VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES - information, guidelines, and application
"Thank you for taking an interest in eamf. Volunteers are an integral part of our success and we value each and every one of you. It is a special kind of person who carves time out of a busy schedule to spend time with a child in need. I am honored to welcome you to our team and look forward to working with you."
- Elizabeth MacDonald, Founder / President
eamf is the first and only non-profit devoted solely to supporting the siblings of children battling serious health crises. The role of the volunteer is to Shine the Light of awareness and acceptance on these siblings by giving them the much needed individual attention and encouragement to help them process the intense emotions and enormous stress related to their brother’s or sister’s illness and the changes in their family structure.
information and guidelines
If I sign up, how many hours am I required to volunteer each month?
eamf does not require volunteers to commit to a mandatory number of hours. We are aware that your time is valuable and want your participation to be as much or as little as your schedule allows.
How will I know where and when volunteer opportunities are available?
Once you sign up, your email address will be added to our volunteer list. When a volunteer opportunity arises, eamf will send out a group notice with the date/time/location usually ten days before the event so that you can plan accordingly. If you are available and would like to join the event, all you need to do is hit the RSVP button. A confirmation email will be sent to you with all pertinent information.
What do I wear?
We ask that you be mindful in your dress, as we are working in pediatric environments. Gym or closed-toe shoes are required. You will be given an eamf Sibling Supporter T-shirt at your first event that you can throw on over your clothes. We ask that you wear the T-shirt every time you volunteer for eamf.
Where do I park?
Most hospitals and facilities that eamf works at have convenient parking lots/structures. eamf will pay for your parking. You will be given a voucher at the end of the event.
How will I know what to do when I get there?
The Volunteer Coordinator will greet you and give you a rundown of the event and what your particular tasks will be. You will be paired with one or two siblings for the evening. Your biggest responsibility is to give these children encouragement and attention… making them feel special and important. (Check out our website to get a better idea of just how important your volunteering can be to these children.)
Are there any rules I should be aware of?
eamf follows the basic HIPPA rules. When talking with the siblings, you are not allowed to ask any personal health questions about their sibling’s illness. If the child brings it up, you can listen and be supportive, but you cannot prompt personal information. More appropriate conversations/questions would be: What is you favorite Sport? Disney princess? Color? Movie? TV show? Subject in school? Etc. If you need more guidance while at an event, please ask the Volunteer Coordinator.
HIPPA laws also state that you are not allowed to share personal contact information or social media handles or promise to visit the children outside of eamf events.
Anything else I need to do while at the event?
- Please help with any setup and cleanup necessary.
- Make sure that you are present with your sibling(s) and not on your phone or huddling and talking with the other volunteers.
- Do not let your sibling(s) out of your sight. They are not allowed to leave without their parent escorting them.
- When a child needs to go to the bathroom, protocol calls for two volunteers to take them. Ask the Volunteer Coordinator or an available volunteer to assist you.
- When the event involves glue guns, scissors, or any items that could cause harm, be mindful and take the lead in handling these items or assisting the children, keeping them out of any danger.
Can I take pictures with the children and post them on social media?
The event volunteer coordinator will inform you if taking pictures is allowed, as some hospitals and health facilities forbid the taking of pictures. If allowed, eamf absolutely loves seeing your social media posts. If you choose to post, please follow the following guidelines:
- If siblings are in photos, please blur out nametags as well as hospital or facility stickers/badges. We need to respect the privacy of children and their families.
- Do not tag or check-in at whatever facility you may be volunteering at, i.e. Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House. This is also in respect of HIPPA rules.
- Instagram handle: @eamf_org
- Twitter Handle: @eamf_org
- Facebook: Elizabeth A MacDonald Charitable Foundation
- Hashtags we like: #SOS, #ShineOnSiblings, #eamf
What if I wake up on the morning of an event and I’m sick?
Hospitals and health facilities have strict guidelines about not entering if you have a fever, cough, or runny nose, or are feeling sick. Contact eamf as soon as possible in order for us to find a replacement.
What if I have to work or just can’t make it after saying that I would?
We totally understand the complexities of life getting in the way. Again, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible to make sure that we have enough volunteers at each event.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Besides wearing your eamf T-shirt, the only thing you need is a positive attitude, a big smile, and a willingness to make a difference in a young life.
I’m in…so what’s next?
Fill out the Volunteer Application below, and your name will be added to our list of amazing volunteers. You will be receiving a notice about our next Sibling Only event, so keep a lookout for an email from the Elizabeth A MacDonald Charitable Foundation.