Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Volunteers are Critical Asset to Veteran Health Care

April 15, 2005

Volunteers are Critical Asset to Veteran Health Care

April 15, 2005

HOUSTON - The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) honors volunteers who share their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of our community’s veterans during National Volunteer Week, April 17-23.

This year's theme, “Inspire By Example!” sets the tone not only to applaud the efforts of volunteers but also to encourage others to get involved in helping strengthen their communities.

“It’s easy to overlook the importance of volunteers because they rarely sing their own praises; yet they change so many lives,” said Edgar L. Tucker, MEDVAMC director. “National Volunteer Week is a way of saying ‘Thank you!’ to the selfless men, women, and young people who embody the American spirit of caring for one another.”

Tucker noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest study on volunteers reported that over 64 million Americans volunteered their time - nearly 29 percent of the population. He said that 1,259 volunteers supported MEDVAMC last year, and donated 136,143 hours of service.

“Volunteers lead by example. They inspire our staff and the veterans we serve,” said Tucker. “Most important for us at VA, they honor those veterans who have served us all by serving them in their time of need.”

VA volunteers perform a range of important duties, from playing cards and visiting with hospitalized veterans to doing clerical tasks or helping with specialized medical procedures. Their roles depend on their interests, skills and availability.

“We’re gearing up for our summer youth volunteer program and hope to have another group of eager students working with us in a few months,” Tucker said. “We hope that National Volunteer Week will inspire others to become volunteers.”

For rewarding volunteer opportunities, call the MEDVAMC Voluntary Service at (713) 794-7315 or visit the VA Voluntary Service Web site at http://www.va.gov/volunteer/.

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