find hundreds of ideas on Pinterest.
- Purchase Mother’s Day cards from the dollar store and give them out to hospitalized veterans to mail to their moms and/or their daughter who are moms (don’t forget to provide the postage stamp).
- Ask youth to make cards for veterans to mail. The veterans would smile to themselves as they write their message and address the envelope to their mom and/or daughter.
- Request phone minutes from Operation Uplink™ so they may call their mom and/or daughter and wish them a happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you for all you do to recognize our hospital volunteers and our veterans!