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Article published April 27, 2013
409 gave 47,409 hours
John Gennaro, director VA Butler Healthcare
Every day hundreds of appreciative citizens in our community join the millions of their fellow volunteers across the country in thanking veterans for their service with some service of their own at VA Butler Healthcare. They vary in age, gender, income, education, race and ethnic background, but all of our volunteers share one thing in common: They are driven with a patriotic verve to use their unique talents and skills toward improving veterans’ lives at our facility as a token of their sincere appreciation. Last year at VA Butler, 409 volunteers provided 47,409 hours of service to veterans, and donations totaled $470,456 to meet the varied needs of the veterans we serve. These volunteers show up with arms wide open for tasks that range anywhere from driving veterans to their appointments, greeting veterans to the facility, and providing direction throughout the facility to filing paperwork, assisting our clinicians, or holding a veteran’s hand at the bedside to keep the veteran from being alone. The reasons our volunteers give so selflessly of their time are as many as they are. Many may enter our doors seeking experience for a resume, something to do after retirement, a way to keep up with fellow veterans, or simply wanting to say thank-you to a defender of their freedom. However, most stay because giving their time and service to these former service members gives them a purpose, opens a passion, and introduces them to the person they always have wanted to be. The past week has been National Volunteer Week. It’s been a time to reflect on the civic traditions that make American communities great, and one of the best times to recognize and thank today’s volunteers for their incredible efforts and inspiring actions. I encourage all Butler Eagle readers to not only thank a volunteer today, but to listen to their stories and think about joining the ranks of these remarkable champions of compassion among us.