Hospital Visitation Program Volunteers

What does your hospital visitor do?

Volunteers are at their stations every day in the V.A. Hospitals or State Veterans Homes. They take your place at the bedside of hospitalized veterans.

  • to pay a comforting visit in the name of Freemasonry;
  • to act as a “personal shopper” for bedridden patients;
  • to purchase items for patients recommended by the Hospital staff, but not obtainable through regular hospital facilities.
  • to assist in procuring “vital statistics” documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, to provide notary public services, particularly for patients confined to their beds
  • to arrange or furnish emergency transportation to a patient’s home
  • to secure clothing for a needy patient, sometimes for his family
  • to counsel with a patient and his family, if it doesn’t conflict with hospital procedures
  • to help arrange religious, entertainment and recreational activities for all patents.

They are the Liaison between you (the lodge) and your hospitalized Brother. They keep the Brother and his Lodge in touch with each other.

Wherever possible, they organize the assistance of local Masons to serve the patients as volunteer visitors.

YOUR Masonic Service Association Volunteer is your representative, your public relations officer in the great labor of love carried on by volunteer agencies in Veterans Hospitals and in State Veterans Homes nationwide.

Georgia

People ask why do you volunteer? I ask why not. Starting as a small child, there were so many people that gave their time and effort to mold me into who I am today. From my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, teachers, coaches, and many close friends shaped my morals and ambitions to be the best at everything that I do.

I enlisted into the U. S. Air Force to serve the country that I truly love. As a young airman, I was led by great men and women in teaching me the proper way to perform my duties. I felt it was my duty to airmen that came after me the same opportunity to learn that I was given.

The Masonic Order was part of my Father and Grandfather’s life. I have seen as a child what the order did for widows and orphans. Both were heavily involved with the Crippled Children’s Hospital and the Shriner’s Charities. That is why I do what I do.

To see today’s veterans that have suffered injuries and are being treated, takes my mind off what they a going through and take the time to just talk and show some respect. One example is the seven lodges in the Georgia 12th Masonic District conduct a fish fry to feed all veterans at the VA Hospital in Dublin Ga. This year’s fish fry will be held August 21st. Last year was canceled due to Covid but the year before, we feed 250 veterans. They all loved it and the smiles and thank you’s were worth all of the hard work put in to pull this off.

I don’t ever want these veterans to ever be forgotten!

Richard A Kiser – Dublin–Carl Vinson – Georgia

New Jersey

I volunteer at the VA in East Orange, NJ. I too am a veteran and feel the need to give back to the community. Me and my fellow Brothers visit and bring coffee and doughnuts to the veterans to show appreciation to them for serving our country. I get great joy on seeing how happy they are to get visitors and that within itself gives us joy.

Jose Rivera – East Orange – New Jersey

Wisconsin

I began my volunteering at the Tomah VA going one Sunday morning a month to push veterans to chapel services. They were so appreciative that I felt that I could do more. A brother Mason who was the MSA Rep asked me if I wanted to become a volunteer. At first, I was hesitant and told him I would think about it. Being retired I had plenty of time so why not. It would give me something to do to fill my time. So inquired as to what I would have to do to become a volunteer. To make a long story short I went through the process and became a volunteer. I was helping the veterans check in for appointments and directing them to the right place.  I also volunteered in the Hospice Unit. The Tomah VA has a program called No Veteran Dies Alone. A volunteer sits with the veteran who is actively dying when family members can’t be there for various reasons. The families were so relieved to know that their loved one was not alone. The point I am trying to make is that it is a very rewarding experience. You do not have to commit to a certain amount of days or hours. I planned my time around my wife’s work schedule, so I was able to volunteer four days a week four hours a day. No matter how much time you are willing or able to volunteer it would be beneficial to you and to the veteran. 

Jesse J Long – Tomah – WI

North Carolina

Would you be surprised to know that one out of every four American’s volunteer?  I was incredibly surprised.  With so many people volunteering how could I make a difference?   Then I decided to give it a go.  Here is what I found.  No matter the service being provided, as a volunteer I found it to be a double rewarding adventure.  Especially at the Charles George Veteran’s Medical Center here in Asheville, N.C. The first reward is for the Veteran(s) being served.  The second reward is for the self-satisfaction of knowing I can once again be of service to my country and community.

Why do I volunteer?  It is quite simple.  I must be able to give something back.  My father taught me to, “always give them a little something extra.”  As a result, I volunteer.  Now, as many are aware, it is one thing to work and do a job which is expected for a wage.  It is something quite different to freely give of your time and volunteer while expecting nothing in return.

Finally, as a recipient of an honor bestowed upon me some time back, an amazingly simple phrase provides a clear explanation.  “It’s not about me.  It is about volunteering!”

John M. Burchfield – Asheville – North Carolina