Volunteers honored at VA Hospital

2 years 1 month 1 week ago Friday, April 15 2016 Apr 15, 2016 Friday, April 15, 2016 2:46:00 PM CDT April 15, 2016 in News
By: Emma Rechenberg, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — More than 200 volunteers gathered for the 42nd Annual Truman VA Hospital volunteer recognition ceremony Friday. Volunteers were awarded by category, ranging from 50 hours of service to over 10,000 cumulative service hours.

Stephen Gaither, Truman VA Hospital’s public affairs officer, said 2016 marks the 42nd year of the volunteer program in Columbia. He said volunteers provide a variety of services to veterans.

“We have volunteers that provide coffee and who assist folks waiting for their appointments,” Gaither said. “We’ve got volunteers who man the information desk, who help guide people where their appointments are and help move patients within the facility.”

Carl Niewoehner is one of those volunteers. He began volunteering in January 1991 and said his service in WWII inspired him spend his free time serving other veterans.

“It’s my way of giving back and helping,” Niewoehner said.

Niewoehner is part of the patient transport service team, which uses wheelchairs, beds and carts to transport patients throughout the hospital. He said there is a sense of camaraderie between the veterans he assists.

“We talk to them and they’ll talk to us and a lot of times they wont talk to someone else,” Niewoehner said.

Over the past 25 years, Niewoehner has volunteered over 11,000 hours at the VA Hospital. He said this is time well spent.

“Volunteering is a good way to give back to people who help build this country and kept this country safe,” Niewoehner said.

In 2015 alone, over 900 volunteers provided more than 63,000 hours of service to Truman VA Hospital. Gaither said volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds.

“They come in all sizes, all ages, male, female, veteran, non-veteran, so there really isn’t a stereotypical volunteer,” Gaither said. “It’s someone who really is motivated to be at the facility.”

Gaither said the reason for volunteering is unique to each individual.

“Some people have a commitment to serving fellow veterans, some people want the practical experience of volunteering in a healthcare facility because they may want to pursue that later on through their education or through job training,” Gaither said.

And the program continues to grow due to positive volunteer feedback.

“The most effective recruitment tool is word of mouth,” Gaither said. “Our volunteers help recruit future volunteers.”

The hospital offers 45-50 different volunteer positions. Friday’s ceremony marks the end of National Volunteer Week activities celebrating the Department of VA Voluntary Service program’s 70th anniversary.

More News

Grid
List
RANDOLPH COUNTY - A Huntsville man pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday and received a life sentence with no chance... More >>
32 minutes ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 8:37:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
BUNNIK, Netherlands (AP) — An international team of investigators said Thursday that detailed analysis of video images and photos... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:58:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Potentially more than one thousand Missourians could lose their hunting, fishing and trapping licenses after a Department... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, May 24 2018 May 24, 2018 Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:27:00 AM CDT May 24, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump is violating the First Amendment when he... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 7:10:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal district court in St. Louis has ruled that the Missouri prison system must... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:48:22 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
MID-MISSOURI - If you look at the forecast you can easily tell that summer is here early. Don't forget that... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:43:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in Weather
JEFFERSON CITY - A new report by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce identifies challenges in the Missouri workforce. The... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) - NFL players must stand during the National Anthem this season, team owners decided Wednesday, a reaction to fierce... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:36:38 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Temperatures are rising, and one expert says animals need more attention when tethered outside. "Heat exhaustion... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:07:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - Cole County deputies say a man accused of having pipe bombs was cooperative when they asked to... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:54:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
HALLSVILLE - The NRA Bianchi Cup happens every year in Missouri, however this year, embattled Gov. Eric Greitens made an... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department wants feedback from residents on its community policing initiative. A meeting Wednesday gave people... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The House Special Investigative Committee continued reading the transcript of the testimony of the woman involved in... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A revision to Missouri's amateur sports tax credit program could bring more sporting events to Mid-Missouri. The... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
CALIFORNIA - The Moniteau County prosecutor filed criminal charges against the former California police chief Wednesday. Former police chief... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:15:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A top official at Missouri's Department of Public Safety had a potential conflict of interest when... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 2:11:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK- Businesses in mid-Missouri face a steep choice when it comes to having live entertainment -- lose the music... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:53:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri judge is weighing whether a secretive nonprofit group that supports Gov. Eric Greitens' agenda... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, May 23 2018 May 23, 2018 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 1:08:00 PM CDT May 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
10am 79°
11am 82°
12pm 83°
1pm 85°