Laura Knackstedt

4957 Geiger Road
Alhambra, IL 62001


“Making Life Bearable for our Veterans”

The Hospital Program has been in existence since 1914 and is the oldest of all the VFW Auxiliary Programs.  Its sustainability is a testament to our members and continues to give aid and comfort to our Veterans and their families.

Veterans Health Care

Each year we strive to improve the quality of life for our Veterans and their families.  This year is no different.  Our volunteers are varied but have one thing in common, they give of their time and their heart to do the best for our Veterans.

Our volunteers offer support to the VA personnel and patients.  They are needed to help keep all the facilities running smoothly.  We owe it to our Veterans to help them when they return from active duty to the home front.

Volunteer Recruitment, Recognition and Support

New volunteers are needed every day. Anyone can become a volunteer.  Volunteers help reduce millions of dollars in expenses in the health care.  Volunteers are a friendly, kind and caring face to our Veterans in their most vulnerable time.  Set up monthly sign up sheets for regular events to help get people involved.  Use social media or phone calls to include people in special events that are happening.  Make sure to give recognition and thanks to those who volunteer.  They have taken the time and are committed to our Veterans.  Let them know how much that is appreciated.  For more information download the Hospital Program Guide at

Women Veterans Health Care Program

Women Veterans are the fastest growing group of Veterans.  They have been the most underserved within our VA Health Care System.  They deserve more.  We can help the VA programs for our Women Veterans by a campaign of awareness and advocacy.  Women make up roughly 10% of our Veteran population but less than 1/3 of our women Veterans use their earned VA benefits.  We often assume that the women seeking health care at a VA facility are the spouse of a Veteran or a family member, rather than the Veteran.  Women Veteran Health Care address the needs of women Veterans and helps to ensure that timely, high-quality and comprehensive health care is provided within a sensitive and safe environment at our VA facilities.  Some of the great things offered for women through the VA are:

Gender-specific primary care including cervical cancer, intimate partner and domestic violence awareness and prevention, military sexual trauma (MST), management and screening of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and reproductive health care.  More services are available and vary by location.  Check out what your local facility has to offer its women Veterans and then get involved.  Learn more at and

Valentine’s for Veterans

We all know that we love receiving cards and presents.  It is no different for our Veterans.  Purchase store-bought cards or have handmade cards to hand out to our Veterans.  Host a party or dinner in their honor.  Include our youth and community in this great event.  Everyone can use their creativity to show the care and compassion for our Veterans and service members.

Military and Veteran Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness

Educate yourself and your volunteers about the warning signs of suicide and the mental health of our Veterans. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis along with their family and friends with a qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responder. There is a toll- free hotline, online chat or text that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. All information is confidential. • Call 800-273-8255 and press 1 • Chat online at • Text message at 838255 The Veteran and Military Suicide Awareness Blue Teardrop sticker is the VFW Auxiliary’s symbol to bring attention to this issue that it desperately needs. The sticker template is available on the National website at Involve your community to help educate people on the mental health issues, resources and treatment options that are available.

Veterans Voices Writing Project

The Veterans Voices Writing Project (VVWP) was founded in 1946 and has long been connected with the VFW Auxiliary. It is a therapeutic writing program that helps Veterans express themselves and communicate in a creative way. Members can become involved with a local VVWP representative and assist Veterans in writing, recording or typing. Training and resources are provided. Three times a year, VVWP publishes “Veteran’s Voices”, a magazine that prints a selection of submissions. To learn more about the program and how to become involved, visit You can also call at 816-701-6844 or email

How to be REPORTED in Hospital

Yearly Hospital Pledge: Hospital Pledge donations support the Hospital Program done by our Hospital VAVS Representatives.

Hospital Donations: Auxiliary Donations to Hospital Assignment. Check to see what Hospital/Facility your Auxiliary is assigned to. These funds help supply our hospitalized veterans with personal items they may need, hold parties and do various functions in their facility

** All donations MUST be sent to Department Treasurer and earmarked for the facility your Auxiliary is making the donation to in order for your Auxiliary to receive credit on monthly Donation List.

National Awards

  1. Most outstanding participation in National Salute to Veterans Patients Week
  • Citation to every Auxiliary that sends or hand delivers Valentines to veteran patients. Criteria and entry form to their Department Chairman by March 31, 2021.
  • Citation and $25 to one Auxiliary in each of the four Conferences with the most outstanding “Valentines with Veterans” party or event on-site at a medical facility

Department Awards

 District Awards 1. A Citation to the District Chairman who identifies and submits applications to Department for the Outstanding Hospital Volunteer of the Year Award by March 1, 2021.

  1. A Citation to the District Chairman for being 100% reported by December 31, 2020 in Hospital Donations and Pledges.

Auxiliary Awards

  1. A Citation to Auxiliaries donating to all 12 facilities the Department of Illinois sponsors. Donations must be submitted to the Department Treasurer before December 31, 2020. Donations must be at least $1.00 to each facility.
  2. A Citation to all Auxiliaries making the required Hospital Pledge by December 31, 2020.
  3. An Award and a Citation to the winner of the Outstanding Hospital Volunteer of the Year Award.
  4. An Award for the First Auxiliary to make 100% in all 12 points on Hospital Report form by December 31, 2020. A written report, pictures, promotional material are due by January 5, 2021 to Department Hospital Chairman.
  5. A Citation to Auxiliaries that participate in the Veterans Voices Writing Project such as subscribing to the magazine, making a donation or volunteering by March 31, 2021.
  6. A Citation and a Sewing Pin to each Auxiliary member that makes handmade items for any VA Medical Center, Illinois Veterans Home, local hospital or nursing home. Report must be submitted on the Sewing Pin Hours Report Form by March 31, 2021.

VAVS and Facility Representative Awards

  1. A Citation to VAVS, Deputy, Associate Representatives and Representatives at Illinois Veterans Homes that timely submit nine (9) monthly reports from July 2020 to March 31, 2021.
  2. An Award and Citation to VAVS, Deputy, Associate Representatives and Representatives at Illinois Veterans Homes recruiting one or more regular volunteer by February 2021.
  3. An Award, VFW Auxiliary Pin and Citation to VAVS, Deputy, Associate Representatives and Representatives at Illinois Veterans Homes having volunteer hours as defined in the Hospital Program Guide (See Department website)



We have provided a place here for you to download all of the information that we distribute to you through our Program Book and Bi-Monthly Chairmen’s Bulletins.  You will need Adobe Reader, it is a Free program and can be downloaded here  Get Adobe

2020-2021 Department Hospital Program

2020-2021 Department Hospital Report (click here for online reporting)

2020-2021 National VFW Auxiliary Programs

2020-2021 National VFW Auxiliary Ambassador

Voluntary Service Patient Needs & Services Wish List 2020

VFW Auxiliary Hospital Program Guide (Does NOT include VAVS)

Veterans Administration Voluntary Service

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or text to 838255 or chat at

Women Veterans: and

Women Veterans Call Center: 855.VA.WOMEN (1.855.829.6636)

National Salute to Veteran Patients:

Hospital Wish Lists


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