The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center strives to deliver the best care possible to every Veteran that comes in the doors each day, and most days those Veterans are met first by the smiling face of a volunteer.
In fiscal year 2018, Charleston VAMC had nearly 600 volunteers combine for more than 83,000 hours of work at the facility. Volunteers serve in many roles: handing out coffee in waiting rooms, providing transportation services, assisting clinical and administrative staff, comforting patients at the bedside and more. The demographics of these volunteers are as diverse as the roles in which they serve. They are high school and college students, active duty military members, community partners, Veteran family members and former employees - and many are Veterans themselves.
Each year, Voluntary Service holds several banquets to honor the commitment and service of the facility’s many volunteers. This year the banquets were held in Savannah, Myrtle Beach and Charleston, and honored some of the prolific volunteers that have worked with the facility and matched this year’s theme of “Bee the Difference.”
Of the many volunteers recognized for their contributions, some of the remarkable individual accomplishments were: Milton Davis in Savannah, who has completed more than 20,000 hours of volunteer work; Jesse Pace in Charleston, who topped the 12,500-hour mark; Von Gates in Charleston, who passed 7,500 hours; and Anthony Turner in Charleston, who has more than 6,250 total volunteer hours now.
In all, more than 300 volunteers attended the banquets and were honored for their constant efforts to make the lives of Veterans better every day.
On top of that, Charleston VAMC received more than $2 million in monetary value from donations through community donations which are also overseen by Voluntary Service. These donations directly assist Veterans by getting them several items they need throughout the year.
Charleston VAMC is always in need of more volunteers, particularly volunteer drivers who can assist in getting Veterans to and from their appointments, in all the local communities that are served by the facility.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please contact Voluntary Service at (843) 789-7230 or visit www.charleston.va.gov/giving.