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Volunteer or donate

Find out how to make a donation or become a volunteer at VA Pittsburgh, and learn more about how your support helps us serve Veterans.

Become a volunteer

VA Pittsburgh Health care depends on the goodwill of donors and volunteers who want to give something back to America's heroes. 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 either the University Drive or H.J. Heinz III campus.

Volunteer at our health care facility

By volunteering at a VA health care facility, you'll provide critical support to our nation's heroes. 

To become a volunteer, fill out an application. Print it, sign it, and mail it to the campus where you'd like to volunteer: University Drive or H.J. Heinz III campus. A volunteer specialist will contact you to schedule an interview.

Benefits of volunteering

In addition to supporting Veterans in your area, you'll enjoy the following benefits as a VA volunteer: 

  • Free Canteen meals during shifts of four or more hours
  • Free parking at your volunteer facility 
  • Educational opportunities, such as CPR training
  • Annual tuberculosis test
  • Free annual flu and COVID-19 vaccines
  • Job skills development
  • Career exploration opportunities

Where we need help

Although we're excited to work with all volunteers, we're always in need of more shopping trip escorts and ambassadors (information desk volunteers).

Volunteer duties

Whatever your interests, VA has volunteer opportunities for you. Our volunteer duties fall into three categories: Recreational (focused on general support services), Clinical (focused on patient care), and Operational (focused on logistical or administrative tasks). 


  • Library - Assist the librarian, help patients use special visual aid equipment, deliver books to patient rooms, and stock book racks.
  • Escort - Escort patients to various clinics for physical therapy or areas such as the chapel, barber shop, recreation, ceramics, and medical clinics.
  • Recreation - Assist with arts and crafts projects, play bedside games, assist on field trips, show bedside movies, and help therapists with bowling, card games, popcorn parties, and other activities.
  • Ceramics - Assist in clinics by pouring and cleaning molds and helping patients paint.
  • Food and nutrition - Help patients with completing or selecting menus and during meals (opening containers, cutting food into bite-sized portions, feeding patients).
  • Chaplain - Escort patients to the chapel for religious services.
  • Coffee program - Prepare and serve coffee and refreshments.
  • Alzheimer's program - Assist with exercise and arts and crafts programs.


  • Nursing - Assist the nursing staff with patient care.
  • Pharmacy - Assist the pharmacist and deliver supplies to the patient care units.
  • Speech and audiology - Motivate and encourage patients with their assignments.
  • Radiology - Escort patients and file x-rays.
  • Ambassador volunteers - Greet outpatients, guests, visitors and patients' families, answer phones and transfer calls. Ambassador volunteers are stationed at the main information desk.
  • Radiation therapy - Run errands and escort patients.
  • Surgical waiting room - Greet families, serve coffee, meet with medical staff, and provide information to families.


  • Office assistant - Type, file, answer phones, keep records, and do data entry.
  • DAV transportation - Drive patients from their homes to VA medical centers.
  • Medical clinics - Visit with Veteran patients and run errands.
  • Blood bank - Alphabetize 3x5 cards and help with drinks and snacks.
  • The Compassionate Contact Corps - The Compassionate Contact Corps - A virtual social prescription program where trained volunteers are matched with Veterans that are experiencing loneliness or are socially isolated. The volunteer typically calls the Veteran weekly for 15—60 minutes to provide socialization and companionship via phone or video calls. Many volunteers come from Veteran service organizations and are Veterans themselves, but that is not a requirement to volunteer for the program. 
    Phone: 412-822-3084
  • Corporate Volunteerism - If your company has not experienced the rewards of a company-sponsored volunteer program, let the Department of Veterans Affairs help you get started today.  Your employees have the skills and talents that VA needs to carry out its mission to “serve those who have served.”  This can be your chance to give something back to the community while helping America’s Veterans.
    Phone: 412-822-3096

Contact us

If you have questions about donating or volunteering, please contact the VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement program coordinator.

VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement Program Coordinator:

Phone: 412-822-3096

In person:

H.J. Heinz III Campus
Room 1A125

University Drive Campus
Room AE122

Volunteer as a driver

Many sick and disabled Veterans lack transportation to and from VA medical facilities, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) operates a nationwide transportation network to meet this need. DAV and auxiliary volunteers drive Veterans to and from VA hospitals and clinics, helping people get the care they deserve.

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and the DAV work with county Veterans Affairs directors to provide transportation for Veterans to and from VAPHS for scheduled medical appointments.

Currently, the DAV has approximately 20 vans (serving 18 counties) that transport Veterans to and from VA Pittsburgh. Each month, between 1,500 and 1,700 Veterans receive DAV transportation.

Become a volunteer driver

To learn more about becoming a DAV driver, contact Pittsburgh VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement.

Phone: 412-360-3990

Volunteer for medical research studies

VA health care advancements are made possible by people who volunteer to take part in critical research. 

Find out more about volunteering to participate in research

Make a donation

Generous donations from people like you help helps us provide enhanced services to Veterans receiving care. You can make a monetary donation by mail, or drop off a donation of materials to one of our main campuses.

How to make a material donation in person

Some donors prefer to make monetary contributions to VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and other prefer to donate goods needed by Veterans. We accept donations at our two main campuses, which each have different needs (see below).

Your material donations are used to support specialty programs at each campus: 

  • At the H.J. Heinz III campus: the Community Living Center, Veterans Recovery Center (including a homeless domiciliary), psychosocial residential rehabilitation (including a food and nutrition program), the Department of Housing and Urban Development and VA Supportive Housing Program (including voucher rental assistance), and more.
  • At the University Drive campus:  acute care and inpatient behavioral health, as well as outpatient services including oncology, hospice and palliative care, women's health, and a coffee program.

For more information on donating materials, or to schedule a time to drop off your donation, please contact:

Phone: 412-822-3096

Current needs

For current needs list contact: 412-822-3098.