James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital - Tampa, Florida
We've listed some of the ways you can volunteer below. However, if you have special skills to offer, please call us at (813) 972-2000, ext. 7533 so we can discuss how you can best use your talents to help our patients.
Are you looking for some exercise, a chance to smile and brighten someone’s day? You’ll get an opportunity for both while volunteering as an escort and assisting in transporting patients to and from their appointments in the hospital. Any days/hours are acceptable from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the greatest need in the afternoons.
If you’re looking for patient contact, we could provide training for you to help feed patients at meal times, especially in Haley’s Cove Community Living Center and Spinal Cord Injury Center. Any days are acceptable. Breakfast is from 8 to 9:30 a.m., lunch is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner is from 4 to 6 p.m. (Flexible scheduling.)
Tram Shuttle Drivers
Be the first to meet and greet our patients and their family members and be the last friendly face when they leave. Volunteers are needed to drive the parking lot tram shuttle golf carts to shuttle patients to and from the parking lots at our facility. Must be personable, friendly, able to follow safety instructions and drive a golf cart. Uniforms are provided. You can have a regular schedule or be “on-call.”
This is a very busy and complex hospital. We need help in directing patients and their families as they enter our hospital. Volunteers are needed to support the Greeters Program on a regular basis. The program consists of employees and volunteers who greet and assist patients and visitors entering the facility who may need directions or information. Qualifications: must be willing to help people; be outgoing and personable; have a neat, clean appearance; willing to do at least a two-hour shift per week. The position requires standing and walking. Training and blazer/vest are provided.
Surgery Waiting Room
Families/friends waiting for their loved ones who are having surgery need some to listen and serve as their liaison with Operating Room staff, to keep them informed about the patients’ status. Need volunteers various days, with the greatest need being from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some other time slots are available too. Assist patient’s families with information, answer phone, serve coffee and provide support.
Some volunteer opportunities are available during evenings and weekends including: feeding patients; assisting staff on the units with errands and escorts; and helping to transport patients to and from Chapel services.
Student/Youth Volunteer Program
We accept students into our volunteer program year round. Students must be 14 years old, and have written parental consent on the application. Student volunteers are placed in assignments throughout the hospital in various departments.
Café VA Hosts
Our Café VA offers computer access for inpatients, outpatients (on date of appointments) and their family members. Café VA is open weekdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., and on weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We are looking for hosts to serve refreshments, to socialize with the guests and to offer computer assistance if needed. We were also looking for some café entertainment (karaoke, for example). Refreshments and supplies in the café are provided through donations.
Voluntary Service conducts recurring special events, such as
- National Salute Week, celebrated the week of Feb. 14. This week is set aside to make the community more aware of services provided by VA facilities, to invite members of the community to visit inpatients and outpatients to express their appreciation for these heroes’ services in defending our nation’s freedom, and to invite the community to serve as VAVS volunteers to enhance the services provided by VA facilities to its patients.
- Volunteers are needed for our Welcome Home event in mid-March, at the USF Sundome. We will invite active-duty service members and veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom to educate them about services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including family support groups and job/educational opportunities. Our hospital will also invite all other veterans. We hope to provide food, entertainment and giveaways in a festive atmosphere. The other intent of the Welcome Home is for us to join with the community in showing our appreciation to these heroes for defending the freedoms we enjoy.
- Make A Difference Day, held the fourth Saturday in October, is a national day of doing good and helping others, sponsored by USA Weekend magazine. Our hospital’s Make A Difference Day project has been named Homeward Bound to Those Who Served. There are approximately 47 non-service connected veterans in foster homes in the Tampa area. They have opted to live in these foster homes (which are visited regularly to ensure that specific standards are met) rather then in nursing homes. They have very limited funds after paying for their stay in the foster home. Voluntary Service and Social Work Service work together to collect a wish list for each of the patients. With the help of volunteers sharing their time and resources, gifts will be assembled for personal delivery to each of the foster home patients.
- Christmas Gift Distribution — On Saturday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m., volunteers are welcome to assist with the assembly of about 400 gift bags for inpatients. Gift distribution begins at 1 p.m. Individuals, organizations and businesses are welcome to present gifts for these gift bags. Contact Voluntary Service for more information about gift ideas.
Many Other Opportunities
There are many other volunteer opportunities available in clinics, library, nutrition and food service, kitchen work, community living center, etc. Groups and/or organizations may also sponsor evening activities (bingos, horse racing, casino nights) for inpatients; Recreation Therapy is particularly looking for a bingo sponsor on Monday evenings. We are seeking sponsors for patriotic events: POW Ceremony in April, Memorial Day in May, Flag Day, POW/MIA Day, Patriot Day in October and our Veterans Day Parade. Sponsors may provide entertainment, Color Guard, refreshments, and/or flowers.
Benefits for Volunteers Include
- complimentary lunch weekdays if volunteering 4 or more hours
- orientation and training program
- Annual Volunteer Awards Recognition Luncheon
- free TB testing and flu shots
- flexible scheduling
- free medical treatment if injured or acutely ill while doing volunteer work
How to Join Us
To become a volunteer, or to learn more about volunteer opportunities at our hospital, contact Deborah Gottardi or Diane Layman at:
Voluntary Service (135) James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital
13000 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33612
Any potential or interested volunteers must complete a brief Volunteer Application; have an interview with Voluntary Service so we can identify a mutually suitable volunteer assignment; have a TB Test, which we provide here at the facility before you start volunteering; and be fingerprinted in Human Resources. We also provide complete orientation and training. Uniforms are required and provided to you on your first day.