As is the annual tradition, the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) PatriotStore at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is now sporting festive decorations and its shelves are stacked high with gifts – just waiting to bring joy to someone special this holiday season.
This year, however, VCS launched a totally new buying experience exclusively for Veterans enrolled in VA health care and VA employees – and it doesn’t even require you to change out of your warm flannel pajamas and cozy slippers – online shopping through ShopVCS.com.
The site, an upgrade to VSC’s popular PatriotStoreDirect phone ordering program, went live on Nov. 13 and offers convenient access to online shopping with at-home delivery and a vastly expanded catalog of products not offered in brick-and-mortar PatriotStore locations.
“We’re very excited about the launch of this online service,” said Charleston VA Canteen Chief Dwight Kress. “This is really bringing our operation into the 21st century as most everyone is now comfortable with purchasing goods through online merchants. It also allows our Veterans who may live remotely and don’t regularly visit the main hospital to take advantage of this benefit and the savings VCS can offer.”
ShopVCS.com patrons can easily and securely browse more than 100,000 name-brand products – ranging from appliances, home décor, military items, sportswear, electronics, and jewelry, among others – from any device. The site also features discounted ticketing and travel services for hotels, theme parks, concerts, movies and more.
Veterans and VA employees can create an account to have exclusive access to the online shopping service. As a special gift, customers will receive $20 off their initial purchase of $120 or more through Dec. 24 by entering the code VCS20 at checkout. ShopVCS.com will also have national register-to-win drawings for Dell laptops and LG 65” Smart TVs.
“The new service will provide our customers a 24-hour online shopping platform presenting a new benefit for which they’ve earned and deserve,” said VCS Executive Director Ray Tober. “Most importantly, proceeds from these purchases will be given back to the Veteran community in support of VA programs such as: National Rehabilitation Adaptive Sports Games, Vets Crisis Suicide Prevention, Fisher House, Women Veteran Programs, National Disaster Relief, Homeless Veterans programs, and much more.”
Since VCS operates as a non-appropriated entity, revenues generated from in-house and online sales are used to support the VA community through donation of funds to initiatives that serve to enhance the quality of life for Veterans, their families and those who provide for their care. In 2017, VCS allocated over $8 million nationwide toward various Veteran-centered programs.