11/20/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2023 09:49
In October, Chillicothe VA received a historic donation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Charities: $243,000 to support purchasing vehicles for volunteers to transport area Veterans to their medical appointments.
Iris Foster-DeNiewe, retired colonel and director of Veterans of Foreign Wars Ohio Charities, and Colleen Wiley, Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Ohio commander, presented the check to Jamie Russell, chief of Voluntary Service at Chillicothe VA.
"With this donation, we will be able to purchase vehicles to provide transportation for Veterans to get to their appointments. It is imperative we remove this barrier to Veterans who may not have an avenue to attend their VA appointments. With partners like VFW, we can provide this much needed service, and we are always looking for volunteers to drive these vehicles. Veterans are counting on us to assist them with this service," said Russell.
VA facilities throughout the country have Volunteer Transportation Networks (VTN) comprised of donated vehicles and volunteer drivers. Interested volunteers complete the onboarding process, have a valid driver's license, pass a cost-free physical and show proof of automobile insurance.
VTN drivers will be provided access to a government-owned vehicle, a purchase card for fuel for the vehicle and will be eligible for a meal ticket at the medical center.
The benefits of providing this transportation service include receiving annual awards and most importantly interacting with Veterans.
Many VTN drivers develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships with the Veterans they transport, as some Veterans do not have any other mode of transportation to take them to their vital medical appointments. If you are interested in donating to your local VA facility or becoming a volunteer driver, you can visit www.volunteer.va.gov to apply.