President’s Message

Department of Virginia President Dawn Thomas

Dear Department of Virginia ALA Members,

Thank you for allowing me the honor of serving as your Department President for the 2020-2021 year. I am both proud and humbled by the confidence you have placed in me. Due to public health restrictions presenting circumstances beyond our control, we have had to shift some of our thinking as well as our activities. Our mission remains the same; all that differs is how we plan, and how we deliver it.

We began this administrative year in a way that none of us would likely have ever imagined – in a virtual Convention which had excellent attendance. We saw many members take part that often are unable to attend conferences and conventions. I sincerely hope that as we move forward, we will continue to see this greater inclusion with our Department meetings, which will be continue to be virtual until such time as it is safe for us to gather in large numbers once again.

As of this writing, the VA Medical Centers remain closed to volunteers, but their needs are on-going. My special project focus for this year concerns the five VA Hospitals served by our Department. Donations may be sent to the Department Headquarters earmarked for VA&R, President’s Special Project, or for a specific VA Medical Center.

With in-person activities curtailed at present, we should all strive to use this time for planning so that when restrictions are lifted, or even as they are relaxed, we will be prepared to spring into action to serve our Veterans, the Military, their families and our communities. While the current situation has presented challenges, it has also compelled us to consider ways of keeping our promise of service and support by working our programs through alternative and even innovative approaches.

For God and Country,

Dawn Thomas, Department President 2020-2021