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Hospital Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about volunteering at St. Jude.

Hospital Volunteer FAQs

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at St. Jude.  We look forward to helping you find the best role to support the hospital's mission: Finding cures. Saving children.

Before beginning the application process, please familiarize yourself with the answers to our frequently asked questions. If you don't see an answer to your specific question, please contact us at


Onsite Hospital Volunteer Requirements

    • Individual volunteers must be at least 18 years old and not enrolled in high school.

  1. Yes. You must live within 50 miles of the hospital in order to volunteer. Our fundraising organization, ALSAC, has opportunities for people outside of the Memphis metropolitan area. 

    Find volunteer opportunities near you.

  2. There can be a significant amount of training needed to become a St. Jude hospital volunteer. Because of this, we ask that all volunteers make at least an eight-month commitment, which includes three or more two-hour to four-hour shifts each month.

  3. No. The hospital and its fundraising arm have two separate volunteer programs. Lots of hospital volunteers also fundraise for St. Jude through various events, but those activities do not count toward your volunteer commitment. We count on hospital volunteers for long-term support, while fundraising activities are often single day or short-term campaigns or events. 

    • Flu vaccination during flu season (September-April) and annually
    • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) 
    • Varicella (chicken pox)
    • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) 
    • Tuberculosis (TB) screening and clearance
  4. Yes. In order to be a hospital volunteer, you must satisfactorily pass a criminal background check.

  5. Because of the time commitment required, we encourage you to apply for onsite volunteer opportunities at St. Jude once you have a better idea of your work schedule and availability. However, there are other ways to help while you find a permanent schedule. Discover more ways to get involved.

  6. We look forward to welcoming you into the St. Jude volunteer family. However, all volunteers at St. Jude must have a permanent address within 50 miles of the hospital.  Learn how you can get involved with St. Jude in your current community for now. 


Hospital Volunteer Application Process

  1. All hospital volunteers at St. Jude must:  

    1. Complete an online application
    2. Complete required paperwork
    3. Complete health screenings and pass a background check
    4. Attend an orientation session
  2. No. We do not require a donation or fee to be a St. Jude hospital volunteer. Many of our volunteers are also donors to the hospital's lifesaving mission, but it is not a requirement. 

  3. Once we receive your application, it could be between one to three weeks before you receive an email inviting you to orientation or informing you of your application status.

  4. It takes the average volunteer approximately one month from their orientation to begin their weekly volunteer shift. 


Hospital Volunteer Opportunities

  1. In addition to making a positive impact on St. Jude patients and families, all St. Jude hospital volunteers receive:

    • Free parking 

    • $8.00 to spend in the Kay Kafe each day you volunteer

    • A 20% discount in the St. Jude Gift Shop

    •  Invitation to an annual recognition event

    •  Letter of statement of service hours available upon request after minimum commitment is achieved

  2. Volunteers at St. Jude provide support to patients, families, and staff in a variety of opportunities. Examples of volunteer activities include supporting caregivers, playing games with patients and organizing toys used by families during their time at St. Jude.

  3. Yes, after you have demonstrated a commitment to one specific one long-term role. We assign volunteer placements based on the current needs of the hospital, along with our volunteer’s availability, interests, and talents. Each volunteer is trained for a specific role. If you have demonstrated a commitment to long-term volunteering at St. Jude , we will work with you to add an additional or new volunteer role when you are ready for a new challenge.

  4. St. Jude does not have a baby-rocking program. However, some volunteers, under the supervision of St. Jude staff, interact with children of all age groups, including infants.

  5. No. Volunteer Services does not facilitate any internships, externships, observing or shadowing experiences at St. Jude.  If you are looking for a formal pre-doctoral internship, check out these educational and training opportunities.

  6. All volunteers are required to commit to eight months of continuous service, which includes three or more four-hour shifts each month. There may be opportunities for short-term volunteer projects through our fundraising organization, ALSAC. 

  7. No. Applying to volunteer at St. Jude is a process that typically takes several months. 

    You may find immediate volunteer opportunities with our fundraising organization, ALSAC, which hosts events around the country or at the following organizations in Memphis: 

  8. St. Jude does not offer volunteer opportunities for court-ordered service.