The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is seeking volunteers to work with veterans in Clackamas, Deschutes and Polk counties who may not be aware of the state, county and federal benefits they qualify for or how to access them.

It’s part of the brand-new Veteran Volunteer Program, the first-ever statewide volunteer program working with the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and its partners to help connect veterans with their earned benefits, which can provide needed financial support, health care and other long-term care needs.

The volunteers will work closely with the state’s veteran volunteer coordinator and certified veteran service officers in each county to locate veterans in long-term care facilities who may need assistance accessing their benefits. Veterans over the age of 65 represent approximately half of the state’s veteran population.

“Effective outreach is critical to ODVA’s commitment to ensure every Oregon veteran is connected to the benefits they’ve earned,” said ODVA Director Kelly Fitzpatrick. “This is one way that volunteers can make a huge impact on the lives of veterans and their families across the state.”

The program is currently being piloted in Clackamas, Deschutes and Polk counties, but will eventually be rolled out statewide. Prospective volunteers do not have to reside in Clackamas, Deschutes or Polk County as long as they have the ability to travel for their volunteer duties and training.

The program is open to anyone 18 years or older. Anyone who enjoys working with veterans and the aging population is encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit oregonvetvolunteer.com or contact Veteran Volunteer Coordinator Mark Newell at 503-373-2057 or veteranvolunteer@odva.state.or.us