Miami VA Healthcare System
Volunteers receive donations to help Veterans
VA volunteers devote many hours of their days to help serve and care for military Veterans. From greeting Veterans, staff and visitors as they enter VA medical facilities to playing card and board games with inpatients, VA volunteers have a knack for finding ways to give back to America’s heroes.
Miami VA Healthcare System volunteers Raquel Ballinger, Clara Miller and Vernon Hanson received donations last month to help local Veterans after entering the annual “Keep the Wheelchairs Rolling” essay contest hosted by Forty & Eight, a Veteran honor organization. The volunteers wrote essays describing how donations could be used to improve the comfort of Veterans.
Ballinger received a $400 donation that will be used to purchase additional wheelchairs for Veterans at the William “Bill” Kling VA Clinic.
“It’s all about what we can do for the Veterans,” said Ballinger, a Navy Veteran who has volunteered at the outpatient clinic since 2011. “It’s a matter of keeping the Veterans comfortable and mobile in these wheelchairs that are made to accommodate Veterans of all sizes.”
Miller, a Veteran spouse, and Hanson, a retired Navy Veteran, worked together to write and submit their essay and hoped they could also receive a donation. Their combined efforts paid off with a $100 donation that will be used to purchase supplies for the Ambassador Program at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami.
“My husband is a Veteran,” Miller said. “It feels good to be able to give back and do something for the Veterans here in Miami.”
“We were both surprised we won,” Hanson said. “When we heard the news, we couldn’t believe we won this donation that will be used to help my fellow Veterans.”
“Our volunteers are the best,” said Dr. Christina Strofield, Miami VA Voluntary Service chief. “It takes a very special person to volunteer their time and energy. These individuals are perfect examples of how volunteers make differences every day in the lives of Veterans.”
The Miami VA Healthcare System is always looking for unique people to serve as volunteers. To learn more about serving Veterans as a VA volunteer, visit www.miami.va.gov/giving/index.asp.