Veterans Affairs Support
Your title says it all, you truly are angels. My husband was injured and in the hospital with nothing but a hospital-issued gown and a Ziploc bag for his personal belongings. On his last day there, before being transported to another hospital, one of the nurses gave him one of your backpacks. He was floored. He called me all excited because he finally had a set of clothes, some shoes on his feet, and something to carrying his belongings in. I cannot put into words the morale boost that he received from your gesture. Thank you very much!!
About Us and Our Mission
The Soldiers Angels Veteran Affairs Support Team assists patients at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, nursing homes and Stand Downs. This support can range from visiting patients to providing comfort items and clothing, to sponsoring special events like BBQs or assisting VA facilities with large-scale efforts to improve in-patients' quality of life.
The VA Team was formed in 2007, in the aftermath of news stories about Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Reports had highlighted the poor living conditions some of the patients faced at the hospital, and Soldiers' Angels Founder Patti Bader immediately looked for how Soldiers' Angels could do to help. In response, the VA Team was formed. We are now a nationally-recognized VSO (Veterans Service Organization), which means we are included in VA facility meetings that help us stay informed on the needs of facilities and patients.
The VA Team proactively connects with VA Volunteer Service Directors in each state, building relationships to better serve our veterans. The VA Team has also developed the Vet Pack, which is given to the VA facilities to assist regular patients, as well as homeless veterans encountered during Stand Downs (VA events that reach out to homeless veterans, providing medical services, benefits information, clothes, food and a warm shower). VA Team members volunteer their time at Stand Downs, and help raise funds for the most needed items at local events.
We also work within our local communities to obtain much-needed funds and items listed on each VA’s "wish list," volunteer at the VA events designed to bring a little light to veterans at their facility, and sponsor fundraising efforts to assist the VAs in obtaining comfort items and big-ticket purchases that they may not be able to afford otherwise. The VA Team also reaches out to individual veterans in times of trouble, assisting and supporting them in any way we can.
How You Can Help
To help immediately, you can purchase and donate a Vet Pack (as seen on the right), or donate directly to the VA Team's efforts.
You can join the VA Team and volunteer at a facility near you! Can’t visit because you're too far away? Work within your community to raise funds or collect items on the wish list provided by your state VAs. To join Soldiers' Angels and participate in the VA team click here to get started! After you become an Angel, go to ApprovedAngels.com to join the team. Be sure to check the Soldiers' Angels Forum for wish lists posted by the VA State Leader or Contact Angel in your state, or contact your VA Team Coordinator for more information.
The VA Team's newest effort is the Tank Support project. Many of our returning veterans need to make regular trips to VA hospitals and clinics, but the high cost of gas can make things difficult. You can help by buying a gas card for them or making a donation to the VA Team. For project details, click here.
Do you sew or crochet? Join the Crochet Team and use your skills make robes, afghans, tracheotomy covers, wheelchair bags, crocheted booties and knit hats! Or join Blankets of Hope and create handmade blankets for our faithful veterans.
Get local Girl/Boy Scouts involved: help organize a fundraiser or an item donation drive, or have them sign Thank You cards to send to your local facility.
Ask if your employer will consider donating directly, or matching donations that you raise.
See the team website for more ideas!
To Sign Up
If you are a veteran in need of financial assistance, click here.
Thanks to SVM for their donations and help with Tank Support!
The Scope of the Need
· The VA operates more than 1,400 sites of care, including 884 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics, 135 nursing homes, 45 residential rehabilitation treatment programs, 209 Veterans Centers and 108 comprehensive home-care programs, with facilities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
· The VA has experienced unprecedented growth in the medical system workload over the past few years: the number of patients treated increased by 29 percent from 4.2 million in 2001 to 5.5 million in 2007.
American Combat Veterans of War - Veterans helping veterans with PTSD.
America's Heroes at Work - Supporting employment success for veterans with TBI and PTSD
Creating Futures - Training and placement in Information Technology jobs for transitioning veterans.
Fund for Veterans' Education - Scholarships for post-9/11/01 veterans.
Hire Patriots - Job board for veterans and active duty
My Vetwork - Social/professional networking and support
Social Security Online - Government info on disability benefits for wounded vets
Veterans Green Jobs Academy - Training and scholarships for "green" jobs
Veterans Upward Bound - Helps veterans brush up on educational skills before returning to school
VetsJobs.net - Job fairs and business opportunity summits (sponsored by MOPH)
The Virtual Wall - An online memorial for Vietnam veterans
Without your support we could not provide for the smaller niceties that make hospitalization more bearable. Your thoughtfulness also reflects the concern and compassion that our community feels for our veterans. – William Dove, Tacoma VA Medical Center
It is the generosity and thoughtfulness of caring organizations such as yours that provide many of the supplementary items, activities and services that would not otherwise be available to our veterans. We are most grateful. - Donna Ruthwicz, Chief, Voluntary Service (Providence VA Medical Center).
Thank you for all you do! Because of you, my dad--a Vietnam Veteran--will be proudly wearing an Army jacket for the first time in 40 years! He was not treated well when he came home in his Army Green Beret in 1968! You Angels have changed his mind! He's proud to wear Army Green again without being made to feel unwanted! God Bless You! - An Army Daughter
The computers are being used by the vets on our ward. The backpacks as well as the shirts, and toilet kits were a big hit among our vets. We have been issuing the vets the entire kit upon discharge for they have something to start off with at home. Once again I as well as my co-workers--and more importantly, the vets--want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. - Todd M Anderson, LPTA
We can always count on Soldier’s Angels being the “Angels Among Us”!!!!!! Thanks again for all your help. Please tell everyone THANKS and express how much you guys mean to our VA!!!!! - Cheryl, head of VA Volunteer Services
I wanted to send a quick note of thanks to you and your organization for the laptops, bags, shirts, and care packages sent to our Spinal Cord Injury Veterans at The Louis Stokes Cleveland Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center...We are so excited to share these items with our veterans! Thank you for all you do, what you stand for, and thank you for brightening the lives of our SCI veterans. - Allison Mould, Administrative Officer
On behalf of Community-Based Warrior Transition Unit - Arkansas (CBWTU-AR) staff and SPC Jones, we would like to thank...Soldiers' Angels for the recent financial support. Your support has enabled this WT soldier to resolve issues that had been hampering access to the assigned Military Treatment Facility. God bless all your efforts. - LTC James T. Ware, Case Manager
THANK YOU! We got the check in yesterday's mail! Now this will pay some bills! Thanks so much for everything Soldiers' Angels has done for us over this long haul. It is so good to have [my husband] home, but I am realizing that he will never be the same soldier who went to Iraq in 2005. I am going through what all the ladies went through when their soldiers came home, only three years later. We'll make it. Thank you for all your support and prayers. LOVE YOU! - J [wife of a severely-wounded soldier who faced a gap in income while switching to VA disability payments], February 2009
I work at the Men's and Women's Trauma Recovery Program at The Menlo Park VA. I want you to know how much our men and women appreciate Elaine Hodge's Soldier Angels Chapter. Her group has made such a positive impact on each person who has attended their events. It seems that every time they come the overwhelming message is, "I can't believe people care so much about us?" or "I look forward to seeing them; they are the highlight of the program." Speaking on behalf of our staff and the men and women of our program, we cannot fulfill our mission without the help of organizations such as yours! We are deeply grateful for your contributions and thank you again for supporting the recovery of so many men and women! Your organization and specifically Elaine's group is making the difference in the lives of others. - Melissa Pucket, Recreation Therapist/Supervisor, January 2009