Volunteer Programs at Le Bonheur

Published On 07/11/2011

We offer a variety of opportunities for individuals, groups, high school and college students to volunteer or shadow at Le Bonheur.  Please read below for an overview of our current opportunities to get involved.

Individual Volunteer Opportunities

Activity Cart - Volunteers take a cart of arts and crafts, games, and activities room to room on the inpatient units and engage in activities in the patient’s room. 

Baby Hugger - Volunteers interact with patients on the intensive care unit floors by rocking, soothing, cuddling, reading books and providing other age-appropriate activities.  The intensive care unit floors include patients ranging from newborns to toddlers.

Child Life Rooms– Volunteers facilitate play in the Pre-Teen/Teen room, provide creative outlets for our patients and families in the Creative Arts room or host movies in the Room of Magic movie theater.

Emergency Department – Volunteers assist staff, families, and patients by helping with the following: respite care for parents, entertainment or supervision of siblings, staff errands, and cleaning toys.

Unit Buddy -- Volunteers interact with patients on the inpatient floors by playing games, reading books and providing other age-appropriate activities.  The inpatient floors include patients ranging from infants to teens.

Reach out and Read – Volunteers read books aloud to patients, siblings and family members in Le Bonheur's outpatient center waiting areas.

If you are interested in any of the opportunities listed above please click here to apply online!

Looking for a one time volunteer event?  Volunteer at a Le Bonheur Foundation special event, like the Pumpkin Run 5K or Enchanted Forest.  View a list of upcoming Foundation events by clicking here.  Contact Joanie Taylor at joanie.taylor@lebonheur.org to assist with fundraising events

Group Opportunities and/or Special Events

Arts & Crafts Activity - Plan crafts for patients and siblings ages 2-18. Host the activity by assisting patients in assembling the crafts. The group/organization is responsible for providing the activity and supplies. Volunteers of any age welcome. Group size: 8-10 people

Event Space Performances - Perform puppet shows, musical presentation, dancing, magic show, etc. Please provide song list for all performances. Activities/performances must be family-friendly. Volunteers of any age are welcome. Group sizes will vary.

Game Day - Host a game day in the event space. Your group is responsible for providing the games. Volunteers of any age are welcome. Group size: 8-10 people.

Room to Room Visits - Collect non-medical items for patients, such as books, toys, or stuffed animals, and deliver them room to room. Groups may also host a special event in the main event space to distribute items. Volunteers must be 14 years old to visit the hospital units. Group sizes will vary.

For more information on hosting a special event or to fill out the application, download the Group Volunteer/Special Event application.

Summer College Program

Summer College Program 2018

The Summer College Program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is designed to give college students the opportunity to volunteer while home from college for the summer.  The application for the Summer College Program is a packet of information you will assemble and mail in to us.  Space is limited to 20 participants. Priority will be given to those students who do not live in Memphis throughout the school year and would otherwise not be able to volunteer at Le Bonheur.  If you live in Memphis year round, please apply to our regular volunteer program.    

Completed packets are due by Friday, May 11th at 4:00 p.m.  Absolutely no late packets will be accepted.  Applicants will receive an email informing them of their status in the program by Wednesday, May 16th.  The application for the Summer College Program is a packet of information that you will assemble and turn in; there is no application to submit online. If you are accepted, you will receive an email on May 16th prompting you to complete additional requirements, including a TB skin test. The TB skin test must be completed by orientation on Wednesday, May 23rd.

Specifics about the Summer College Program:

  • There will be a mandatory group orientation session on Wednesday, May 23rd from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Applicants must be available for this orientation session. There will be no exceptions to this rule, please do not call and ask for an exception.  Orientation will include lunch.
  • Participants must be able to volunteer for six hours each week. Volunteers can either work two, three-hour shifts per week, or complete six hours in one day each week.
  • 20 participants will be selected for the Summer College Program. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. The first 20 completed applications will be accepted in to the program.
  • The program is available to currently enrolled college students who attend college outside of Memphis and are interested in serving while home for the summer.
  • Volunteer opportunities available to program participants: Unit Buddy and Sibling Playroom
  • Participants will begin volunteer shifts the week of May 28th. Participants must be available to volunteer until July 31st.

A completed packet includes:

  • 500 word essay explaining why you are interested in volunteering at Le Bonheur. Please include any past experience you have working with children and what your career goals are.  Also, be sure to include a cover page with your name, email address and cell phone number.

Applications will not be considered if the essay, three letters of recommendation, proof of immunizations and copy of school schedule are not turned in together or if any of the above is missing.

Please contact Allison Smith at 901-287-6284 should you have any questions about the Summer College Program.  Please mail or drop off packets to the address below.  We will not accept applications through email or fax.  Please do not call and ask for an exception to this rule.

Completed packets are due by Friday, May 11th at 4:00 p.m.  Absolutely no late packets will be accepted. 

Please make sure the outside of your envelope says exactly the following below.  Please mail or drop off completed packets to:

Volunteer Services

Attn: Summer College Program

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

50 N. Dunlap

Memphis, TN 38103

Summer VolunTEEN Program

Summer VolunTEEN Program 2018

The Summer VolunTEEN Program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital gives teenagers the opportunity to witness the impact volunteering has on the community and explore careers in the medical field.  The program is divided into three sessions with eight VolunTEENs in each session.  High school students ages 16-18 are encouraged to apply for this program. 

Completed packets are due by Thursday, May 17th at 3:00 p.m.  Absolutely no late packets will be accepted.  All teens will receive an email informing them of their status in the program by Thursday, May 24th at 6:00 p.m.  Please be patient and wait on the email before you call.  The application for the VolunTEEN program is a packet of information that you will collect and turn in; there is no actual application to submit online.  If you have participated in the teen program in the past, you will not be considered for this year’s program.

Specifics about the VolunTEEN program:

  • 3 sessions
  • June 25th-29th
  • July 9th-13th
  • July 23rd-27th  
  • Shifts are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Teens will be responsible for their own lunch and transportation)
  • Teens will need to be available for all five days which will add up to (30) total volunteer hours. If the teen is not available for all five days, they will not be allowed to participate in the program.
  • Eight VolunTEENs will be accepted per session. Teens will only be accepted into one session.
  • Available to teens ages 16-18 years old and still in high school. Teens must have turned 16 by June 1st.  Proof of birthdate must be provided on immunization records.
  • Opportunities available include: taking several carts around room to room to pass out coffee, hot chocolate, tea, toiletries, toys, books, blankets, hats, crafts, etc., clerical work for departments, interacting with patients/siblings in play/waiting areas, and shadowing/learning about various careers throughout the hospital.

A completed packet includes:

  • A 500 word essay explaining why the teen should be picked for the Summer VolunTEEN program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Essays must include the teens name, the teens email address, the teens phone number, what grade the teen is in and all sessions that the teen is available to attend in order of preference.  The essay should discuss past volunteer experience, future goals/plans, interest in the medical field, past experience working with children and why volunteering at Le Bonheur is important to them.  The teen’s name, email, phone number, grade and session preference will not be counted as part of the 500 word essay.
  • Three letters of recommendation. No family members will count as a reference.  The letters must be sealed and signed by the person writing it.  The letters must be in three separate envelopes.
  • One must be from a teacher
  • One from a supervisor of some sort (supervisor of a school club, coach, boss if working, volunteer manager, etc.)
  • One of their choice
  • Copy of immunization records, showing proof of two MMR’s (with two different dates), Tdap vaccine and proof of varicella immunization or date of chicken pox. Immunizations must also show teens date of birth.

Teens will not be considered if their 500 word essay, three letters of recommendation, and proof of immunizations are not turned in together or if any of the above information is missing.

If you know someone that is interested in this program, please make sure of the following:

  • The teen has expressed a sincere, personal desire to work with kids and volunteer at Le Bonheur. The goal of this program is to encourage teens to work independently.  Should the teens have any questions, we ask that they call our office themselves instead of their parent calling for them.
  • The teen is motivated, outgoing and passionate about working with kids. The shifts that are available require self-starters and those who are comfortable initiating conversation.
  • The teen should be trusted to function independently, with little supervision. This should not be the first time a teen has worked with kids.
  • The teen should be able to pass a background check.

Once the teens are selected, there will be no exceptions.  Our first goal is to create a safe environment for our patients.  Our second goal is to provide a memorable and fun experience for the teens.  Please keep this in mind when you make referrals. 

Please feel free to contact Allison Smith at 901-287-6284 should you have any questions about the VolunTEEN program.  Please mail or drop off packets to the address below.  Packets that are emailed to us, faxed to us or turned in late will not be considered.  Please do not call us and ask us for an exception to this rule.  Please note: when mailing your packet in, getting to the post office the day before it is due, will not ensure your packet will make it in time.  Our hospital has a delivery screening process that will delay mail getting to us about a day or longer.  I do not recommend waiting until the last minute.

Please make sure the outside of your envelope says exactly what is listed below.  Please mail or drop off completed packets to:

Volunteer Services

Attn: VolunTEEN Program

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

50 N. Dunlap

Memphis, TN 38103

Alternative Break Groups

Le Bonheur is fortunate to be a volunteer site for college students spending their spring, fall or winter break participating in community service activities. College and university students from across the United States come to Le Bonheur to give of their time to support the patients and families. Opportunities include providing activities to patients on nursing floors and waiting areas, assisting Child Life in the Creative Arts Room and Pre-Teen/Teen Room, sitting with patients as a Unit Buddy, and holding babies as a Baby Hugger.

Interested colleges/universities must schedule dates at least two months ahead of time to ensure a spot. Applications must be in at least one month prior to visiting. Contact Volunteer Services at (901) 287-5225 for more information.