Skip to main content

Basic Requirements to Provide a Special Event

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital requires groups to meet several basic requirements in order to sponsor a special event at the hospital.

  1. Patient Special Event requests are made to the Child Life program by submitting the application form.

  2. All groups are screened in advance by the Patient Special Events Committee.

  3. A hospital representative will be assigned to host each group throughout the visit.

  4. All guests must be at least 16 years old, and 16-18 year olds must be chaperoned by an adult sponsor of their group.

  5. Group size is limited to 10 people as not to be overwhelming to the patients.

  6. Please limit the length of events to 30-45 minutes.

  7. Create ways for patients of all abilities to become actively involved.

  8. Toys or favors will be screened in advance for safety and appropriateness.  Stuffed animals and used items cannot be accepted. Please do not bring latex balloons, candles, knives, toy guns, water guns or other unsafe materials. Please avoid items that are small enough to go into a mouth or anything with small removable pieces. Please bring at least 60 items so there are enough for all patients and siblings.

  9. Due to patients’ dietary restrictions, please do not bring food into the hospital, as it will not be distributed.

  10. Media coverage of events is prohibited since it can create more stress for patients and families.

  11. Your group may NOT take photographs or videos during the visit because of patient confidentiality issues.

  12. The presentation should be religiously, politically, ethnically and culturally tolerant because we have patients from many different backgrounds. Presentations should not contain threatening themes such as death, medical procedures/personnel, and illness.

  13. Any person exposed to contagious diseases (chicken pox, shingles, hepatitis, measles, mumps, pink eye, etc.) in the past four weeks or had flu-like symptoms (vomiting, rash, fever, diarrhea, etc.) in the past two weeks or fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of the event is asked NOT to visit. For children with weak immune systems, even a cold can be life-threatening.

  14. Frequent hand washing is very important when working with patients. Please wash your hands for a minimum of 10 seconds using soap and water both before and after each patient contact.

  15. The activities must be well-planned and provide fun and entertainment for our patients. They should be long enough to make it worth the effort some patients have to go through to get out of bed with IVs, etc. Note: These children are sick and we never know how many will feel like coming to a event, but please don’t let this discourage you. You can expect anywhere between 2-20 patients to attend most events. However, supplies should be available for the 60 in the hospital that day.

  16. Your interest and concern for our patients must be limited to the hospital visit. Please do not exchange phone numbers or addresses. Confidentiality is of utmost importance. Please do not make promises to a child, for you do not know if they can be fulfilled.

  17. Dress comfortably and appropriately for children in a hospital. No shorts, tank tops, low-cut blouses, or sandals.