Volunteer Services

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During times when state agencies have been asked to “do more with less,” volunteers play an important role in improving the quantity and quality of service. Volunteers assist programs and facilities with a variety of activities, creating a higher standard of living for those served. They enable staff to perform other duties and help fulfill the agency mission.

Volunteerism provides a powerful tool for bringing people together from all walks of life to interact and solve problems. Volunteers provide valuable role models for many of those served by the Department of Health and Human Services, and volunteers themselves also benefit by deriving satisfaction from helping improve the lives of others.

The contributions made by volunteers are truly appreciated, both by DHHS employees and by the customers and clients whose lives are made better because of volunteers.

What can I Do?

Examples of activities that volunteers are involved in include general office work and coverage, forms completion, mentoring, tutoring, interpreting, meal delivery, and transportation. 

Volunteers have also been involved in music programs, special event luncheons and parties, and other recreational activities and outings; yard and garden work, snow removal and yard maintenance for clients who are elderly or disabled; regular phone contact with housebound individuals, transportation or escort, errand service,  and other one-to-one personal assistance and support. 

The Norfolk Veterans Home held its Annual Volunteer Awards Program on April 25, 2010
The Norfolk Veterans Home held its Annual Volunteer Awards Program on April 25, 2010. Pictured here is three generations of volunteers. From left to right we have LaVonne Hornik, Evelyn Shannon and Liz Davis. Volunteering their time at the Norfolk Veterans Home is something their family can be proud of!

Long time volunteer Marilyn Heppner has over 6500 hours of service at the Norfolk Veterans Home.
Volunteer Coordinator, Jenny Last and NVH Administrator, Jerry Eisenhauer are pictured here with long time volunteer Marilyn Heppner. Marilyn has over 6500 hours of service at the Norfolk Veterans Home. Along with that she had also held the position of Hospital Representative for the State Department of the American Legion Auxiliary for many years. She dedicated many years of her life to serving our nations heroes and we thank her for that.

Volunteer Don Marx checks out a state car to help ensure that it’s ready to roll.

Volunteer Don Marx checks out a state car to help ensure that it’s ready to roll. 
PDF READ MORE on page 5 of the February 2010 issue of Connections.

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Who can Volunteer?

Volunteers come to DHHS from schools and colleges, churches, Veteran organizations, community groups, service organizations, and the general public.  They are of all ages and vary in socio-economic levels, education, and experience, thus representing a very diverse background.

American Legion Post 16 Riders escort the Norfolk Veterans Home bus to the Madison County Fair.

American Legion Post 16 Riders escort the Norfolk Veterans Home bus to the Madison County Fair. Motorcycle groups also visit the Veterans Homes to socialize with members and have ‘poker runs’ to support the Homes.

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How do I Volunteer?

PDF Volunteer coordinators are located throughout the DHHS service areas, the 24-hour facilities, and the Central Office in Lincoln.  They will help enroll and place volunteers so that their skills and interests can be utilized to the benefit of both DHHS and the volunteers.

  Contact DHHS Offices

  Contact pdficon.gif (914 bytes)DHHS Facilities

  Contact DHHS Veterans' Homes

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History

In 1997, five state agencies (Aging, Health, Juvenile Services, Public Institutions, and Social Services) merged into the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  As a result, volunteer programs from each agency merged, and the DHHS Volunteer Program was organized. 

In April, 1999, the DHHS Policy Cabinet adopted Minimum Operating Standards, followed by the appointment of a state Volunteer Program Coordination Team.   The team is comprised of one or more persons from each service area, 24-hour facility, and Central Office.  The team is responsible for overseeing the DHHS Volunteer Program standards and procedures, planning annual recognition of volunteers, and compiling an annual report.  Team members serve as a resource for local volunteer coordinators to assist with ideas, answer questions, and provide communication for program continuity. 

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Philosophy

The utilization of volunteers provides a cost-effective means of supporting staff as well as the enhancement of service delivery.  A well-managed volunteer program contributes to improved quality and quantity of services.  To this end, DHHS encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the Department and within all appropriate program and activities.  The Department maintains the following basic philosophy regarding volunteers:

  • Volunteers are people with skills and needs.
  • Trained and supported volunteers will be good ambassadors to the community at large.
  • Most jobs within DHHS can be extended, reinforced, or enriched by volunteer contributions.  In no circumstances will a volunteer be a replacement for paid staff.
  • Appropriate selection, placement, training, and supervision of volunteers are essential so that the special skills each person brings to the job can best be utilized to the benefit of DHHS and volunteers alike.
  • The benefits that can result from a good volunteer-staff partnership exceed the administrative effort involved.
  • Timely and meaningful recognition is key to the retention of volunteers.

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Volunteer Recognition

Volunteers celebrate at the Grand Island Vet's Home, as a group of acoustic guitar players entertain from the stage.

Volunteers celebrate at the Grand Island Vet's Home, as a group of acoustic guitar players entertain from the stage.

A video tribute to Paul Beck, Southeast Service Area volunteer, March 2011.

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Annual Volunteer Reports

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Minimum Operating Standards

PDF View the DHHS Minimum Operating Standards

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Program Guidelines

PDF View the Volunteer Program Guideline Book - 2010 Update

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Donations

View the PDFDHHS Donations and Solicitation Policy

News Release - Animals for Veterans!

Gifts collected for members of the Western Nebraska Veterans Home.

Gifts collected for members of the Western Nebraska Veterans Home.

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