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Cubs players visiting teen patient Chicago Cubs players Michael Wuertz and Mike Fontenot visiting a teen patient

At the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, our volunteers are true stars - exceptional individuals who take the extra steps that make a difference in a child's life. They deliver mail, books, or magazines to hospitalized children. They comfort families who are worried about loved ones. Through deeds large and small, volunteers help patients and their families feel better during difficult times.

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Ways to Volunteer


Cubs player visiting young patient Chicago Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson visiting a patient at Comer Children's Hospital

At Comer Children’s Hospital, children enjoy playing games with volunteers. Playful activities offer kids a safe and fun escape from illness, tests and treatments. When a child is too ill to leave the hospital room, volunteers bring toys and games to the child's bedside.

Baby Cuddling

After completing 40 hours of service in the Comer Children’s Hospital Playroom and receiving a recommendation from staff, volunteers can cuddle babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) to provide comfort and aid in their development. Volunteer baby cuddlers must be 18 years of age or older.

Forefront Stitchers

The Forefront Stitchers knit, crochet and stitch items for patients at the University of Chicago Medicine. They make caps for cancer patients of all ages and for other patients who have hair loss caused by a medical condition. They also make prayer/healing shawls and lap blankets for cancer patients and for women who have been admitted to the hospital with high-risk pregnancies. Additionally, the Forefront Stichers make blankets and caps for babies in the intensive care nursery.
» Learn how you can help

Donate Blood

The need for blood affects us all. Nine out of every 10 people will need blood at some point in their life and a constant supply of blood is necessary for the life-saving treatments needed by many patients here at the University of Chicago. Donating blood is a simple, meaningful way to help support our patients.

In order to donate blood you must be feeling well and have eaten a meal before your donation. The donation process takes under an hour, including a confidential health screening and blood collection. Juice and snacks are available after your donation, and a food court voucher or parking validation is our small way of saying thanks for your generosity.

Donating blood saves lives. Please call the donor room at (773) 702-6247 for more information or to make an appointment, or come to room 5G in the Center for Advanced Medicine for your donation. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on all other weekdays.

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How to Join Our Volunteer Team

boy in a wagon.

Consider becoming a volunteer at the University of Chicago Medicine. To become a volunteer, your first step is to submit an application. We will contact you within three weeks after receiving your application to set up an interview.

Download a volunteer application and begin your path to volunteering (PDF)

You must be in good health, willing to commit to four hours of service per week, and at least 16 years old. Volunteer candidates must complete an application and interview, and must pass health-screening tests for tuberculosis, measles, German measles, chickenpox, and illegal drugs.

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Why Volunteer?

Most volunteers say that the personal fulfillment that comes from helping another person is their greatest reward. Other volunteers look forward to the new friendships and camaraderie they share with fellow volunteers. Still others enjoy learning new skills.

In appreciation of the work and time our volunteers contribute, the University of Chicago Medicine offers benefits to volunteers, including:

  • Free parking in the visitors' garage
  • Annual Volunteers Recognition Banquet
  • Free health screenings
  • Free skills training in volunteer work area

Note: Volunteers do not take the place of salaried staff at the University of Chicago. Volunteer service is not intended in any way to lead to paid employment.

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Contact Us

Volunteer Services
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
Room M-133
Phone: (773) 702-4421

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The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital  |   5721 S. Maryland Avenue   |   Chicago, IL 60637