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The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is seeking volunteers from across the state who are interested in serving aging veterans in their own communities by helping veterans learn how to access potential earned benefits and resources. If the veteran qualifies, these benefits and resources may provide financial support, health care and other long-term care needs.
The Veteran Volunteer Program is resuming operations that had ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trainings are being scheduled throughout the state in the upcoming months. The goal of this program is to equip volunteers with information so they can help educate and connect veterans — primarily, seniors — to their earned benefits and other potential resources.
“We are proud of ODVA’s unique Veteran Volunteer Program and the work of Veteran Volunteer Coordinator Mark Newell,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “More than half of our Oregon veteran population today is over the age of 65 and many are not aware of the benefits they may qualify for. Many of these benefits can be life-changing. That’s why this program can be a critical lifeline for our vulnerable aging veterans and their loved ones.”
Volunteers work closely with the Veteran Volunteer Coordinator and the accredited local veteran service officer or tribal veteran service officer in their area, locating veterans who may need assistance accessing their benefits in long-term care facilities, senior centers, libraries, mobile home parks, and retirement communities, or wherever people gather.
The program is open to anyone 18 years or older. If you enjoy working with the aging population and want to make a difference in the lives of veterans, you are encouraged to apply.
The next training is scheduled for interested volunteers in Lane and Douglas counties and will be held virtually, Wednesday-Thursday, October 26-27. The training will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. both days and attendance to both sessions is required.
To register or get information about an upcoming training in your area, or for more information about the program, please visit oregonvetvolunteer.com or contact Veteran Volunteer Coordinator Mark Newell at 971-720-8911 or ODVA_VeteranVolunteer@odva.oregon.gov.