Skip to Content

Volunteer or donate

VA Bedford Healthcare System depends on the goodwill of our supporters. Find out how to make a donation or become a volunteer with us, and learn more about how your support helps us serve Veterans.

Become a volunteer

VA Bedford Health care depends on the goodwill of donors and volunteers who want to give something back to America's heroes. Volunteers provide much-needed help throughout the health care system and make patients' experiences more enjoyable. Many different volunteer opportunities are available, and each volunteer's talents are closely matched with one of our assignments.

To become a volunteer, fill out an application. Print it, sign it, and mail it to us. You can also send us your application via email. A volunteer specialist will contact you to schedule an interview.

Benefits of volunteering

In addition to supporting Veterans in your area, you'll enjoy the following benefits as a VA volunteer: 

  • Free Canteen meals during shifts of four or more hours
  • Free parking at your volunteer facility 
  • Educational opportunities, such as CPR training
  • Annual tuberculosis test
  • Free annual flu shots
  • Job skills development
  • Career exploration opportunities

Volunteer duties

Whatever your interests, VA has volunteer opportunities for you. Our volunteer duties fall into three categories: Recreational (focused on general support services), Clinical (focused on patient care), and Operational (focused on logistical or administrative tasks). 

Recreational

  • Library - Assist the librarian, help patients use special visual aid equipment, deliver books to patient rooms, and stock book racks.
  • Escort - Escort Veterans in wheelchairs or on gurneys to and from events in the theater, at outdoor picnics, barbecues, etc. 
  • Recreation - Assist with arts and crafts projects, play bedside games, assist on field trips, show bedside movies, and help therapists with card games, popcorn parties, and other activities.
  • Chaplain - Escort patients to the chapel for religious services.
  • Coffee program - Prepare and serve coffee and refreshments.
  • Entertainers - Singers, dancers, comedians, share your talent with an appreciative audience.
  • Garden Club and Greenhouse care - Water and tend to plants as needed early morning. Adopt a garden bed with your organization and care for it throughout the season.

Clinical

  • Ambassador volunteers - Greet outpatients, guests, visitors and patients' families, answer phones and transfer calls. Ambassador volunteers are stationed at the main information desk.
  • Hospice - Provide companionship and assistance to Veterans who are entering the final stages of life. Volunteers “fill in” and provide comfort at the bedside at times when family and friends are unable to be present.
  • Compassionate Contact Corps - Telephone and video chat. Make weekly calls with a Veteran or Caregiver who could use a friendly telephone visit!
  • Adopt-a-Veteran - Volunteer weekly one-on-one with a hospitalized Veteran.

  • Adopt-a-Ward Program - A volunteer group sponsors recreation activities on various in-patient units 

Operational

  • Office assistant - Type, file, answer phones, keep records, and do data entry.
  • DAV transportation - Drive patients from their homes to VA medical centers.

Contact us

If you have questions about donating or volunteering, contact VA Bedford Voluntary Services.

Phone: 781-687-3076

In person:

Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital
Building 61, Rm B09
200 Springs Road
Bedford, MA 01730
Campus map

Many sick and disabled Veterans lack transportation to and from VA medical facilities, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) operates a nationwide transportation network to meet this need. DAV and auxiliary volunteers drive Veterans to and from VA hospitals and clinics, helping people get the care they deserve.

VA Bedford Healthcare System and the DAV work with county Veterans Affairs directors to provide transportation for Veterans to and from VA Bedford for scheduled medical appointments.

Become a volunteer driver

To learn more about becoming a DAV driver, contact VA Bedford Voluntary Services.

Phone: 781-687-3076

If your company has not experienced the rewards of a company-sponsored volunteer program, let VA Bedford Healthcare System help you get started today. Your employees have the skills and talents that VA needs to carry out its mission to “serve those who have served.” This can be your chance to give something back to the community while helping America’s Veterans.

We will:

  • Tailor a program for your company.
  • Design volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups.
  • Utilize the employee’s existing skills in rewarding ways.
  • Help your employees learn new skills.

Start a corporate volunteer program

To learn more about starting a corporate volunteer program, contact VA Bedford Voluntary Services.

Phone: 781-687-3076

VA Bedford Work-Study Program

The VA Work-Study Program is available to any eligible Veteran who is receiving VA education benefits and attending an accredited school at least three-quarter time. Work-Study students are paid at the state or Federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. If you're a full-time or 3/4-time student in an accredited college degree program, or vocational or professional program, you can "earn while you learn" with a VA work-study allowance. To receive a formal decision from VA, you must file a claim for benefits.

Who is Eligible?

The VA work-study allowance is available to persons training on a full-time or 3/4-time basis under the following programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill--(38 U.S.C. Chapter 33) (Veterans and transfer-of-entitlement recipients)
  • Montgomery GI Bill--Active Duty (38 U.S.C. Chapter 30)
  • REAP Participants
  • Montgomery GI Bill--Selected Reserve (10 U.S.C. Chapter 1606)
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (38 U.S.C. Chapter 32)
  • Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (38 U.S.C. Chapter 35)
  • Eligible dependents under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 35 may use work study only while training in a State.
  • National Call to Service Participants
  • Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program -- (38 U.S.C. Chapter 31)

VA will select students for the work-study program based on different factors. Such factors include:

  • Ability of the student to complete the work-study contract before the end of his or her eligibility to education benefits
  • Job availability within normal commuting distance to the student

Veterans with service-connected disabilities of at least 30% may be given priority consideration.

The VA Bedford Work Study Program is managed through Voluntary Services and you do not have to register as a volunteer to be eligible. Contact your college financial aid office for more information.

To learn more about the Work-Study program, contact VA Bedford Voluntary Services.

Phone: 781-687-3076

Make a donation

Generous donations from people like you help helps us provide enhanced services to Veterans receiving care. You can make a monetary donation by mail, or drop off a donation of materials to our main campus.

Some donors prefer to make monetary contributions to VA Bedford Healthcare System, and others prefer to donate goods needed by Veterans. We accept donations at our main campus for the following items:

  • Gift cards for groceries, restaurants, box stores
  • New men's and women's clothing with tags (pajama sets, lounge pants, polo shirts, baseball caps, cardigans, underwear, sports bras, hoodies, running shoes (especially men’s sizes 8-12))
  • Electronics, personal electronic items (new, rechargeable electric razors, iPads (latest generation), large face Fitbits, watches, Wii controls and sport games, XBOX 360 Kinect system and games, earphones)
  • Toiletries (aftershave, alcohol-free mouthwash, 3 in 1 body wash, lip balm, denture adhesive, denture cleaner)
  • Welcome bags for women entering short term treatment programs (shampoo, alcohol-free mouthwash, deodorant  (no razors, please))
  • Craft supplies (adult coloring books, non-toxic paint, paintbrushes, sketchbooks, drawing pencils, colored pencils, markers, construction paper, glue, woodcraft projects to paint (ornaments, wooden boxes, etc.), paint paper, canvas, scissors, easy to assemble craft kits, holiday crafts, model craft kits (cars, airplanes, ships), wooden craft kits (birdhouses, picture frames, boxes), scissors, glue, paint, paint brushes, paper, canvas, art projects including painting and sketch kits without sharp objects, oil pastels, coloring books, and paint kits)
  • Cards
  • New board games (trivia games for the elderly, assorted board games, jigsaw puzzles, Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, Checkers, Chess, Have You Ever, Tri-bond, Suduko, beach balls, or other large bouncy balls, Springbok Alzheimer’s Puzzles: large pieces, (example can be found online at: https://www.springbok-puzzles.com/alzheimers-puzzles-s/1849.htm))
  • Reading material (please do not send books) (subscriptions to the Lowell Sun, USA Today, Time Magazine, etc., subscriptions for Reminiscence Magazine, large print Reader’s Digests, trivia books)
  • Seasonal decorations (fire retardant decorations for various holidays including rectangle tablecloths, non-gel window clings, wreaths, silk floral arrangements, and centerpieces. Please call ahead to confirm these items are in need.)  
  • Food items (decaf Keurig cups, cocoa K-cups, individually wrapped soft snack cakes) 

We are unable to accept medical equipment, adult diapers, used electronics, or books, or any used clothing.

Donations for formerly homeless Veterans

When Veterans are moving from homelessness to an apartment, they appreciate the following new items to help with their transition:

  • Toaster ovens
  • Coffee makers
  • Dishes
  • Glasses
  • Utensils
  • Food storage containers
  • Vacuums
  • Pots and pans
  • Small microwaves
  • Tools
  • Calendars
  • Towels for kitchen and bath
  • Bed pillows
  • Queen size linens
  • Cleaning supplies, mops, buckets, and brooms

Delivery Arrangements

Voluntary Services is available to take your delivery in person at building 61 on the main Bedford campus, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. You may also mail your donation to:

VA Bedford Healthcare System
Voluntary Services (135)
200 Springs Road
Bedford, MA 01730

Phone: 781-687-3076

Last updated: