Updated Togus Wish List

Good Morning,

Below is a new Spring 2020 Wish List. This Wish List contains the needs we are finding based on the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.  As you all know we are still only allowing Veterans and staff in the medical facility. Due to this Veterans who are receiving care are not able to have family/caregivers or friends bring them in the items they need while inpatients here at VA Maine. Voluntary Service is currently supplying the departments with the items the Veterans are in need of from personal care items to clothing and shoes. Please disburse this list out to your local posts & chapters. Please advise that donations can be picked up at the entrance of B205 if you call prior and arrange Voluntary Service staff to meet for pick up or will need to be sent out by mail to Togus VA Maine HCS, Attn: Voluntary Service MDP 135, 1 VA Center, Augusta, ME 04330. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We hope you are all well ad look forward to having you all back soon.

Thank you, Jonathan Barczyk, CAVS, Acting Public Affairs Officer

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are not currently able to allow drop off of donations directly to the Voluntary Service office. Donations can be dropped off at the entrance of B205 if you call prior and arrange Voluntary Service staff to meet for pick up or must be sent by mail to the address above. Please be sure to include your first and last name and mailing address for a thank you letter to be sent out.  

I sent out the email below and have since become aware of a very high priority need for our hospitalized veterans. Since they can have no visitors during the virus pandemic the veterans are even more cutoff from contact with the outside world and need something to occupy their minds. In my asking  what is the one thing that would really make a difference in their lives. The answer I received was I PADS they could use at least  30 at a cost of $327.99 each .
MEA Veterans Committee is able to free up $1000.00 which is currently budget for the annual Volunteers Recognition dinner that will be either canceled or postponed until our next planning year. That is about 10% of the need.
This would be a good time to review your contribution goals for the coming year to determine if you are able to help out, Whatever you can do will make a big difference in the lives of our veterans who need to know that we are still thinking of them and hope that soon they will be able to have family members visit them.          

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Volunteers are needed, but in order to limit COVID-19 exposure risk to our most susceptible patient populations, effective immediately, access to our medical center is permitted for Veterans and staff only. Volunteers and volunteer lead events are being canceled throughout the Medical Center, CBOCs and Vet Centers. 

PROGRAMS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT:

  1. General Welfare Fund (This is a general fund that will be spent on something that directly benefits a Veteran while they are receiving care at VA Maine) Donating to this fund during the COVID-19 pandemic would increase the ability to purchase specific items Veterans may be in need of while they are inpatients or here on appointment basis.
  2. Homeless Veteran Assistance Fund (Support the needs of Veterans transitioning into permanent housing)
  3. Fisher House Fund (Provides Veterans’ family members with household essentials and kitchen staples while their loved one is receiving care at VA Maine.)

SPECIAL REQUESTS/PROJECTS FOR VETERANS:

  1. Comfort Items, large and travel sized items needed, i.e., nail clippers, toenail clippers, shampoo, body wash, body lotion, toothbrush covers, deodorant, disposable and electric razors (Higher Quality Razors Prefered), powders, toothpaste, polygrip & mouth wash. (No alcohol based products)
  2. Puzzle Books
  3. Gas Cards ($10)
  4. Tracfones & Tracfone cards
  5. Hannaford Gift Cards ($25)
  6. Walmart Gift Cards ($25)
  7. Over the Ear Headphones (Must be New) No Ear Buds
  8. Sneakers (sizes 8-13 mens, wide sizes)
  9. New Clothing, all sizes (sweatpants, sweatshirts, t-shirts)
  1. Men’s Underwear (Small, Medium, Large preferred but various sizes are needed)

NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME: VHS Movies; Afghans; Jigsaw Puzzles; Used Stamps; Magazines over three months old; Dental Floss; After-Shave; Hand Lotion, Blank Greeting Cards and Envelopes. Due to Infection Control policies we are unable to accept used clothing/bedding, walkers, canes, or crutches.  

  Currently we are unable to accept personal memorabilia and artwork.

**Homeless Housewarming items are not needed at this time due to having an ample supply on hand. **

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that under the Tax Code, donations to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ General Post Fund for exclusively public purposes are deductible from federal income taxes in the manner and to the extent allowable. The announcement reflects the tax law provision, which makes those donations deductible as “donations to the United States”. Donations to support any of the Department’s programs are deductible, whether the donor directs that the donated funds be used for a specific purpose or allows the Department to decide how the donated funds will be used. Do n a ted fu nds ma d e b y    ch eck sho u ld b e made out to “VAVS ” and sent to the address above