Magazine article VFW Magazine

Serving the Community

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Serving the Community

Article excerpt

A special week is designated each April to commemorate the concept of volunteering.

America values volunteerism as an underpinning of society. Without the dedication of time and energy to countless causes by its citizens, the nation would be in desperate social straits. So National Volunteer Week (April 9-15) honors selfless service to community and country.

And that's precisely what VFW is. doing with its first-ever national Community Service Conference in Washington, D.C., this month. It will jointly convene VFW program leaders with the heads of various non-profit associations. These groups have much in common with VFW in terms of objectives.

They cover the spectrum of community interests, ranging from youth education to veterans health care. Let's look at this latter issue, for instance. During Volunteer Week, VFW will pay tribute to the organization's 54-year affiliation with the VAs Voluntary Service (VAVS).

In 1999 alone, VFW volunteers provided approximately 1 million hours of service (worth more than $1.5 million) in VA medical facilities. Moreover, they raised some $500,000 in gifts and donations. All indications are that 2000 will be another banner year for efforts on behalf of VAVS.

But VAVS is only one of many outlets for volunteering. Opportunities are limitless. There is virtually no community that does not need assistance of some kind. Religion, education, health, human services, arts/humanities, public/social benefits and conservation all offer chances for giving.

The Community Service Conference will reinforce VFW's traditional programs-such as Voice of Democracy and Buddy Poppy-and introduce new ones. …

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