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Volunteer or donate

You can make a difference when you volunteer or donate at The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System. Learn how your support helps us serve Veterans.

Become a volunteer

At The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center there are many volunteering opportunities. Select an option below to learn more.

Regularly Scheduled Weekly Volunteers

To serve as a regularly scheduled weekly volunteer, please select two or three assignments from the Volunteer Assignments list, complete the application (signature not required yet) and email it to us, or fax to you can also call or visit our Voluntary Service Office:

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Voluntary Service Office
109 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: /7488

After review of your application, we will send you instructions to complete an online orientation, complete the PPD screening, complete the required background investigation, and attend a brief interview. We conduct interviews Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis. Please review instructions sent to you carefully - you must bring all required documents as instructed to your interview or we will be unable to complete the process.

Affiliations: If you are a member of a Veteran Service Organization, please consider noting that organization on your application. If you are not a member of an organization, please still consider affiliating with one. While volunteers are not required to affiliate with an organization, we strongly encourage you to select an organization with which to affiliate your hours. Affiliated hours help all related organizations in their endeavors to serve Veterans. Please consider putting an organization of your choice on your application – a list of national organizations with local presence, and their missions, is listed here. Note that you do not have to join an organization to affiliate, and we do not share your contact information with that organization (name and hours only) without your consent.

If you cannot complete orientation online, you can attend a new volunteer orientation in person at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center on Fridays between 7:30 am and 1:30 pm. The entire process lasts about an hour. You do not need an appointment, just walk in during those hours but be sure to bring two forms of IDs. Most volunteer assignments require a 4 hour/week, six month minimum commitment (note that there are special provisions for students.) If cannot meet the six month commitment, or if you have special skills that might be utilized but do not see an assignment for those activities on the list, please call or email us to discuss.

Our VA Medical Center complies with VHA Directive 1192. This directive requires volunteers who have not obtained the current year’s influenza vaccine to wear a mask during flu season. Flu shots are available to active registered volunteers at no cost.

Episodic Volunteering

To serve occasionally, as a family, or as a group, please contact us.

Volunteer Drivers

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Transportation Network Driver to help our Nation's finest get to their appointments?

1)  Complete the health prescreening checklist and if you have any disqualifying conditions, contact us.

2)  Complete a voluntary application, save it to your local computer and email to AND your prescreen checklist to us, or deliver in person or fax.

3)  CALL US at to schedule your physical, which we try to do on Fridays, but any other day is fine except Thursdays. We will confirm we have your application and prescreen checklist, so please make sure you’ve sent that in first. If you need a ride to your physical appointment, let us know at that time.

4)  Please complete the Volunteer Driver training. Links are below. We only need the first page (Driver Training Certification form) printed and signed, then returned to us by fax, scan, or regular mail. Thanks for your continued service to our Veterans.

  • Driver Training Certification
  • Fleet Card Training
  • Driver Safety Training
  • DAV Handbook 

5)  If you need a copy of your SC driving record, please visit the link below.

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles - Obtain your Certified Driver Record

 The 3-year unofficial copy you can get online is fine (save yourself a trip to the DMV!).

6)  When your have a scheduled physical, please open the online general volunteer orientation in PDF format. At the end of the orientation, you will find a link to the assessment and completion certificates. Please complete both and bring them with you to your appointment at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center at 109 Bee St. Charleston, SC 29401.

Things to bring to your appointment:

  • Two forms of ID (driver’s license and social security card are ideal – for all ID options, call us.)
  • The completed general orientation certificate and assessment in step 6.
  • Insurance card and driver’s license.
  • Your driver training certification in step 4.
  • Driving record in step 5.

At your appointment, we’ll also initiate your background check and TB test (two more short forms we’ll provide here.) While the interview is short, the fingerprint, physical exam, and TB test processes can take about two hours – please plan your visit accordingly.

NOTE - Volunteers must have NO known HISTORY or DIAGNOSIS of the following medical conditions: EPILEPSY (seizure disorder), SYNCOPE (blacking or passing out within the last 1 year), HEART ATTACK (within the last 1 year), VENTRICULAR ARRHYTHMIAS (excluding random premature ventricular contractions), IMPLANTABLE CARDIOVERTER DEFIBRILLATOR (ICD), COMPLETE HEART BLOCK, USE OF CONTAINERIZED OXYGEN, STROKE and ACTIVE TRANSIENT ISCHEMIC ATTACKS (TIA’S), MENIERS DISEASE (active inner ear disease causing a balance disorder), and INTRA-ATRIAL CONDUCTION DELAY (IACD). These are considered absolute disqualifiers for volunteer drivers.

College Student Program

As a 152-bed tertiary care facility that delivers the best care anywhere to more than 78,000 Veterans from coastal counties from the North Carolina border to Hinesville, GA, our VA medical center is an ideal site to learn about health care while serving those who served. Our student volunteer program has received awards from both VA nationally and the South Carolina Campus Compact. Our staff works individually with students to create high-impact opportunities to learn and serve based on each student’s unique aspirations, and the chance to honor our Nation’s Heroes is the best part.

While our existing volunteer assignment opportunities are posted on our website, students seeking tailored opportunities are strongly encouraged to talk with us and explore assignments. We generally require a minimum commitment of one four hour shift per week and because we know your semesters are shorter than six months, the six month requirement is waived for students accepted into the program. To apply, follow instructions above, and if you cannot find an assignment on the list that is perfect for you, just note on your application that you’d like to explore assignments, and we’ll discuss in depth at your interview.

Summer Youth Program

Summer Youth Volunteer Program

Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System, Voluntary Service, Summer Youth Volunteer Program (SYVP) is returning in Summer 2024 for high school students ages 14-18. The Summer Youth Volunteer Program application process is open Friday, May 24, 2024, and will close Friday, June 7, 2024. Former youth volunteers who completed hour requirements are not required to reapply. Former youth volunteers are expected to reach out to Voluntary Service and schedule annual training. We will have 15 openings at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and additional 2 openings in Myrtle Beach, 2-North Charleston, 2-Savannah, 1-Hinesville, and 1-Trident.

Student volunteers are an important part of the VA medical centers’ treatment team. They will receive valuable experience and training which will benefit them in applying for college and jobs. Student volunteers are liaisons with their communities and provide a valuable element of caring for Veterans. The VA Voluntary Service program offers students excellent opportunities for:

• exploring health care career options.

• gaining experience in a health care environment.

• learning new skills; making new friends.

Traditionally, SYVP is used to introduce students to the VA Health Care System and our mission to serve Veterans. Our focus this year is on creating solutions to further enhance the Veteran Experience. SYVP participants who complete service requirements can compete for the VA’s national $20,000 James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship.

To Apply:

High school students, ages 14-18, must submit a 500-word minimum essay to:

Title Submission: “Volunteering: Building the bridges that change lives”

One of the most important benefits of volunteering is the opportunity to explore and fulfill your passions and for many Veterans Administration Volunteer Service (VAVS) volunteers, that passion is serving Veterans. For others, their why is the chance to explore a new career field or feel like they are investing in an activity that is making a difference in their community. Why would you want to be a VAVS Volunteer?

Make a donation

Donations from people like you help us provide more services to our Veterans. We accept monetary donations as well as physical items our Veterans need. You can donate online, by mail, or in person. Please contact your local Voluntary Service Office to arrange to drop off any large items.

In-Kind Donations

In our ever-changing environment, we recognize that the needs of our Veteran patients are dynamic. So, we encourage you to view our most current Wish List.  *Please note that we do not solely endorse the use of Amazon and encourage you to purchase items from the online vendor of your choosing.

All donations may be sent directly to us at the following address or dropped off at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital and we will ensure they are distributed according to the needs of our Outpatient Clinics, Veteran Centers and Veteran patients.

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Voluntary Service Office
109 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: /7488

If you prefer to drop off your donations, call us in advance and we can meet you outside to collect your items: .

What We Can't Accept

We are so grateful for your donations; however, there are some items we can't accept. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Used clothing
  • Used items (with the exception of paperback books)
  • Medical equipment

Contact Us

To contact the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC Voluntary Services Office, please email or call .

For current volunteer opportunities and non-commercial Veteran related community events, please subscribe here for our newsletter.

Up Coming Events

2022 Veterans Day Parade

Sunday November 6th 1:00 p.m.

Downtown Charleston