How We are Shifting Veteran Support During the Pandemic
Thanks to our dedicated staff, volunteers, and multiple donors, Soldiers’ Angels has been able to adapt to these challenges so we can still offer support in a safe way for our veterans. Here’s a look at how we’ve shifted support within our veteran programs.
July 20, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives drastically. Families are home, healthcare workers are spending countless hours providing care, businesses are closed, and more service members have been called to duty to support the ongoing Coronavirus efforts. Despite these restrictions, we still have a vulnerable veteran population who needs the support we provide on a monthly basis. Thanks to our dedicated staff, volunteers, and multiple donors, Soldiers’ Angels has been able to adapt to these challenges so we can still offer veteran support during the pandemic in a safe way. Here’s a look at how we’ve shifted support within our veteran programs.
Mobile Food Distributions
Coronavirus has not put an end to the need for food among low-income, at-risk, or homeless veterans. If anything, it has increased the demand for food among the veteran populations that we serve. Because of this, we have expanded our food distributions by opening up time slots and redesigned the way we do our Food Distributions to adhere to CDC guidelines and remain socially distant. All volunteers are required to wear masks, and food is loaded into each veteran’s trunk as they drive through our distribution line. We host Mobile Food Distributions in six locations throughout the United States: San Antonio, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, Charleston, and Denver.
The COVID-19 situation has posed additional challenges for veterans with high-risk health issues as well as veterans that are under quarantine from being exposed to the virus. Thanks to collaborations with the VA and organizations like Meals on Wheels and GoodR, we are also providing food delivery to veterans who cannot get out.
Supporting Veteran Patients with Supplies
Although we are not able to enter VA hospitals and hand out the goodies and supplies we normally do, we have still been able to get these items to veteran patients thanks to VA staff and caseworkers: box lunches, girls scout cookies, popcorn, hygiene kits, and other supplies.
Supporting VA Staff
In lieu of the normal patient lunches and dinners, our volunteers are fond of organizing, we have been able to provide hot meals to VA medical staff on the front-lines of health care. We have also been making and distributing masks to VA Staff and have received large quantities of hand sanitizer from distilleries to hand out.
Virtual Patient Visits
Due to the current health crisis, neither family members nor volunteers are able to visit with hospitalized veterans in VA facilities. To help engage the veteran patients and ensure they do not feel isolated and alone, Soldiers’ Angels has donated tablets and other devices to the Atlanta and San Antonio VA’s so that veterans can visit with family members and volunteers virtually.
We have been providing medical transport for homeless COVID impacted veterans to get to a designated quarantine housing facilities.
How you can help
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we have some specific needs that will help us continue this important work.
Make a donation: Our veterans and military families are at risk of going without one of the most basic necessities: food. We have been increasing our Mobile Food Distributions, box lunch support, and are delivering groceries to homebound veterans. But this has depleted our budget. We’re raising funds to continue this important work and help put food on tables. A donation of just $12.50 can provide 75lbs of groceries. Any amount helps. Donate here.
Join a Virtual Team: Join our Team of Virtual Angels and provide support to service members and veterans through this crisis and beyond OR take a look at our virtual opportunities that do not require you to join a team or make a long-term commitment. Learn more here.
Visit a veteran virtually: Soldiers’ Angels has donated tablets and other devices to the Atlanta VA so that our volunteers can continue providing veteran support during the pandemic virtually and so that veterans can visit with family members. We need help filling those volunteer positions and visiting with hospitalized veterans via video chat. Can you spare 30 minutes of your day to visit a veteran? Click here to sign up for a virtual visit with a hospitalized veteran.
Sign Up a Veteran for Cards: Do you know a veteran? Help us thank them! Now more than ever, many of our nation’s veterans are feeling isolated, alone, and forgotten. We have a team of virtual “Angel” volunteers standing by to write cards to veterans for a variety of occasions—birthdays, Get Well, or a general “Thank You for Your Service.” Register a veteran here.