Saturday, March 17, 2012

MSA Call for Assistance for Veterans

I am in desperate need of the lodges in our Workers  Club, and those in the region that do not attend Workers Club for the   following project. Could you please include details on the agenda for this   coming Monday?
Pursuant to the following letter that the VA Chaplain   sent to the Director of Volunteer Services at the VA, Teresa Ard, the   following includes all details needed [I have paraphrased the Chaplain's   letter to suit]:

Every Sunday morning our Chaplains provide a minimum of   five worship services here at the Illiana Healthcare VA facility.  Three   of those services are on wards where the patients can’t leave or where   transportation is not available to them.

Two of our services are held in our Social Activities   Room.  This is a decent sized multi-use room.  We have a Catholic   Mass at 9:00 AM and an Ecumenical Service at 10:00 AM.  These services   are geared for our Veterans that reside here on campus.  There’s   approximately 125 Veterans that either live in our long term care facilities   or are patients in the hospital that have opportunity to come to   worship.  Generally, between the two services in our Social Activities   Room we’ll have as many as 70 persons in attendance.  Of those 70, we’ve   had as many as 25 in wheel chairs.   Average attendance runs in the   50s between the two services with high teens to low 20s in wheelchairs.

This is where we need assistance.  At present we   only have a handful of volunteers to escort patients from their rooms to the   worship services.  We are in need of several more volunteers.    Depending on how many volunteers we get, we may only need them once a month or   so.

So, what’s involved?
1.         Interested persons need to contact [Andy Phillips, MSA   Representative 217-918-2473 or]   and state they are interested in volunteering as escorts for Chaplain   Services.
2.         Depending on the number of times they wish to volunteer, they   may be required to go through background investigation to include   fingerprinting… the VA covers all these expenses.
3.         They will be required to go through a Voluntary Services   training session… the folks @ 554-4525 can provide more information about the   training.
4.         If they complete numbers 3 & 4 above they’ll be given an ID   badge.
5.         Chaplain Service will connect with them to work out a   schedule.
6.         On the Sunday they serve, they’ll need to be here by about 8:30   to assist with Catholic patients.  The Protestant service ends at about   11:00 AM with patients going back to their rooms and escorts finishing about   11:30.

I realize this means that every now and   again, church members won’t be able to attend their own services.    However, I believe any volunteers we get will be more than rewarded for their   willingness to serve those who’ve so faithfully served our nation.     There is no pay or compensation other than their heavenly rewards.    Voluntary Service does hold an annual event to honor the volunteers as   well.
After discussions with Teresa, the following is   proposed:
8:30   am – 11:30 am.  If Masons could take one of the the first Sunday or   2nd or 3rd or 4th.  That might work…   This would mean we could rotate responsibility to  those lodges   expressing an interest in participating.
Thanks in   anticipation,

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