WINCHESTER, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 08/03/10 -- For veterans receiving treatment at a VA medical center, passing the time can be among the day's challenges. Between appointments and therapy sessions, hours can pass without anything to do.
That's where Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) comes in. Since 1971 HHV has been honoring the request of a young wounded soldier at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego who said, "give me something to do with my hands" when he was asked by HHV founders, "What can we do to help you?"
Over the last four decades HHV has donated over 25 million therapeutic arts & crafts kits to our nation's VA and military hospitals. Rob Croskey, a Craft Care Specialist (CCS) at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida knows firsthand the importance the craft kits bring to recovery. Croskey has been a CCS for approximately four years and while he works for Help Hospitalized Veterans, he is stationed at the VA medical center in Gainesville. "I love my job and working with veterans," Croskey said. "Many of the veterans I work with have physical disabilities that make everyday tasks such as holding a coffee cup or utensils difficult," he added.
Croskey has discovered that working on the arts & crafts kits supplied by HHV are an important tool in helping veterans develop or fine-tune motor skills. "Working on the kits can be a terrific way to help our patients improve their manual dexterity. They love working on leather, model cars and wood carvings and tend to lose themselves in the activity, not realizing the tremendous benefit they're getting. After working a kit or two, the patient notices they are able to move their hands and fingers more," said Croskey.
"The veterans also greatly appreciate the donors to the HHV program who make the availability of kits possible. For many veterans the kits represent something not only therapeutic but functional. It helps increase their self-esteem to be able to give a handmade gift to their family and friends. The kits also offer an activity veterans can do with their family. Several of our veterans have worked on the kits with their children or grandchildren and the interactions are very special to them."
HHV employs approximately 60 Craft Care Specialists stationed at VA medical centers and military hospitals in the U.S. and overseas. For more information on HHV's programs and services or for information about volunteering, please visit www.hhv.org.
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