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About us

A small amount of your time can make a big difference in a child’s life. We are looking for volunteers who are caring, professional, dedicated and reliable. Our volunteers play an integral role in the world class care we give to our patients and their families. Please note that we ask for a volunteer commitment of at least six months (although we hope you will stay longer).

Join our team of volunteers to learn new skills and meet new friends. Whether playing with children, helping families find their way or answering phones, our volunteers make a difference that often eases stress for patients and families during a difficult time.

Before volunteering, you will be asked to complete an interview, medical clearance, orientation and criminal background check. We also ask that you submit a letter of recommendation and resume (if you have one). If you are under 18, your parent or legal guardian must accompany you to the orientation.

We offer volunteer opportunities in both clinical and non-clinical settings. In addition, all hospital volunteers receive training from hospital staff to prepare for their positions.

To apply, download our application.

If you’d like more information or have questions, please contact our Volunteer Services Department at (718) 470-3258.

Summer volunteer program

Here are some important points to note about our summer volunteer program:

  • Summer applications are accepted between February 1st and February 28th.   Any applications received before or after the application period cannot be considered.
  • Summer volunteers must commit to volunteering for at four (4) shifts per week for eight (8) consecutive weeks.
  • If you are not available to volunteer for the entire summer, please do not apply to the summer volunteer program.
  • We will contact you only if you are invited for an interview.

 Please see our volunteer opportunities below to review available positions.

Types of volunteers

Volunteers are utilized in various capacities. The list below gives you a brief overview of some of the departments and/or programs where volunteers provide their time and energy. Availability of assignments will vary depending upon the needs of a particular department or program at any given time. Please note the following:

  • Volunteers must commit to at least three hours of service per week.
  • We will contact you only if you are invited for an interview.

Atrium ambassadors: Assist patients, families and visitors in our atrium lobby. Volunteers provide directions and assist visitors in finding their way. You must have excellent communication, customer service and interpersonal skills. Additionally, volunteers must be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time. Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. Training provided. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between 9am and 7pm.

Child life: Assist child life staff with engaging children and teens in therapeutic play. Volunteer duties include playing and reading to patients in playrooms or at bedsides, cleaning and sanitizing toys, and monitoring playroom and toy usage. You must be comfortable working with children, have a knack for engaging children in play, and have the ability to maintain healthy boundaries. Tech savvy skills (i.e., Xbox, iPads) are helpful. Minimum age requirement is 15 years old. Must complete child life orientation. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between 9:30am and 8pm.

Pediatric emergency department: Greet and assist visitors and patients in our busy pediatric emergency department. Volunteers are also needed to assist child life and nursing staff with providing an extra component of care and compassion to patients and their families. Volunteers act as liaisons between patients and the pediatric ED staff. They provide age appropriate play opportunities at the bedside and in the waiting area to enhance patient experience. You must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between noon and 9:30pm.

Clerical volunteers: Assist office staff with clerical duties including filing, faxing, answering phones, running errands and greeting visitors. Strong customer service skills are required and knowledge of Microsoft Word is preferred. Minimum age requirement is 14 years oldThis opportunity is only available Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Comfort cart: Bring the simple comforts of home to family members and visitors. The comfort cart contains toiletries and other necessities. Volunteers bring the cart to all inpatient units and are responsible for restocking the cart when necessary. Strong interpersonal and customer service skills are required. Minimum age requirement is 16 years old. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Gift shop: Greet and assist customers in our busy gift shop. Volunteers also maintain and organize the store and perform sales transactions. You must have attention to detail with excellent customer service and organizational skills. Minimum age requirement is 16 years oldThis opportunity is available every day between 9am and 8pm.

Kohl’s Family Resource Center: The resource center, located in the medical center atrium, provides vital health information through books, pamphlets and recommended health websites. Volunteers assist families, patients and visitors in the resource center, stock the book cart and take it to each unit. Strong interpersonal and customer service skills are required. Prior experience in education is preferred but not required. Minimum age requirement is 21 years old. This opportunity is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 7pm.

Reach out and read: Engage outpatient pediatric patients in reading and development of literacy skills. Volunteer duties include reading to children while they wait for appointments and providing literacy and developmental education. You must have good communication skills and the ability to establish rapport with children. Minimum age requirement is 16 years old. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between 9:30am and 4:30pm.

Surgical waiting area: Assist family members in the ambulatory surgical waiting area. Volunteer duties include answering the waiting room phone, escorting family members to recovery rooms and assisting visitors with navigating the lobby area. You must be personable and patient with excellent customer service skills. Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. This opportunity is available Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.

Musical Hands and Hearts (MHH): MHH volunteers use music and instruments to bring cheer to our patients. In this role, you will assist our music therapist with group activities, perform musical numbers for patients, and help children learn how to play various music instruments while hospitalized. You must be an accomplished musician with excellent interpersonal and customer service skills. You must audition for this role. Prior teaching experience is preferred but not required. Minimum age requirement is 18 years old. This opportunity is available on Mondays between 1:30pm and 4:30pm, or on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1:30pm and 4:30pm or 5pm and 8pm.

Frequently asked questions

What is the time commitment?
The minimum time commitment is 3 hours a week for a total of 6 months (or 100 hours of service). You must be able to commit to coming in on a weekly basis, same day/time. Applications for our General Program are accepted July 1 through September 30.

How old must I be?
The minimum age to volunteer is 14 years of age for our summer program and 15 years of age for our general six month program. If you are under 18 years of age it is mandatory that your parent or legal guardian sign your application and accompany you to the volunteer orientation. However, all communication should be made by the applicant ONLY, not a parent or guardian.

What is the process? 
Once your application is received, it is reviewed and assessed. If you qualify and If we have an opening for the time, day and program you are interested in, you will be contacted for an interview. ONLY POTENTIAL CANDIDATES WILL BE NOTIFIED. 

After the interview, you will need to make an appointment with your healthcare provider and obtain medical clearance before you can begin volunteering. You will also need to attend a 3-hour Volunteer Services orientation. For those 18 years of age and older, we require a social security number in order to complete a criminal background and child abuse registry check. Once these steps are completed, you will schedule an appointment to pick up your ID and volunteer polo - you are ready to begin!

How long does it take to be processed? 
On average, once you have been interviewed, it usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to be completely processed and ready to volunteer.

Is there a dress code? 
Yes. All volunteers will be given a volunteer ID, polo shirt and are required to wear khaki (or black) slacks and closed shoes while volunteering. Volunteers are not allowed to wear jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, leggings, shorts, athletic wear, t-shirts, sandals, baseball caps or open toe shoes.

Can I volunteer just for the summer?
Summer volunteers must commit to a minimum of 4 shifts per week (minimum 3-hour shift) for 8-10 weeks. Summer applications are accepted February 1st through February 28th and you must complete the physical, orientation and background check NO later than May 31st. If you are not available to volunteer for the entire summer, please do not apply to the summer volunteer program. There are no allowances for vacation time.

If I volunteer, will I get a job at the hospital? 
Volunteering at the hospital does not guarantee employment.