Volunteer Programs

To ensure the safety of our patients, families, staff and volunteers, we have suspended all volunteer activity. We will update this page accordingly when our regular programming resumes.  

We are hopeful that our summer programs will continue as scheduled. We encourage you to apply; any updates to scheduled programming will be reflected here as soon as changes are made.

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.

Please note: We are not currently training any new volunteers for the baby hugger position. We encourage you to apply for our other volunteer positions, as many roles (especially unit buddies) frequently interact with infants and toddlers. We will update this website as availability changes.

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!

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 Programs

Summer Volunteer Program 2020

The Summer Volunteer Program at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is a condensed version of our regular Individual Volunteer Program, designed to provide structured volunteer opportunities to individuals who have additional free time during the summer months. This is a great way to give back to the community during a time when individuals are off of work, school, etc.

Participants in the Summer Volunteer Program will have direct interaction with patients and families in a hospital setting. Opportunities will likely include entertaining patients on our inpatient floors as a Unit Buddy, providing respite care for family members, distributing books through our Book Cart Program, and supervising our Child Life Activity Rooms.

Program Requirements

Spots for this program are limited, so applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old and graduated from high school.
  • Be flexible, a self-starter, and willing to volunteer where needed!
  • Able to commit to six hours of volunteering each week from June to August. Shifts will occur on the same day and at the same time each week and will depend on availability. Evening and weekend shifts will likely be available.
    • Please note: we understand that summer trips and obligations may already be planned, and it is permissible for participants to miss an occasional shift. If you have prior commitments that will render you unavailable to volunteer for multiple weeks, please do not apply.
  • Complete and submit all paperwork and immunization requirements by May 1.
  • Able to attend an orientation and training session either on Thursday, May 21, or Friday, June 5, from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM.

How To Apply

We ask that all applicants complete a packet with the following items:

  • A typed cover page with your name, email address, and phone number.
  • A typed essay explaining why you are interested in volunteering at Le Bonheur through the Summer Volunteer Program. Please include a little information about yourself and any experience you have working with children.
  • Three letters of recommendation from anyone (friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc.) except family members. We ask for each letter to be signed by the person writing it.
  • Copy of immunization records, specifically showing:
    • 2 MMR vaccinations and dates
    • 2 Varicella vaccinations and dates or date of chicken pox
    • Tdap vaccine
    • If you are unable to access or locate your immunization records, please reach out to Hannah Rafieetary at rafieetary@lebonheur.org.

All application packets are due by Friday, May 1, at 4:00 PM. You can either email your packets in their entirety to Hannah Rafieetary at Hannah.rafieetary@lebonheur.org or mail/drop off packets to:

Volunteer & Family Support

Attn: Summer Volunteer Program

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

50 N. Dunlap

Memphis, TN 38103

Applicants will receive an email informing them of their status in the program by Friday, May 8, at 5:00 PM.  If you are accepted, you will be prompted to complete additional requirements, including a TB skin test. The TB skin test must be completed by orientation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Volunteer and Family Support team at lbvolunteers@lebonheur.org

Summer VolunTEEN Program 2020

The application deadline for Summer 2020 has passed. Notifications for the Summer 2020 sessions will be made by Friday, May 8th at 6:00 p.m. Please be patient and wait on the email before you call. Please check back with our website in February 2021 for Summer 2021 information.  For questions or additional information, please contact the Volunteer & Family Support team at lbvolunteers@lebonheur.org.

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 and siblings on the inpatient units, emergency department and waiting areas, providing respite and support for families and staff, hosting our child life activity rooms, serving on the beverage cart and much more! 10 participants per group are allowed and the time frame is typically Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., one week per group.

Since we can only host one group at a time, we book up fast! We usually need eight months to one year notice of your trip. Interested colleges/universities must contact Allison Smith in Volunteer Services at Allison.Smith@lebonheur.org for available dates and more information.