Wawa Volunteer Services

Wawa volunteer services logo It takes a team to heal a child, and hospital volunteers are an essential part of that effort. Whether playing with children during waiting times, greeting visitors or helping families find their way through the halls, the volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) make a difference providing a special human connection that often eases the stress for patients and families going through difficult times.

CHOP assigns volunteer positions based on the current needs of the hospital along with the volunteer’s availability, interests and skill sets. Due to the high interest in CHOP’s volunteer programs, we strive to select compassionate, enthusiastic individuals who are committed to making a difference.

CHOP employees and contractors: If you're a current CHOP employee or contractor who's interested in volunteering, email us at Volunteers@CHOP.edu.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have an array of volunteer opportunities available to support patients, families, visitors, and staff throughout the CHOP network. Opportunities include staffing the Wawa Coffee and Care Cart, supporting the patient and family experience, or assisting our nursing and child life teams. Volunteer placements are based on the needs of the hospital. Applicants will learn more about these placements during the application process. Please see below to learn more about our volunteer programs and how to apply!

Traditional Volunteer Program

  • Volunteers are 18 years and older
  • One year commitment (12 consecutive months)
  • 3-4 hour fixed weekly shift (shifts are currently Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm, with limited evening and weekend shifts)
  • Volunteer positions are located at CHOP’s Philadelphia Campus and King of Prussia Campus.
  • Sign-up here to learn more and apply

College & Graduate Volunteer Program

  • Volunteers are enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or medical school program, and follow a semester-based schedule. Volunteer positions are located at CHOP’s Philadelphia Campus and King of Prussia Campus.
  • Volunteers must serve at least 2 consecutive Semesters (for example, Fall and Spring semesters, or Spring and Fall semesters with a Summer break).
  • Volunteers must be able to commit to a 4 hour fixed weekly shift (shifts are currently Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm).
  • Sign-up here to apply and attend one of our virtual information sessions to learn more.

Summer Volunteer Program

  • Volunteers are high school and college students ages 16 and over.
  • Applications for the 2023 Summer Volunteer Program are now closed.

Volunteer Requirements

For the safety of our patients and families, we require all volunteers to meet the health requirements and background checks listed below. We offer no exemptions. 

Required Health Clearances

CHOP Volunteer Services will provide applicants with instructions and will cover costs associated with these clearances through CHOP’s Occupational Health Office.

  1. COVID-19 vaccination
  2. Flu vaccination during flu season (September-April)
  3. Proof of immunity (vaccination, immunization record, or titer bloodwork)
    • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
    • Varicella (Chicken Pox)
    • Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis)
  4. TB screening

Required Clearances

CHOP Volunteer Services will provide applicants with instructions and will cover costs associated with these background checks through our vendor, Sterling. These background checks must be completed through our background check vendor, Sterling.

To be considered for the volunteer program applicants will need to complete the required Pennsylvania background checks to volunteer with children. These clearances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • PA Child Abuse History Clearance
  • PA State Police Criminal Clearance
  • FBI Fingerprinting Clearance 

Pet Therapy Volunteer Program

For adults interested in volunteering with their registered canine, visit the Gerald B. Shreiber Pet Therapy Program for information. Please note, pet therapy volunteers must be available once per month.

Reach Out and Read Volunteer Program

Some of CHOP’s Primary Care Centers have Reach Out and Read (ROR), a national pediatric early literacy program. In exam rooms during the newborn through 5-year-old well visits, ROR medical providers (primary care physicians and nurse practitioners) incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud, early relational health and language development and giving brand-new, culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate books to the young patients.

Volunteer Opportunity: In the waiting room at some Reach Out and Read (ROR) sites (outpatient CHOP Primary Care Centers), volunteers are needed to engage children of any age and families with books and or reading aloud.  Volunteers also offer patient families to choose a donated gently used children's book to take home and keep.  Reach Out and Read volunteer positions are located at some outpatient CHOP Primary Care Centers in West and South Philadelphia, Southeastern PA and New Jersey.  Please note, there are no ROR volunteer opportunities at the CHOP buildings located at CHOP’s Main Campus on Civic Center Boulevard in Philadelphia.

Volunteer Commitment: 1-3 hour fixed weekly shift for 12 months (one year). Depending on the location, placements are available Monday-Thursday mornings, afternoons, and evenings, Friday mornings and early afternoon, and Saturday mornings.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers are required to meet hospital medical clearance requirements and criminal background check clearances. Please see above for the hospital volunteer requirements. Clearance requirements may vary depending on the state where volunteers are placed (PA or NJ).

Next Steps: Please complete this form to express interest in applying to become a Reach Out and Read volunteer. We will contact you to discuss the program and ensure it’s a good fit for you and CHOP before applying to volunteer.

Questions? Please email reachoutandread@chop.edu

Other ways to support CHOP

Interested in knowing all the ways you could support CHOP? Learn about how you can make a difference in our care for patients and their families:


Contact us: 215-590-1093 and volunteers@chop.edu.