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Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

Volunteer or Donate

You can make a difference when you volunteer at or donate to the VA Philadelphia Healthcare System.

Become a volunteer

To become a volunteer, please fill out our  application (PDF). Call or visit us on the sixth floor of the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center (3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia PA) at the Center for Development & Civic Engagement office (room A637). 

Ways to Get Involved

Volunteers provide many important functions throughout the Medical Center.  Our  priority is to meet the needs of our Veterans and supporting our VA team members while meeting your interests, skills, and talents as a volunteer. Volunteers can perform a number of services, and a volunteer's talents are closely matched with one of our many opportunities.

 

Contact Info

Melissa A. Heinlein Storti, PhD, CAVS
Chief, Center for Development and Civic Engagement
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center

Phone: 215-823-5800, ext. 205868

Volunteer Benefits and Commitments

In addition to the satisfaction of working with out Veterans, there are many benefits offered to volunteers: 

  • Meal tickets for a 4-hour shift or longer
  • Volunteer recognition (hours of service pins, awards, and certificates)
  • Flu vaccination and TB test
  • Education sessions, Chat with the Chief
  • Recommendation letters
  • Learning from other volunteers
  • Serving Veterans to the best of your ability is fun!

 

Time Commitment 
While any time you are able to give to our Veterans is valuable, we do ask for a minimum time commitment from all our volunteers. 
 

  • Adult volunteers: Minimum 4 hours per week
  • College volunteers: Minimum 2-3 hours per week (depending on assignment). 
  • Youth volunteers: Minimum age is 14-years old at time of application due date; April 1st every year

Onboarding Process

Once your application is received and approved, you will be invited to a virtual group interview and information session to decide if volunteering at VA is the right match for you.

Special Volunteer Programs 

No Veteran Dies Alone 
This program is coordinated through our Hospice and Palliative Care Department. In addition to volunteers attending a virtual group interview and information session, individuals interested in this program must complete additional training and shadow a current volunteer in this role. Please indicate this program on your application if you are interested.

Pet Therapy 
We absolutely love our four-legged friends. If you have a certified dog through organizations such as Therapy dogs International, Caring Canines, or the Bright and Beautiful, we would be interested in speaking to you. This volunteer opportunity is flexible, and we will work with you and your furry family member for a schedule. Please include a copy of your dog’s certification and current vaccination record. You will also need to sign our Pet Therapy Agreement.

Transportation Program 
What better way to serve our Veterans and ensure they are receiving their care than by getting them to and from their appointments? Volunteers are needed for our transportation program. If you are interested in this program, please contact our Hospital Service Coordinator at 215-823-5800, ext. 20-4225 for more requirement information.

Giving Back Through Your Organization 
While we work with many individuals throughout the year, we also work closely with organizations such as schools, colleges, businesses, and service organizations. There is almost something for everyone who wants to give back to our Veterans. We do limit group sizes to no more than 10-12 people and ask for 4-5 weeks advance notice of planning your visit due to other groups being scheduled. (COVID-19 restrictions followed)

Elementary School - Our Veterans love to receive cards.  Why not create cards all year round (Veterans Day, Holidays, Valentine’s Day, etc.)?  They can be placed on the meal trays for our patients as well as decorate areas of the hospital such as our outpatient clinics. 

Colleges Not sure what to do on a Sunday afternoon during football season? Why not sponsor a football party and watch the game with our Veterans?  We work closely with Recreation Therapy for the many activities that they plan for our Veterans. (COVID-19 restrictions followed)

 

Businesses and Service Organizations Does your business experience the rewards of a company sponsored volunteer program?  What a great way to get to know your colleagues and to help others.  Businesses have come in to visit our Veterans, help with events such as our week-long National Salute to Veterans in February, or assist with our Support-A-Veteran during the holidays.
Want to do more? You could start a clothing drive or even a food drive (call the Center for Development & Civic Engagement to help you plan) 

Limited on time? Here are Other Ways to Give Back:

The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center accepts both monetary gifts and gifts-in-kind. Monetary gifts are placed in accounts earmarked for our Veterans.  100% of all donations go to our Veterans and are tax deductible. The following are examples of how monetary donations are used:
 

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities range from experiences at our Medical Center, Community Living Center, and our Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (off-site locations).  Volunteer experiences are categorized in the following areas:

Administrative Support (clerical)

  • Volunteers provide administrative support to departments such as data entry, answering phones, running errands, assisting with department-specific projects

Patient Experience (clinical)

  • Volunteers interact with Veteran patients
  • Examples include: Emergency Department, Physical Therapy
  • Shadowing and observations (by request)

Community Experience

  • Volunteers serve as a liaison for the incoming community (patients, visitors) and assist them with finding their way throughout the Medical Center or assist the Center of Development and Civic Engagement through processing donations, serving as a guide for groups

Additional volunteer opportunities include virtual experiences such as wellness checks and happy birthday calls to Veterans.

Volunteer opportunities for youth

If you’re a student who’s 14 to 18 years old, volunteer for us this summer. You can learn more about health careers, sharpen your job skills, meet fantastic people—and have fun.

Volunteer to make a difference

As a youth volunteer, you’ll help in many ways:

  • Serve coffee
  • Direct and escort patients within VA facilities 
  • Help in clinics
  • Help with recreation programs

Perks

You’ll qualify for these great benefits:

  • Summer youth certificate for 80 hours (or more) of service
  • Free VA summer youth volunteer polo shirt
  • Free lunch for 4 or more hours of service
  • Free parking
  • Invitation to join in special programs throughout the summer

How to join us 

If you're a student who wants to participate in our summer youth program, or know students who might be interested, contact our the Center for Development & Civic Engagement office. Youth volunteers must apply by April 1 and work at least 50 hours  during the summer.

Phone: 215-823-5800, ext. 205868

Volunteer opportunities for groups

Make a difference in the lives of our Veterans through floor visits or sponsoring special programs on one of our floors. Here’s your chance to join in the fun, friendships, and laughter by sponsoring one of our programs.

  • Bingo: Provide volunteers to run bingo games. Please bring prizes purchased from our Canteen.
  • Catered lunch: Provide and serve a catered lunch from a local restaurant for a patient unit.
  • Community activity: Connect Veterans with the community by buying gift cards or donating admission fees to movies, musicals, bowling, and sports games.
  • Craft or hobby: Lead craft projects such as painting and woodworking. Your group will bring the supplies and lead Veterans in the project.
  • Fourth of July cookout: Help our Veterans celebrate Independence Day. Your group will provide, cook, and serve a meal.
  • Social: Provide decorations and refreshments for group social events such as birthday parties, ice cream socials, holiday celebrations, and Veterans Day activities.

Contact us

If you have questions about donating or volunteering, please contact the Voluntary Services program coordinator.

Melissa A. Heinlein Storti, PhD, CAVS
Chief, Center for Development and Civic Engagement
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
215-823-5800 Ext. 205868

Phone: 215-823-5800, ext. 5868

Make a donation

Generous donations from people like you help us provide enhanced services to our patients. You can donate online, by mail, or in person.

Donation suggestions

Some people prefer to give money, while others prefer to donate items needed by our Veterans. We appreciate all forms of generosity.

Note: We don’t accept donations of small shawls, bar soap, VHS tapes, or medical equipment such as chair lifts, wheelchairs, beds, walkers, and bedside commodes.

We welcome the following items: 

Personal care

  • Body-care products: lotion, soap, deodorant, and shaving cream or gel
  • Dental supplies: toothbrushes, toothpaste, toothbrush holders, nonalcoholic mouthwash, and denture adhesive
  • Disposable brand-name twin razors
  • Earplugs
  • Hairbrushes and combs
  • Reading glasses
  • Thermometers
  • Tissues

Clothing (new items only)

  • Gloves 
  • Hats (winter hats and baseball caps)
  • Hooded sweatshirts 
  • Jeans and pants 
  • Long-sleeve shirts 
  • Shower shoes, flip-flops
  • Sneakers and shoes 
  • Socks
  • Suspenders and belts
  • Sweatpants 
  • Sweatshirts
  • T-shirts 
  • Underwear (all men’s and women’s sizes) 
  • Winter coats 

Assorted items

  •  Books
  • Chess and checkers sets
  • Disposable cups, napkins, plates, forks, and spoons
  • Fleece blankets (twin size)
  • Gift cards for Wawa, Target, Kohls, Walmart, Acme, SuperFresh, or Giant
  • Magazines, 6 months or newer
  • Markers for art projects
  • Personal-size bedside fan (not floor models)
  • Puzzle books, unused
  • Reading glasses (1.25 and higher) and eyeglass repair kits
  • Wheelchair cup holders

VA supportive housing needs 

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Baking sheets
  • Bath towel sets
  • Bedbug mattress covers (queen)
  • Blankets (twin or queen)
  • Brooms with dustpans
  • Buckets
  • Clocks
  • Clock radios
  • Countertop microwaves
  • Crock-Pots
  • Dish or laundry soap
  • Dishes and silverware sets for 4 people
  • First-aid kits (small)
  • Flashlights
  • Frying pans
  • Kitchen utensil sets
  • Lysol spray
  • Mattresses
  • Measuring cups, spatulas, and mixing bowls
  • Paper towels
  • Pillows
  • Potholders
  • Pots with lids
  • Sheet sets (twin or queen)
  • Small or medium coffee makers (no Keurig)
  • Swiffer cleaning products
  • Toilet brushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Vacuum cleaners

Special funds donations

Choose a fund below, write its name in the memo section on your check, and we’ll do the rest.

Thank you for supporting our Veterans.

  • Canteen Books 
  • Community Living Center 
  • General Purpose
  • Recreation Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Women’s Health

Contact us

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

Melissa A. Heinlein Storti, PhD, CAVS
Chief, Center for Development and Civic Engagement
Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
215-823-5800 Ext. 205868

In person:

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
3900 Woodland Avenue
Sixth floor in room A637
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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