Volunteer Programs

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

Please check back with our website on Feb. 21, 2020 for Summer 2020 information. For questions or additional information, please contact the Volunteer Services team at lbvolunteers@lebonheur.org.

Summer VolunTEEN Program 2020

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 four 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 Wednesday, April 29th 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 Friday, May 8th at 6:00 p.m.  Please be patient and wait on the email before you call and be sure to check your spam/junk folder.  The application for the VolunTEEN program is a packet of information that you will collect and mail 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:

  • 4 sessions
  • June 8th-12th  
  • June 22nd-26th
  • July 13th-17th
  • July 27th-31st    
  • 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 1stProof of birthdate must be provided on immunization records.
  • Opportunities available include: taking several carts around room to room to pass out hot beverages, donuts, toiletries, toys, books, blankets, hats, crafts, etc. to patients and families, interacting with patients/siblings in play/waiting areas, and shadowing/learning about various careers throughout the hospital.

A completed packet includes:

  • An essay of at least 500 words explaining why the teen should be selected 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.  We notify you your status in the teen program via email so please do not forget to include your email address in the essay.  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 you.  The teen’s name, email, phone number, grade and session preference will not be counted as part of the 500-word essay.  Please include the teen’s information on the essay, not the parents’ information.
  • Three letters of recommendation. No family members will count as a reference.  The letters must be sealed in an envelope and signed by the person writing it.  The letters should be signed on the seal by the person writing the letter.  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 (no family members)
  • Copy of immunization records, showing proof of two MMR’s (with two different dates), Tdap vaccine and proof of varicella immunizations or date of chicken pox. (If your shot records are lacking any of these immunizations, it is your responsibility to obtain these shots).
  • Immunizations must also show teens date of birth.

Teens will not be considered if their 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.  This application process and program is designed to help prepare teens for college and job applications. 
  • 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.

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. 

Once accepted, there will be a $25 fee for each participant.  The fee covers the following but is not limited to: 1 t-shirt, orientation materials, LB promotional items, pizza on Friday, groceries for the baking event at the FedEx Family House, supplies to run the beverage cart and donuts to serve with the beverage cart.

Please feel free to contact Allison Smith at allison.smith@lebonheur.org 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.  We have several summer programs and we need to make sure your packet gets to the right place. 

Please mail or drop off completed packets to:

Volunteer Services

ATTN: VolunTEEN Program

50 N. Dunlap St.

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 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.