Volunteers Help with Our Mission - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Volunteers Help with Our Mission

L to R: Claude Wilson, Sean Richards and Richard Taylor
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VA North Texas proudly salutes our volunteers and we thank them for their service. Without them, many of the programs that directly benefit our Veterans would not be possible. They give unselfishly and put in many hours as part of our health care team that supports patients.

We couldn't provide the exemplary services and support for our Veterans without our volunteers.

This past year, VA North Texas had nearly 2,000 volunteers, including more than 200 students, who gave their time and effort to further our mission to care for Veterans. Our volunteers worked nearly 150,000 hours which resulted in $1.5 million in comparable work hours.

Volunteer work hours and monetary donations combined gave us a total value of more than $4.6 million in volunteer services for FY 11.

All of our volunteers are awesome. Dallas, Bonham and Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic had special events and ceremonies to honor volunteers during National Volunteer Week. A few had stories that stood out. Because of their compassion, enthusiasm and energy to serve Veterans, they received "Volunteer of the Year."

2012 Volunteers of the Year

Claude Wilson
Sam Rayburn Memorial Veterans Center in Bonham
Claude Wilson is a 14-year Army Veteran who began volunteering in 2003. Serving for more than 2,555 hours, he is very committed to helping outpatient Veterans who come for appointments. On many days, Claude is the first person to meet and greet Veterans. Affectionately called "The Coffee Man,” Claude is known for roaming the hallways with a big smile and a hot cup of coffee. He is a member of Disabled American Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of America.

Unfortunately, Claude's health recently caused him to take an intermission. Bonham and all of its patients look forward to speedy recovery and his return.

Sean Richards
Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic
Sean Richards has been an integral and effective part of the clinic's recreation therapy program. His primary efforts are directed to the hands on operation of the clinic’s hobby craft program. Sean's commitment and dedication to the program was reflected in his independent management and operation of the program twice a week for a 10 week period while a staff member was off. His efforts were greatly appreciated by staff and Veterans.

Not only is he a VA volunteer, but Sean also volunteers in his community as a Boy Scout leader for 10 years as a Scout Master and Board member. His military service, four years in the Marine Corps and 12 years in the Air Force, coupled with his personality and education enables him to interact with Veterans from all walks of life.

Sean has been married for 27 years, has three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild on the way.

Richard Taylor
Dallas VA Medical Center
Richard Taylor is an Army Veteran and member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America. He has been a volunteer with VA North Texas for more than seven years, serving in several areas throughout the hospital and helping with special projects and events.

He currently volunteers at the Nexus information desk, assisting patients and visitors with way finding and general information. Richard also works in the Spinal Cord Injury unit at the internet café and visiting and assisting patients.

Richard has volunteered in Audiology and Speech Pathology, Medical Administration Service and helps with special events like National Salute to Veterans. He is currently working with Voluntary Service and Social Work as the volunteer team lead for the New Patients Mentoring Program. Richard also makes sure the birthday list is printed every day so he can deliver birthday cards and balloons to Veterans who are in the hospital on their birthday.

His whit is charming. He is always quick with a story or a joke to make you feel better, whether it's funny or not. All he asks for in return is a cup of coffee.
To all of our volunteers:
We offer humble gratitude for your great acts of kindness and positive impact you have on Veterans' lives and the work of VA employees every day. We couldn’t provide exceptional health care that improves the health and well-being of our Veterans without you. THANK YOU!



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