Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland support our patients, families, and staff in so many ways. Our Volunteers provide comfort, support, and assistance in more than 100 assignments in more than 70 different areas. We hope to help you find the volunteer journey that best matches your skills and experience with the needs identified by our staff.

Below you'll find a list of our most common volunteer opportunities:

Art While You Wait

  • Create coloring/arts & crafts activities for patients and siblings in Emergency, Urgent Care, Diagnostic Imaging and Orthopedics waiting areas.
  • This is a service area with a truly flexible schedule, including weekends and evenings

Artist-in-Residence Assistants

  • Support art activities in our Teen Lounge and School Room
  • Assignments are available during the week
  • Child Life Training is required

Book Cart

  • Deliver books to outpatients and families
  • Clean and stock book carts and return them to various waiting areas and parent lounges throughout the hospital
  • This is a service area with a truly flexible schedule, including weekends and evenings

Children's Surgery Center

  • Provide a supportive environment for children awaiting surgery and their families
  • Support staff with by running errands and assisting with clerical tasks
  • Escort discharged patients

Clerical-Medical Clerical

  • Provide administrative support for departments: this assignment may include phones, copying, filing, and data entry
  • Volunteers must be able to serve during weekday business hours 

Emergency Department:

  • Assist Emergency Department staff by running errands, replenishing supplies and supporting patients and families
  • Shifts are available 24/7
  • Emergency Department Training and one-to-one mentoring required
  • Previous Children’s volunteer experience or professional medical experience required
  • Minimum one-year commitment

Family Information & Navigation Desk

  • Connect families with community resources to support the health of the whole family
  • Support ongoing research into the social determinants of health
  • Separate application and interview required for this assignment

Family Resource & Information Center

  • Greet and assist families seeking information on illnesses, child development, and nutrition
  • Assist with special programs
  • Shifts are available Monday-Friday, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Child Life Department Training required

Floor Volunteer—Playroom & Teen Lounge

  • Assist Child Life staff with providing a supportive and therapeutic recreational environment for hospitalized child in the playroom or teen lounge and at bedside
  • Playroom shifts: Monday - Friday: 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Teen Lounge shifts: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Child Life Department Training required

Gift Shop

  • Assist manager with sales, helping families and staff select gifts, delivering gifts and balloons to patients, and sorting and displaying merchandise
  • Shifts are available Monday - Friday between 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


  • Provide incoming patients and families with assistance regarding directions and help guide patients and families to their destinations
  • Shifts are available daily, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: NICU: Not currently available

  • Hold and comfort fragile newborns and babies
  • A few openings every 3-5 years
  • Extensive training required
  • This opportunity is not available to new volunteers

Parent Infant Program

  • Assist staff with activities and interactions that provide support and developmental guidance for families with infants and toddlers with developmental delays
  • Located near Jack London Square in Oakland
  • Additional interview required

Paw Providers Pet Therapy Dog Program

Pet owners accepted as members of our Paw Providers Team are registered pet therapy volunteers. With their dogs, they provide emotional and healing support to our patients in our main hospital and clinics.

Find more information at: Paw Providers Pet Therapy Team

Pediatric Rehabilitation

  • Assist staff with clerical tasks, clean materials and interact with patients and families as appropriate
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy are combined in this department
  • Shifts are available Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Child Life Department Training required

School Program

  • Assist OUSD teachers by tutoring, playing games and reading to patients in the hospital classroom or at bedside
  • Students in K-12 are served by our school program
  • Shifts are available, Monday - Friday: 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Child Life Department Training required

Sports Medicine: Oakland, San Ramon & Walnut Creek

  • Clean materials and interact with patients and families as appropriate
  • Assist staff with clerical tasks
  • Shifts are available, Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Saturday, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM 

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Volunteer Opportunities