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Volunteer or donate

VA Houston Healthcare System depends on the goodwill of our supporters. You can make a difference when you help us serve our Veterans.

VA Houston Healthcare System depends on the goodwill of donors and volunteers who want to give something back to America’s heroes. You can make a difference when you volunteer or donate.

Become a volunteer

Our volunteer program is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteering is a great opportunity to “serve those who have served.” 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. Volunteers can choose to serve at the Houston VA or one of our community based outpatient clinics.
 

As a VA volunteer, you’ll support Veterans in your area, meet interesting people, and gain valuable experience in a health care setting. You’ll also enjoy benefits like: Contribute to Veteran community

  • Free Canteen meals during shifts of 4 or more hours
    • Free parking at your volunteer facility 
    • Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards Program
  • Free annual flu shot
  • Job skills development
  • Job search opportunities

Whatever your interests, we have volunteer opportunities that are right for you. In order for us to help provide you with the best volunteer experience, Voluntary Service will coordinate placement in an area that is compatible for you from the volunteer opportunity list. Please be aware that all areas do not accept volunteers. Some of our volunteer opportunities may include:

Patient care 

  • Escort - Bring patients to medical clinics, chapel, recreation, and programs.
  • Food and nutrition - Help patients select menu items, open containers, cut food into bite-size portions, and eat during mealtimes.
  • Front desk - Greet outpatients, guests, visitors, and patients' families, answer phones, and transfer calls at the information desk.
  • Medical clinics - Visit with patients and run errands.
  • Hospice – Provide comfort and companionship to Veterans in the final days and hours of their lives.
  • Recreation - Help with activities like arts and crafts projects, bedside games, field trips, and bedside movies.

Administrative 

  • Blood bank – Alphabetize paperwork and help with snacks.
  • Book Cart– Deliver or help Veterans select books and magazines.
  • Healing Garden – Trim landscape, and weed and water garden.
  • Office assistance - Type, file, answer phones, keep records, enter data, and call patients to remind them about appointments.
  • Transportation - Drive patients from their homes to VA medical centers. Must have current driver’s license, auto insurance, and physical exam.

Other assignments not listed here may also be available. If you’re interested in volunteering, or if you have special skills to offer, please contact us so we can discuss how you can best help our Veterans. 

While some volunteer assignments must be performed at specific times, most are flexible and can fit your schedule. We also have special short-term projects.

Help pick-up outpatients receiving treatments or therapy and other outpatient appointments. To fill this role, you must have a current, valid Texas driver’s license and automobile insurance and pass a physical exam. Hours vary.

We are looking for volunteer drivers for: Beaumont, Woodville, Conroe, Lake Jackson, Texas City, Galveston, Bay City, Brazoria County, and Waller County. 

Our volunteer program, including our Summer Teen Volunteer Program, has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

Upon your questionnaire being accepted, potential volunteers must be pre-screened with staff prior to orientation. Please note that our process time for potential volunteers can take up to 4 weeks.

Volunteer Requirements

  • Minimum 100 hours over 6 months
  • Complete Voluntary Service interview
  • Must provide Voluntary Service with a current copy of tuberculosis test
  • Must provide 2 forms of state approved ID (TDL, SSC, Passport, Military ID card, etc.)
  • Background check (provided by MEDVAMC) and VA volunteer ID badge
  • VA volunteer badge is required to volunteer
  • Volunteer vest 

Once Selected and Approved

  • Attend a virtual group orientation and training
  • Complete fingerprinting and photo for ID badge
  • Complete all required training documents
  • Interview with area supervisor
  • Start date will be determined by Program Manager and assigned area supervisor

To apply for this program, complete the Volunteer Questionnaire below. Once accepted, you will also need to complete the Volunteer Application.  

Make a donation

Every donation, no matter how large or small, makes a difference in the lives of our Veterans. We could not provide many of the services for our Veterans if it were not for the generosity of people in the community, the Veteran's service organizations, fraternal organizations, and businesses. We appreciate all forms of generosity.

You can donate online, by mail, or in person.

We are accepting donations for our Veteran patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to donate the items below, please contact Voluntary Service us at 713-794-7135 or by email at vhahouvolunteer@va.gov.

Donating is just a click away with an online donation option that provides community members who wish to give back to Veterans at MEDVAMC a simple, safe way to pledge their support to the account of their choice.

The service provides a quick, safe way for you to pledge your support to Veterans online. You choose the medical center, the amount, and the program you’d like to help. And there are no extra fees to use the secure website, so every penny of your donation goes to help Veterans.

Make a donation online.

If you'd like to make a monetary donation by mail, please send a check (payable to Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center) to:

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
VA Voluntary Service (00A-00X) - Donation
2002 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77030

In the memo portion of the check, please indicate the General Post Fund number and the intent (fund accounts  are listed in “Donate to a special fund” below). Donations to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center are tax deductible.

If you’d like to donate non-monetary items, please contact Voluntary Service at 713-794-7135 or vhahouvolunteer@va.gov to find out what they are currently accepting and to schedule a time to drop-off your donation.

Donations can be made to accounts to be used for the Social Work emergency fund, Recreation Therapy activities, the patient holiday party, OEF/OIF Program, the Homeless Program, the Women Veterans Program, the Fisher House, the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center, and the General Purpose Fund. More details on these accounts can be found in the donation opportunities list below.

Contact us

For more information on donating items or to schedule a drop-off time, please contact our Voluntary Service office:

Location: Second floor, Room 2A-104
Phone713-794-7135
Email:  vhahouvolunteer@va.gov
Mailing Address:
     
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
     Voluntary Service (00A/00C-135)
     2002 Holcombe Blvd., Room 2A-104
     Houston, TX 77030

VA accepting officials may decide to reject offers of gifts or donations of items for any reason including because there is no anticipated need for the items or the maintenance of the items would be out of proportion to their value. We are responsible for providing safe and clean donations. Items that do not meet these criteria will be refused.

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that under the Tax Code, donations to the Department of Veterans Affairs' General Post Fund for exclusively public purposes are deductible from federal income taxes in the manner and to the extent allowable. The announcement reflects the tax law provision which makes those donations deductible as "donations to the United States." A donation to support any of the Department's programs are deductible, whether the donor directs that the donated funds be used for a specific purpose or allows the Department to decide how the donated funds will be used.

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