PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As research shows the negative mental and physical effects loneliness and isolation can have on mental and physical health, the Department of Veterans Affairs has developed the award-winning Compassionate Contact Corp to pair volunteers with socially isolated vets.

The virtual program matches trained volunteers to a veteran referred to the program, said Prince Taylor, deputy director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Development & Civic Engagement.

Watch the video above to learn more about the program.