I CARE Values in Action:
Supporting Veterans During the Holidays
The holidays are a time of year to spend time with your loved ones and give gifts, but for some of our country’s most noble men and women, the holiday season can be difficult. Despite being out of uniform, many veterans are still fighting battles and are completely without support.
This year, a collaboration of inpatient surgical nursing staff, Voluntary Service, the Elks, Transition and Care Management (TCM) staff, and the staff from the Homeless program made sure that this was not the case for a veteran and his family of nine this holiday season.
The inpatient surgical nurses on 3D recently reached out to Voluntary Service to identify a family whom they could adopt for the holidays. Voluntary Service immediately thought of a family and connected the nursing staff with staff from the TCM program.
The TCM program staff, currently supporting the veteran’s care needs, worked with the family to find out the children’s wishes and coordinate the delivery of holiday gifts.
The veteran and his family were chosen by the staff after learning about their current circumstances. After moving to the area from Alaska for a new job opportunity, the family encountered several unexpected events that left them without the ability to secure housing.
Voluntary Service and the Elks quickly stepped in to provide temporary housing. In addition, the Homeless Program’s outreach team collaborated with Supportive Services for Veteran Families, a community agency, to secure stable permanent housing.
With the help of several VA programs and community partners, the veteran and his family celebrated a holiday they will soon not forget.
The nursing staff provided seven bikes with helmets, six gifts for each child, four family gifts, a $75 Walmart gift card and full holiday meal.
I am also happy to report that the veteran has successfully started his new job and that his children have started attending local public schools.
I want to thank everyone involved. Your thoughtfulness and concern for this veteran and his family’s needs during the holidays illustrate the core values that we strive to exemplify not just during the holidays but daily. Thank you for making the mission of our organization the center of everything you do.
Suzanne M. Klinker
Director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System