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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Volunteer - Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteering 

Donations

Who volunteers?
Adult Volunteers

  • Must be 18 or older
  • Must be willing to make a commitment
  • Can begin the volunteer process at any time of the year
  • Please contact our office prior to applying if you’ve been an inpatient at our facility within the past 6 months

Student Volunteers

  • 14-17 years old (must be 14 by June 1st of the calendar year).  No exceptions are made.
  • High school students
  • May choose to participate in our Summer Teen Program (June through August or our Year Round Teen Program.  Some teens choose to participate in both programs. 

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When do you need volunteers?
With your patience, we will be able to accommodate you.

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What if I only have time to volunteer on evenings and weekends?
Training takes place during the business day.  If you desire is to work during the evening and/or weekends, you will need to arrange your schedule so that you are able to attend our day orientations and unit based training.

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I am considering a career in healthcare.  Can I shadow a healthcare practitioner?
Our volunteers have a wide range of contact with a variety of staff members, however, the volunteer experience is not structured to provide a shadowing/observational encounter.

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Once I apply, how long does it take to become a volunteer?
The volunteer process can take 2-6 weeks to complete. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our patients and residents with a thorough screening process. This screening process includes a criminal background check and in some cases a physical examination and verification of driver's license. Interviews with prospective supervisors are also scheduled.

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How will I be trained?
Volunteers attend a general orientation session and then have a more specific orientation when they reach their particular unit/department.

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Can my group/organization/company come for one day and visit the veterans?
We appreciate the gesture but, due to patient confidentiality and infection control policies, we are unable to accommodate group volunteering on a short-term basis.  If your group is interested in doing a project for the hospital, please contact Voluntary Service at 727-398-9394 for an activity that can benefit the patients and staff at our hospital.

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May I perform at the hospital?
If you or your group is interested in performing at the hospital, please call 727-398-6661 ext. 4598 for more information.

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Donations

How do I deliver my donations?
Please call Voluntary Service at 727-398-9394 to inform us of your donation so that we may discuss an appropriate time for drop-off.  Voluntary Service is located in Building 2, Room 105 at the Bay Pines Campus, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd.

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What items are needed at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System?

  • Socks and underwear—new, needed in all sizes, for men and women
  • Crossword Puzzles and Word Finds/Sudukos—Provide the purchased variety.  Please include a pencil (one-time use mechanical pencils are best as patients/family members probably will not have access to a pencil sharpener)
  • Stationery—Note cards, envelopes or postcards.  Please include stamps.
  • Patron Coupon Books (for use in the VA canteen)
  • Bus passes for PSTA
  • Personal hygiene items

Because our patients come from diverse religious, political and social backgrounds, we require that all donations be religiously and politically neutral.

If you wish to donate something not on this list, please call our office to discuss.

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Are my donations tax deductible?
In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 8301, VA is authorized to accept donations or gifts for the benefit of patient.  The Internal Revenue Service has announced that under the Tax Code, donations to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs General Post Fund for exclusively public purposes are deductible from federal income taxes in the manner and to the extent allowable.  The announcement reflects the tax law provision which makes those donations deductible as “donations to the United States.”

All donations will be acknowledged.  If you deliver your donation, please complete a donor form.  If you are sending a donation, please include your name, address and phone number, and the estimated value of the donation.  We will make you a letter of acknowledgement.  We do not specify dollar amounts in our acknowledgement letters.

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Will someone pick up my donation?
We are not able to pick up your donations because of staffing and transportation limitations.  However, in kind donations can be mailed to Voluntary Service (135), Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, P.O. Box 5005, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd,
Bay Pines, FL 33744

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Can I donate food?
No homemade food (including candy) may be given to patients.  Many of our patients are on dietary restrictions and cannot have certain foods.  Please do not bring any edible donations to the hospital.  We also ask that you not include any food with other donations.

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