Volunteer Service Program

The Volunteer Service Program is designed to support men and women who are blinded or experiencing significant visual impairment by providing programs and support through volunteerism.

BVA is a member of the VAVS (Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services) National Advisory Committee. VAVS volunteers assist veterans by augmenting staff in settings such as hospital wards, nursing homes, ambulatory care facilities, outpatient clinics, domiciles, community-based volunteer programs, home-based respite programs, end-of-life care programs, veterans outreach centers, national cemeteries, and the Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Offices. Volunteers are a priceless asset to our blinded veterans.

Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services (VAVS) Partnership


The VAVS Partnership is a plan for community participation in VA's program for providing health care and treatment to our nation's veterans. Through this partnership, community volunteer efforts are brought together and become a meaningful part of the program for patients in VA health care facilities.


Who can be a VAVS Volunteer? ANYONE! BVA members, their families, their friends, and members of the community make great volunteers. We can always use more help. Bring in other volunteers and sponsor them at your local VA Medical Center and BVA will receive the credit. Qualifications to volunteer are but a willingness to contribute time and energy and a commitment to helping our veterans.

2013 Volunteer Achievements

BVA volunteers donated 41,102 hours during Fiscal Year 2013. National Field Service Program Director Edward Eckroth expresses thanks to all BVA volunteers and recognizes the Indianapolis Roudebush VA Medical Center volunteers who logged top honors with 2,534 hours. Outstanding job!

Congratulations also to BVA volunteers in the following “Top 10” Categories.

Top 10 Facilities in General
The list includes the facility, or VA health care system, and the total hours logged.

  • Indianapolis Roudebush VA Medical Center: 2,534
  • Huntington VA Medical Center (Huntington, West Virginia): 2,487
  • Houston DeBakey VA Medical Center: 2,297
  • Upstate New York Health Care System (Albany): 2,105
  • South Texas Health Care System (San Antonio): 2,008
  • Central Alabama Health Care System (Tuskegee): 1,975
  • Salem, Virginia VA Medical Center: 1,703
  • Providence VA Medical Center: 1,470
  • Louisville Rex VA Medical Center: 1,389
  • Chicago Jesse Brown VA Medical Center: 1,256
  • Central Alabama Health Care System (Tuskegee): 1,975

Top 10 for Hours Donated 
This list includes the volunteer and the reported VAVS hours from October 01, 2012 through Sept 30, 2013

  • IRVIN, ROSS, Jr. 1,746
  • ONEY, CHARLES 1,713
  • RISKKA, JOHN O. 1,421
  • RILEY, WILLIAM H 1,177
  • NICCUM, SANDRA 1,054
  • DOYLE, MICHAEL 1,029
  • CORNELL, MARK 1,002
  • HYTINEN, CARL N. 962

Top 10 for Lifetime Hours Donated
This list includes current volunteers and the reported VAVS lifetime hours.

  • SHAPIRO, JACK 29,590
  • HARLEY, SISCO 23,952
  • CORNELL, MARK 18,287
  • RISKKA, JOHN O. 16,742
  • HICKS, GEORGE 14,146
  • RILEY, WILLIAM H 12,103
  • BUTLER, WILLIAM F. 11,457

To become a BVA VAVS volunteer, please contact National Advisory Committee BVA National Representative 
Edward Eckroth at 202-371-8880, 
eeckroth@bva.org, or by writing to him at 
125 N. West Street, 3rd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314.