Daily Point of Light # 3553 Sep 17, 2007

Volunteers are utilized throughout the country at VA facilities in our Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) programs to supplement staffing and enhance the care provided to America’s heroes. Their traditional volunteer sources, the veterans’ service organizations, are aging and it is important for VAVS programs to reach out to the community for volunteers.

Citi has been a very gracious benefactor to VAVS since December of 2005. One person in particular from Citi, Jean Gartland, was instrumental in developing a local partnership between Citi and the VA. In 2006, their volunteer work at the VA hospital included celebrating National Salute Week by helping to assemble gift packages and Valentines for each patient, sponsoring an ice cream social for hospitalized veterans, recruiting artists to paint a mural in the Internet Café, celebrating Community Day by recruiting 20-30 volunteers to serve at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital (JAVH), visiting inpatients and offering their cell phones to patients to make free calls to their family and friends and participating in the VAVS Christmas Gift distribution by purchasing hand-held calculators for each inpatient.

Citi has turned a one-time volunteer opportunity into an ongoing partnership for the benefit of veterans and active duty service members. They have expressed interest in providing support for the hospital’s Fisher House, which provides free lodging and a “home away from home” for veterans, active duty service members and their families.