Why Volunteer or take part in Social Support Programs?
Whether a Veteran is exiting homelessness, suffering from a visible or invisible wound of war or just seeking something to do, Social Support Programs can be a valuable tool in helping that Veteran readjust to society. It is important that every community have activities in which Veterans and community members can participate. It may be a sailing, hiking, boating, fishing program or any other number of activities.
Anything that will help motivate the Veteran to join and socialize is important.
Coupled with the benefit to the Veteran and their family will be the immeasurable sense of accomplishment that Volunteers will feel at the end of the day. Volunteers can participate by taking part in events, visiting Veterans in a VA Hospital, in their home or in hospice. The opportunity to serve is endless.
Become a Volunteer today to start serving those who have served us!
Learn more about volunteering to serve those who have served us.
Benefits of Social Interactions
"People who need people …" is more than just a phrase from a popular song. Having friends and outside interests can make a difference in living longer and healthier lives.
Everyone needs to feel loved and supported-especially as we grow older. As we age, friends truly can be lifesavers. The friend who brings the chicken soup makes as much difference in feeling better faster as the soup itself. Conversation, sharing, being in touch with others who have active, involved lives gives living a purpose. Sharing with friends helps multiply the joys and divide the sorrows.
Large, extended families that were often available for support are now fewer. The number of one-person households has increased. People often move far from their families to work or retire. But staying connected to family, friends and activities has never been more important.
In Maslow's Hierarcy of Needs the need for belongingness and love appears right after the physical needs of an individual have been realized.
Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
This is the value of Social Support Programs (SSP) for our Veterans. By participating in activities the Veteran can re-acclimate themselves to working together and with others. Establishing a new bond of friendship.
For those who offer to support SSP and Volunteer there is the immeasurable feeling of having helped...and maybe even in becoming that new friend to a Veteran in need.
A Veteran needed some assistance in securing some equipment to start his job as a barber. Volunteers from Bloomingdale IL VFW 7539 stepped up to help.
Social Support Programs
Social Support Programs (SSP)
The only way to rebuild a social network is to get out and meet people…pretty simple…unless you have no idea or place where to start.
SSP is a program where organizations support or conduct activities that focus on participation by Veterans. In doing so, Veterans are provided the opportunity to re-establish social networking skills.
Who can participate?
Your organization may already have programs for Veterans but the word just isn't getting to those in your community. Become part of our Network as we share your information with the Veterans Administration and others about you programs to serve those who have served us.
Group activities like sailing, trail riding or individual activities like scuba diving are not only therapeutic but engage the Veteran in enhancing and building their social skills.
Every community has a program that can be a part of SSP...just let us know who and where you are to become part of Adopt-a-VA.
Events such as a club or church picnic are excellent opportunities to invite Veterans.
Many older veterans in hospitals, VA homes, nursing homes and care centers have limited or no family nearby. Without social engagement and positive interaction, Veterans' health can suffer when they lack support.
This program is targeted toward any Veteran that is lonely or isolated. Veterans in VA hospitals, assisted care homes, community living center, retirement homes, homeless and transitional shelters, and hospital domiciliary programs are all good candidates to be adopted. Individuals can adopt more than one Veteran, and your organization even can adopt certain floors, units or even whole facilities.
Getting Started: VA hospitals have strict privacy laws. You may have to physically visit the hospital to get the name of a Veteran who you adopt. Or, try contacting the facility's Activities Director or Social Services representative for the names of Veterans. Additionally, houses of worship, Veteran groups such as the American Legion, VFW or similar organizations may know of a Veteran in need of support.
Things to do: Once you have come in contact with the Veteran the next question is, "What are you going to do?" Download this list of ideas that been developed in cooperation with the Elks from whom much of this program has been developed.
Work in partnership with others in your community by sponsoring Veteran oriented events. Contact us for suggestions on events you can sponsor.
Communities Serving Our Nation's Veterans