Volunteers needed to comfort dying veterans through No Member Dies Alone program

(Photo: Michigan Veteran Homes)

Volunteers at Michigan Veteran Homes provide comfort to veterans when they are nearing the end of their lives and do not have friends or family there during that time.

The No Member Dies Alone (NMDA) program operates at the homes in Chesterfield Township, Grand Rapids, and Marquette. Volunteers spend time talking with the veterans and providing them with companionship.

Volunteers are provided with training to help them develop the skills needed to help. It is crucial that volunteers are sensitive and compassionate.

"When I retired from a very fulfilling 40-year career as an educator, I knew I needed to find something to do that had meaning and purpose," said Mike Micele, a Vietnam veteran and NMDA volunteer. "Joining the NMDA program has been one of the most powerful and life-changing experiences of my life. It is truly spiritual work. In some cases, these veterans don’t have friends or family present so to be there and tell them they are loved and there is nothing to fear is beyond words. The best gift we can give a dying member is our time, presence, and love. This is work that needs doing and demands our best."

Interested volunteers, contact the homes:

  • Michigan Veteran Homes at Chesterfield Township - Volunteer Coordinator Maxine Butler at butlerm13@michigan.gov or 586-256-9921.
  • Michigan Veteran Homes at Grand Rapids - Volunteer Coordinator Becky Smit at smitr@michigan.gov or 517-281-8963.
  • Michigan Veteran Homes D.J. Jacobetti - Volunteer and Donations Coordinator Sarah Johnson at johnsons93@michigan.gov or 906-226-3576 Ext: 2520396.