Special Projects for Volunteers

We want you! Are you interested in helping but not able to make the commitment required to become a consistent hospital volunteer? Maybe you belong to a group like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Rotary or a church group and want to do a project together? We have many opportunities and are always open to new ones. (We have patterns for all the ideas below.)

Volunteer Services is fortunate to receive donations that make a real difference for patients and their families. Individuals and groups work with us to develop and take on special projects; the results are spectacular!

Here are some projects that may interest you or your group:

  • Make lap robes or blankets using a no sew fleece blanket pattern. A nice, warm blanket the patient may take home can brighten a room and lift spirits. 
  • Get together with your friends, craft group, as a family or by yourself and make pillowcases! Pillowcases are a terrific way to cheer up a patient and bring warmth to a hospital room! There are many different places to find free patterns on the web.
  • Collect convenience foods like snack bars, small packaged cookies, chips, single-serving fruit cups, etc. for our families in surgery or ICU waiting areas. All items must be store bought. No homemade cookies can be accepted. Maybe your church group would like to "adopt" one of our waiting rooms and provide care all year long.
  • Donate new clothing items only for our clothes closet. These will be given to patients who may have had their clothing damaged from illness or injury or who came to us by emergency vehicle. We need all ranges of sizes but we especially need L to 4XL sizes of sweatshirts and elastic waist sweat pants, socks, warm coats, and men's/women's underwear. A big need is shoes! We would love to give someone a new pair of inexpensive, basic tennis shoes so they do not need to leave in their hospital socks. 
  • Donate phone cards so that families and patients can keep in touch while they are away from home. Or donate new phone chargers and phone cords for those who left home without them. 
  • Donate gift cards to be used for gas, food, or beverages. Our social workers will share these with patients and family members who are in need. Sometimes receiving a gift card for food can make a huge difference for families that have traveled from states away to be with their loved ones. 
  • Donate DVD movies (not children's movies) or books for our Patients' Library in the Volunteer Services office. We share books and movies with patients all around the hospital. 
  • Do you have a game system you would like to donate? We have requests nearly every day from our long-term cancer and transplant patients who would love to use a video game system to help pass the time.
  • Donate up-to-date magazines to be distributed to our waiting rooms and clinics. 
  • Handmade soft hats for chemotherapy patients are always welcome! 
  • Knit or crochet hats for our newborns. How about a cute holiday hat for Christmas or Halloween? Please limit hats to newborn size. Check the web for many different free patterns or contact us for a pattern. 
  • Do you knit or crochet and want to try something different? Do you have an interest in supporting breast cancer survivors? Consider making breast prosthetics to be distributed through our clinics. 
  • We always love receiving new, handmade knitted, quilted, or crocheted blankets to wrap around our NICU babies.
  • Collect new clothing in sizes Preemie, Newborn, 3 months and 6 months for boys and girls. Socks, bottles (Dr. Brown) and diapers for some of our moms who need just a "little more" to get off to a good start. We will put together "Going home" bags.
  • We would love to have a group (knitting or crocheting) meet here at the hospital on weekly basis! We will supply the space and beverages if you will bring yourselves and your projects for our patients and families.

You may always donate needed arts and craft items like flannel, fleece, glue sticks, batting, baby yarn, drawing & coloring books, crayons, markers, and sewing thread. Again, all of this must be new. We would love to have a few new, small stuffed animals for our patients and their children. 

Does your group have an idea? Would you like to start a walk for a particular cause? Do you have an Eagle Scout project idea? Are you part of a church group that would like to adopt a department of the hospital like transplant or heart failure?

Please email Jenny Ricklefs, Volunteer Services and Shadowing Manager at jennifer.ricklefs@uchealth.org.