Seattle Children’s engages volunteers in over 80 departments across the hospital. The list below represents the departments that make use of the largest number of volunteers. It is not necessarily an indication of volunteer position availability.

Learn more about the volunteering application process.

Family Support Volunteer Positions

Adult volunteers must commit to a weekly shift for at least 100 hours over 10 consecutive months.

Perioperative Family Support

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 6–9 a.m., 9 a.m.–12 p.m., 12–3 p.m., 3–6 p.m., 6–9 p.m., 9–11 p.m.

Perioperative Family Support volunteers interact with surgery patients and their families to provide comfort, direction and continuous updates in order to reduce anxiety and improve the patient and family experience. They also assist the medical staff with appropriate tasks. The volunteer’s objective is to help provide support, but to also gain some knowledge and insight into the medical field, more specifically pre- and post-operative care.

Family Resource Center

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 3-hour shifts between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

The Family Resource Center (FRC) provides families with health and local area information, basic needs and stress-relieving services during their stay. The FRC also manages patient and family education and communications for the hospital. We are looking for enthusiastic, caring volunteers to greet families, answer questions, assist with family support programs and help staff with various projects.

Emergency Department

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Daily, 6–9 a.m., 9 a.m–12 p.m., 12–3 p.m., 3–6 p.m., 6–9 p.m., 9 p.m.–12 a.m.

Emergency Department volunteers interact with patients and their families to provide comfort, developmentally appropriate play and non-medical support, which helps to minimize the impact of hospitalization. They also assist the medical staff with tasks like cleaning, stocking and delivering, and with clerical projects.

Therapy Pool

Patient and Family Recreational Swim

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: 2-hour early afternoon shifts on weekdays

Swim Lessons

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: 2-hour afternoon/evening shifts on weekdays

Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) Swim

  • Minimum age: 21
  • Shifts: 2-hour mid-day shifts on weekdays

During patient recreational and PBMU sessions in the Therapy Pool, energetic volunteers engage individuals by leading fun and safe water activities, including group games. During swimming lessons, reliable volunteers are needed to assist swimming instructors and engage 3–6 year olds as they develop swimming and water safety skills. Volunteers will also help with cleaning and maintenance of pool equipment.

Patient and Sibling Support Volunteer Positions

Adult volunteers must commit to a weekly shift for at least 100 hours over 10 consecutive months.

Reach Out and Read 

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. or 1–4 p.m.

Reach Out and Read is a nationally recognized program which helps promote early literacy, parent-child bonding and academic achievement to children under the age of 6 years and their families. Reach Out and Read provides books and training to medical professionals so they can teach families how to engage and read to their children as well as provide them with a free book on their visits. The volunteer responsibilities include reading to patients, siblings and families in the clinic waiting areas utilizing the dialogic method and engaging families about the program.

Child Life Department: Inpatient Playroom

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts:
    • Monday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 1:30–4:30 p.m., 5:30–8:30 p.m.
    • Friday–Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 1:30–4:30 p.m.

Volunteers engage patients of all ages, siblings and families in the playroom and at the bedside to provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate play and socialization, thereby minimizing the impact of hospitalization. Mature, enthusiastic, caring and reliable volunteers need to demonstrate initiative, independence and problem solving skills. Volunteers are expected to have experience with and a passion for interacting with kids, maintain health and safety standards and keep toys and play supplies clean and stocked.

Child Life Department: Main Campus Clinic Playroom

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Weekdays only, 9 a.m.–12 p.m, 1–4 p.m.

Volunteers assist in supporting the Ambulatory Care Clinics. Mature, enthusiastic, caring and reliable volunteers are needed to provide fun, purposeful activities for siblings and patients during clinic appointments. Volunteers help maintain toys and play supplies in the playroom, checking for safety and cleaning on a regular basis.

Education Department

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts (not currently accepting new volunteers): Monday–Friday, 9:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m., or 3-hour shifts Monday–Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Volunteers in the Education Department assist teachers in providing instruction to students who participate in the hospital school program. This can include working during the morning school program that operates Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m, and also bedside instruction for selected patients under the supervision of an assigned mentor teacher. Volunteers also assist in preparing curricular materials for students to use, classroom group projects and some operations activities, such as managing clerical work.

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts: Monday–Saturday, 3-hour shifts between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Email Erin Williams for more information about applying to volunteer in the OT/PT Department.

Volunteers help transport patients to and from therapy appointments and visit with patients between therapy sessions. Volunteers also assist therapists and other staff as needed and help to maintain clean and organized therapy areas within the department. Other tasks include filing, delivering mail and cleaning toys.

Volunteers who are pursuing a career in either physical or occupational therapy may apply for the Student Volunteer Bonus Program after meeting the required amount of service hours (approximately 10 consecutive shifts) in the department. Volunteers in the Student Volunteer Bonus Program shadow a therapist for one session (1 to 3 hours) per week, outside of their already agreed-to volunteer shift, for a total of six sessions. The OT/PT Department processes Student Volunteer Bonus Program requests based on hospital census and therapist availability. Thus, there are times where we may not be able to accommodate all requests

Hospital Support Volunteer Positions (Limited Patient Interaction)

Adult volunteers (age 18+) must commit to a weekly shift for at least 100 hours over 10 consecutive months. Teen volunteers (age 16 or 17) commit to a weekly shift for at least 60 hours over 6 consecutive months.

Gift Shop

  • Minimum age: 16
  • Shifts: 3-hour weekday shifts between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and 3-hour weekend shifts between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Volunteers interact with patients and families in the hospital’s unique and fun gift shop, which raises funds for uncompensated care. This is a perfect role for people with retail or cash handling experience, those interested in a business/retail career or those who love to shop! Volunteers sell, stock and price merchandise, and keep the store clean and organized.

Messengers

  • Minimum age: 16
  • Shifts: 3-hour weekday shifts between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. and 3-hour Saturday shifts between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. No Sunday or Friday evening shifts.

Volunteers deliver flowers and gifts to patient areas, collect and distribute wheelchairs and clean stethoscopes and other equipment. Messengers also get exposure to a variety of hospital departments by supporting many different projects in the volunteer office such as packet assembly, sorting donations and other fun stuff! 

Clerical and office support

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Shifts vary by department: weekdays; limited evenings and Saturday; and no Sundays.

Assist the staff in a variety of hospital departments with clerical and office duties. Opportunities are open to volunteers who would like to gain office experience and learn new skills in a hospital environment. Available departments may include the Volunteer Office, Care Coordination and Ambulatory Services and duties may include filing and collating, answering phones, using office machines and word processing. 

Central Services

  • Minimum age: 16
  • Shifts: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., 12–3 p.m., 3–6 p.m. 

Assist hospital units and staff with receipt, storage and distribution of supplies and equipment. Assemble and/or modify products for use to meet clinician and patient needs.

Outpatient Pharmacy

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Additional requirement: Pharmacy Assistant license
  • Shifts: 3-hour shifts between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays

Pharmacy Department volunteers help pharmacy staff with prepacking medication, assembling non–patient-specific medication packets, checking for outdated medication in required areas and stocking and maintaining department supplies for areas of use by staff. Pharmacy volunteers work under supervision of a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy technician and have no patient contact.