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Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC

 

Volunteer or Donate

Giving Back to Our Veterans

The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center depends on the goodwill of our benefactors and volunteers who wish to give back to America's heroes. The VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) department plays a major role in formulating and interpreting medical center needs in order to effectively and efficiently placed throughout the hospital, Community Living Center, Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, and on occasion, Vet Centers.  Volunteer assignments and opportunities are designed in cooperation with VA staff to supplement the Medical Center's human resources.  VAVS also coordinates donations earmarked for our Veterans.  

Ways to Get Involved

Volunteers provide many important functions throughout the Medical Center.  Our first priority is to meet the needs of our Veterans 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. If you are tight on time, you may want to consider supporting Veterans through monetary or gift-in-kind options. We also offer group visits if you wish to come in only once.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities range from areas found in the Medical Center, Community Living Center, and our Community-Based Outpatient Clinics.  Opportunities 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
  • Examples include: Sleep Center, Prosthetics

Patient Experience (clinical)

  • Volunteers interact with Veteran patients through patient transport, friendly visiting
  • Examples include: Emergency Department, Short Procedure Unit
  • Shadowing and observations are not offered

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 Voluntary Service through processing donations and serving as a guide for groups
  • Example include: Information Desk, Ambassadors, Pet Therapy Leader

Volunteer Benefits In addition to the satisfaction of working with our Veterans, there are many benefits offered to volunteers: -Meal tickets for a 4-hour shift or longer -Hours of service pins, awards, and certificates -Year-round recognition events -Flu vaccination and TB test -Quarterly education sessions

-Recommendation letters when minimum commitment achieved (request must be made)

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). For college students, internships are coordinated directly through our Education Department (215) 823-5800, ext. 6762. Shadowing and observations are not currently offered.
  • Youth volunteers: Minimum age is 14-years old at time of application due date; minimum 75 hours for Summer only (deadline to apply is April 1st every year)

Onboarding Process

Before coming on board, here is a check list of what is required:

  • Volunteer application (this also includes two references which can be completed by someone other than a family member)
  • TB test
    • If you receive your TB test outside VA, you are required to provide documentation
    • Only TB results received within 90 days will be accepted
    • If you do not have a TB test prior to the onboarding process, we will provide one at no cost to you
  • Background check (provided by VA)

Once your application is received and approved, you will be invited to a group interview and information session to decide if volunteering at VA is the right match for you. These sessions are held monthly September through June.

Special Volunteer Programs No Veteran Dies Alone This program is coordinated through our Hospice and Palliative Care Department. In addition to volunteers attending a group interview and information session, individuals interested in this program must complete a 4-hour training session 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. 4225

  • Requirements include:
    • Physical
    • Background check (including driving history)
    • Current copy of insurance and driver’s license
    • Specific training

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 wishes 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.

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.

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, and 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 Voluntary Service first to discuss) Download our Occasional Group Request Form and return to Voluntary Service via email vhaphivisn4voluntary@va.gov

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

The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC 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:

Supporting needed items for Veterans such as:

  • Clothing
  • Puzzle books
  • Decks of Cards
  • Gift cards for Walmart, Target, Wawa, Visa
  • Supporting needs for Veterans residing in our Community Living Center
  • Supporting needs for Women’s Health
  • Supporting Veterans attending National Games such as Golden Age and Wheelchair Games
  • Supporting needs for Social Work to purchase items such as public transportation tokens, emergency transportation and housing
  • Supporting needs of Post 9/11 Veterans
  • Supporting needs for events and activities through Recreation Therapy (which includes the hopsital, Community Living Center, and The Snyder House)
  • When a monetary donation may not be feasible for you, Voluntary Service is always in need of gifts-in-kind and donated items for our Veterans. Please call Voluntary Service for most updated needs or to discuss options.

Business office hours:

8am-4pm 6th floor, Room A637 Office phone: (215) 823-5868 E-mail the team: vhaphivisn4voluntary@va.gov

Contact

Melissa Heinlein
Chief, Voluntary Service
Corporal Micheal J. Crescenz VA Medical Center
215-823-5800 Ext. 5868
vhaphivisn4voluntary@va.gov

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Videos

Volunteer PSA video.