ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg VA recently brought their volunteers back to campus -- six months after they were cut as a safety protocol for COVID-19.
However, VA officials said they’ve seen a decline in their volunteer numbers since they were welcomed back last month.
Traci Palmer, the chief of voluntary services, said they had more than 200 volunteers on staff before COVID-19 hit. Now, they have close to 160 and that’s between the Roseburg VA hospital and the Eugene VA hospital.
“Some of them decided not to return because of being fearful of COVID,” she said.
However, she said they are doing what they can to make it work.
“We had volunteers in 23 different services here at the VA,” said Palmer. “Now starting back up with our reintegration plan, we only have volunteers in 4 or 5 of our services now.”
Palmer said the VA is actively recruiting volunteers right now to fill in those missing gaps.
However, many volunteers told KEZI 9 News that they’re just thankful to be back.
“We have a staff here who are already burdened and handling everything they can handle, we were there to help them out and to help the veterans out,” said Richard Sund. “It makes a big difference.”