There’s no better way for DAV members to show they care about their fellow veterans than by prioritizing volunteerism.

When we give our most precious resource—our time—to volunteer, we live out our promise to care for our brothers- and sisters-in-arms. We show them that they matter.

Volunteering also allows us to grow our recognition and reputation within our communities. This means ill and injured veterans who’ve never heard of a DAV benefits advocate can learn about the Department of Veterans Affairs benefits they’ve earned from their service. More people will rally around DAV to champion the causes we fight for in Congress. Our volunteers will inspire others to ask what they can do to serve veterans, too.

Bottom line: A vibrant, healthy, growing chapter is one that prioritizes volunteerism.

Organized, effective community-based volunteering starts with a chapter’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) coordinator. This member’s role is to recruit volunteers, inform people about service opportunities, and track and report volunteer hours.

(Read more about the role and responsibilities: LVAP User Manual)

Accurately reporting hours to DAV Voluntary Services is a big part of an LVAP coordinator’s job. Those numbers feed into the national statistics, which we’re mandated to report to Congress as a part of our Congressional charter.

Many chapter activities count towards LVAP hours including:

  • Department and Chapter Service Officer hours.
  • DAV outreach events including seminars, workshops, training and disaster relief.
  • Fundraising activities like Forget-me-Not drives, Golden Corral events, and local DAV 5K races.
  • Grassroots legislative activities to promote DAV legislative efforts.
  • Planning and holding local Homeless Veteran Stand Down events.
  • Planning and participating in special events including Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies, state fairs and parades.
  • Any hours dedicated to directly assisting veterans and their families. Examples include yard work, home repairs, grocery shopping, caregiver respite, and rides to medical appointments using a personal vehicle. is a great way to promote and connect interested volunteers with the needs of veterans in your community. The site has links to online forms for both people wanting to help and people needing help. When we receive one of these forms, someone from the Voluntary Services department will reach out to make arrangements.

The site also has links to information for people interested in driving vehicles for DAV’s Transportation Network and DAV scholarships for student volunteers.

Volunteering for veterans must be a cornerstone activity of every DAV chapter. When it is, our members bolster camaraderie with the veteran community, show fellow veterans they matter, and grow support for the causes we fight for.

That’s the promise we made. That’s the promise we must keep.