2017 – The Lives We Change


I am often in awe when I stop and think about the amazing work done by each of the programs operated by Volunteers of America Southwest, and the extraordinary work performed daily by the outstretched hands of the employees and volunteers that make up this organization. Whether those outstretched hands are helping to reassure a homeless veteran that we will stand beside them as they begin a new chapter of their life, helping to inspire persons with addiction challenges so they are able to imagine new possibilities for their life, or helping a family with a special needs child regain hope and confidence that their child will receive the attention they need to thrive. These are the types of outstretched hands that meet, greet, uplift, and assist everyone who comes through our doors.

By giving the best we can each day and doing the small but special things that make a difference, each of us helps to transform lives from vulnerable to vibrant. However it is you support Volunteers of America Southwest, you ultimately share in helping change the lives of vulnerable children, struggling seniors, homeless veterans, and adults with addiction and mental health challenges, and that is awesome.

I believe that we have all been placed on this earth for a purpose greater than ourselves, and we have a responsibility to leave this life having made it better than when we arrived. Volunteers of America Southwest gives each of us a place where we can be a source of hope for those who have broken spirits, those who have taken a wrong turn, or those whom life has dealt a difficult blow. Let us always remember... to someone who is vulnerable and ready to give up on life, our outstretched hands may represent the ray of hope and the life-line needed to turn that life around.

Unless we attempt to undertake more than we think we can possibly do, we will never do all that we are capable of doing. Let us together extend our outstretched hands, do some small but important things to help others, give them the best we have, then let God do the rest.

To my Volunteers of America family, you are awesome!



Gerald McFadden, President & CEO

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JUSTIN | Renaissance Treatment Center Alumnus

"I first came across Volunteers of America 22 years ago at the 10-day program on Island Street in San Diego, and I was a resident of the 10-day program. They provided a place for me at a stage in my life to lay a new foundation and reset a course for the direction that my life was headed."

ALICIA | Renaissance Treatment Center Alumnus

"If I was still out there using, I'd probably be dead by now. The staff welcomed me like, 'Hi, how are you', like the staff here genuinely cares about people."

MIKE BURREECE | Director, Treatment & Rehabilitation Services

"We get a lot of vulnerable people in through our door, absolutely. I think sometimes even broken, damaged people, with really jagged edges and rough edges, and they're in desperate need."

MICHAEL | Hawley Veterans Services Center Alumnus

"It was like, 'Okay, I have a bed to sleep in, I'm not on the streets. I can do my laundry. I can go from here. I can get a job from here. I can build my life back up from here.'"

CARL | Renaissance Treatment Center Alumnus

"When I got here, I enrolled in Ms. Maxine's computer class, and she's instilled a lot of confidence in me. Now I feel like I'm a productive member of society."

MASSIE | Ballington Academy Parent & Supporter

"All of my children have gone through the program of Volunteers of America. As an educator, because I am also a teacher too, I wanted to see what really is here, what can be the exciting news that can be here to make it different from everywhere else. When I saw the rooms, I wanted to be in 2nd grade all over again."

BILL ANDERSON | Principal, Ballington Academy

"We've come to the place now in education where we begin to talk about 21st century skills, and we've come to the realisation that they don't know any more what jobs will be available in the future, but what they do know is that certain skills are going to be necessary for success in the future."

CHRIS GARDNER | Executive Chef, Culinary Management

"Clients, they know they can come into Volunteers of America, and they know what the light at the end of the tunnel is. Not always do they know what it looks like, and not only do they know how hard that tunnel's going to be to get through in order to get to that light. So I show them that I'm not only living proof that it can work, but being able to see clients in our programs on a daily basis, it's a reminder to me of why I'm where I'm at and why I need to stay where I'm at."

Welcome to our Annual Anniversary Celebration of lives transformed.

Volunteers of America Southwest