Have you ever thought about getting involved with Voluntary Service, but you’re not sure where to start? If you want to serve veterans, but you’re not able to take on all the responsibilities of a being Representative, consider becoming a Deputy Representative.
Deputy Representatives are an important part of the network of Elks who participate in the Voluntary Service program. At each facility where Elks are stationed, there are opportunities for Deputies to join in and support other volunteers. There are currently over 300 Deputies in the Voluntary Service program.
When volunteers are planning an event or thinking of new ways to reach out to veterans, it helps to have a team to come up with more ideas and delegate tasks. Deputies may have a special interest in a project that can be added to the regular visits, to give veterans another activity to look forward to.
At right, Deputy Representative Larry Burns delivers supplies to the Midway USO in Chicago, Illinois.
At the Brockton, Massachusetts, VA Medical Center, Representative Richard Tinkham and his Deputy Jim Strojny always visit the hospital together. Strojny brings his experience as a Past State President and his Lodge activity to contribute to the ongoing programs that Tinkham has established. Together, they make sure that the veterans have groceries and supplies for their garden each month.
Tinkham can’t say enough about what it means to him to have a reliable Deputy Representative. “Jim Strojny does more than just help. Jim and I are a team,” he says. “His dedication to veterans and his strong background have made a huge difference in getting things done.”
In Sacramento, CA, Deputy Representatives Mark Seibel and Michael Van De Pol are always available to support Representative Henry Sanchez. “I can depend on them without question,” says Sanchez. “They are always there when I need them!”
This June, Seibel coordinated and managed the Flag Day barbecue at the Sacramento VAMC when Sanchez could not attend. In April, Van de Pol was ready to assist with assembling 300 hygiene kits for the Sacramento Stand Down.
Behind the scenes, Deputies can also help with administrative tasks.
One important role that Deputies at VA Medical Centers can take on is attending quarterly VAVS meetings. Attendance at these meetings is required for the Elks to maintain a presence at the VA, and the ENVSC depends on certified volunteers to attend these meetings. When the assigned Representative is unable to attend, a Deputy can stand in for them.
In Dublin, Georgia, Deputy Representative John Hunt attends quarterly meetings at the VA along with Representative Jim Green. With both volunteers present at the meeting, more Elks are in the loop. If Green ever needs to skip a meeting, Hunt will be ready to cover it for him. If a Deputy has experience with bookkeeping or has a knack for computers, Representatives may choose to entrust them with the tasks of maintaining records and filing reports.
Do you have special skills or time to donate to serving veterans? If you’re interested in becoming a Deputy Representative, contact you State ENVSC Chair, or one of the current volunteers in your area. Click here to see a full list of volunteers.
For more information about the Voluntary Service program, you can read more on the Voluntary Service page.