Omaha - Volunteers are the unsung work force and an irreplaceable component of many organizations.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System joins the nation to celebrate their dedication.
Although National Volunteer Week was April 21 to 26, VA will hold a recognition event to honor their service Wednesday at noon at the Holiday Inn at 2503. S. Locust St, Grand Island, Neb.
"Although we recognize their contributions daily, this special week is a public way to show our appreciation for what our volunteers have done over the past year," said Chris Shipp, chief, voluntary services for the VA NWIHCS.
Volunteers perform a variety of tasks. Greeters direct patients around the VA health care facilities. Others bake cookies for patients or answer phones and provide assistance. One of the biggest areas where volunteers assist is transportation. Drivers at all of the VA NWIHCS sites transport Veterans to medical appointments.
In 2012, close to 84,000 volunteers contributed more than 12 million hours of service to Veterans at VA medical facilities across the country.
The VA's Voluntary Service (VAVS) has provided more than 67 years of service to America's Veterans seeking care in VA health care facilities. Since 1946, VAVS volunteers have donated more than 760 million hours of service.
National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing an annual celebration of volunteering.
To become a volunteer or learn more about the VAVS program, contact (308) 382-3660, ext. 92146 or visit http://www.nebraska.va.gov/giving.