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How to become a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin means more than a blue vest. Whether you’re hanging out with children, holding babies in our NICU, supporting our gift shop or helping with sibling care, there’s something here for everyone!

If you’re looking to become a volunteer with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, you may have a few questions.

Who can be a volunteer?

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is seeking those who are 18 and older, college students, moms and dads, retired adults, working professionals and others to help us provide the best and safest care. Volunteers must be able to commit to one weekly two-hour shift for a minimum of six months.

What can volunteers do?

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin offers a variety of different volunteer opportunities:

  • Therapy Dog Program
  • Inpatient care units
  • Teen lounge
  • Surgical waiting room
  • Emergency room and trauma center
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy clinic
  • Gift shop
  • The Daniel M. Soref Family Resource Center
  • Sibling care
  • Expressive therapies
  • Distribution
  • Specialty clinics
  • Entertainment

Ken, a volunteer from our NICU, originally didn’t know where he wanted to volunteer. Ken said, “Five months after I retired, I decided to seek some volunteer experiences. National Honor Society students of mine told me about volunteering at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. I did some research and decided that holding babies in the NICU would be awesome. I wanted to offer total attention and comfort to the babies. I did not realize that I would be watching miracles performed every day in the NICU. What an experience!”

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteers are an integral part in fulfilling our commitment to provide the best care for our children and families. One of our volunteers, Taylor, said, “I volunteer in order to help others in need. There is no better feeling than knowing that you put a smile on someone’s face.”

Volunteering also gives you a chance to broaden your horizons and teach you new things. Lora, a volunteer at our Child Advocacy Center said, “I personally wanted to volunteer at the hospital because I wanted to gain experience with children. My family is very small and there are no children. I figured donating my time would be a great way to acquire experience.”

How can I start volunteering?

You will need to fill out our online application before you can become a volunteer.

You will also need to make sure that you are up to date on your vaccinations, including your annual flu shot. If your application is approved, Volunteer Services requires a background clearance check prior to attending a mandatory volunteer orientation. Please note: it may be difficult to become a volunteer in specific areas due to the level of training or availability.

The ideal volunteer placement requires some exploration on your part to make the best investment of your time. The hospital setting can be a challenging environment. As a volunteer, you must be willing to serve patients and families with integrity, accountability and ethical behavior.

We hope you will consider becoming a volunteer at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin! For more information on how to become a volunteer, visit our website.