Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) gives veterans who are receiving care at Department of Veterans Affair's medical centers, state veterans homes, or military hospitals therapeutic arts and crafts activities; it is their main mission.
The organization has more than 300 types of kits that are available to veterans, who can choose one that suits their particular personal needs. The kits assist in keeping veterans hands active as well as keeping their minds alert through days or even weeks of recovery time after surgery or rehabilitation.
The arts and crafts kids, as well as additional types of therapeutic products and services provided by HHV and the organization's sponsors, are very welcomed by veterans. They know they haven't been forgotten and that there really is someone out there that cares. The HHV is an exceptional effort to assist veterans during a particularly trying time in their lives.
An increasing demand is being placed upon the Veterans Administration's hospital systems. The HHV has been and continues to present a focus on delivery of both products and support to veterans of current and prior conflicts and service. According to the President of the Help Hospitalized Veterans organization, they pause during the holiday season to demonstrate their gratitude for America's many blessings, and the service and sacrifices of this nation's veterans that enable us to live in a free country.
The HHV is aware that the freedoms American's enjoy came with a very steep cost. The cost often came at the loss of life, limbs, or the mind of one of this nation's service-members. During the holiday season, the Help Hospitalized Veterans craft kits many times become gifts from veterans who are wounded and hospitalized to members of their family or their friends. These gifts often give loved ones lasting memories of the veterans who have hand-crafted the gifts.
A Bit of History of the Help Hospitalized Veterans Organization
Help Hospitalized Veterans was founded in April of 1971, approximately a year after a group of people from San Diego who were concerned visited a number of Marines who were wounded in the Vietnam War as the Marines were recovering at Balboa Naval Hospital. The group asked the Marines, 'How can we help you" The Marines gave the group from San Diego answers that varied from, "Give me something to do with my hands," to, "The seemingly endless hours of recuperation are often harder to take than combat." Without question, the amount of time these Marines were spending in recovery was weighing very heavily on them.
A number of surveys and discussions with clinicians at hospitals and with veterans who were patients followed. Afterwards, the first of the HHV's arts and crafts kits were delivered to veterans. The instant the staff members from the HHV saw the smiling faces of the veterans in response, they understood the kits plainly had an incredible therapeutic value. With some veterans the therapeutic value turned out to be physical. Stringing together a leather kit has the potential to assist with hand-eye coordination, as well as dexterity. HHV painting kits help to ease the minds of veterans that have been deeply scarred with memories of battle.
The only thing that remained to be seen was whether or not the American people would be supportive of the Help Hospitalized Veterans program. As it turns out, they were, and today the HHV's donors are the very lifeblood of the organization. Due to the generosity of sponsors, the HHV is now the largest supplier of all arts and crafts kits in Veterans Administration and military hospitals.
The kits the HHV provides to veterans are absolutely free of charge. Hospitalized veterans in VA and military hospitals find these kits ready for them to receive. The arts and crafts kits include ones such as:
There are many other types of arts and crafts kits that are available to veterans as well. In addition, the HHV provides a number of products and services to veterans who are homebound, and cash support to many of the Veterans Administration's yearly Special Events. These special events include, but are not limited to, the National Veterans Golden Age Games, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, and the Valentines for Veterans concerts.
The HHV's Craft Care Specialist Program
Interestingly, the Help Hospitalized Veterans organization does not seek or receive money from the government. The HHV is a service member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service. Another interesting fact about the HHV is that Bob Hope himself presented a Vietnam Veteran, Eugene Gardner, with the HHV's one-millionth arts and crafts kit.
Since the time the HHV began, it has delivered more than 27 million arts and crafts kits to veterans and military personnel, as well as additional products and services, with a combined value of more than $481,000,000. In order to ensure the greatest availability of their arts and craft kits, the HHV has 60 Craft Care Specialists (CCS's) who work with the Veterans Administration and military hospitals. The main role of the CCS's is the distribution of the organization's arts and crafts kits, recommending kits that are suited to each veteran and their specific condition and skill level, and working with the veteran's rehabilitation program.
The CCS's work with veterans who are hospitalized, offering constructive interaction and boosting the morale of veterans. They conduct arts and crafts workshops in Veterans Administration and military hospitals, vastly increasing the participation of veterans in craft kits. The CCS's also assist with recruiting volunteers for the Veterans Administration's Voluntary Service program.
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