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FAQs about Volunteering

Where is the Volunteer Services office located?
We are located on the first floor of VCU Medical Center’s Main Hospital, Room 414. You can find detailed directions here.

Is there a minimum number of hours you have to volunteer?
There is not a strict minimum number of hours required. However, we do prefer adult (non-student) volunteers commit for at least one year. College students are required to volunteer for one full semester and are encouraged to volunteer for multiple semesters.  Most volunteer assignments are a weekly commitment of two or three hours. We do understand some volunteer shifts may be missed for major holidays, official college/university breaks and closings, and certain other circumstances. 

How long does the health screening and orientation process take?
It can take several weeks to complete the necessary health screening, orientation, and criminal background checks. The timeframe for the college student program is set before each semester. For adult volunteers (non-student), our volunteer coordinator will help you through those steps once a placement has been confirmed.

Why do I have to go through all of that health screening?
We understand the health screening process does take time. For the safety of our patients, visitors, volunteers, and staff, we must follow the infection control policies of VCU Health, which are based on CDC guidelines.

I'm looking for court-ordered community service hours. Can I do them at the hospital?
We are not accepting court-ordered service at this time.

What is the minimum age requirement?
The minimum age to participate in our Junior Volunteer Program, which is a summer-only program for high school students, is 14-years-old. Younger individuals may be able to participate in Virtual Volunteer projects.

Can I volunteer in the evening or on weekends?
Yes, some units do need help in the evenings or weekends. Those opportunities are very popular, and Volunteer Services will talk with you about what is available.

What should I do if I get sick and cannot volunteer?
If you are unable to volunteer due to an injury or illness, please follow the instructions given by Volunteer Services and/or your assignment supervisor to remove yourself from the schedule or contact us as soon as possible. Your supervisor contact information is on the assignment description Volunteer Services gave you, or is available from the Volunteer Services office.

Once I complete orientation and health screening can I continue to volunteer as long as I like?
Yes, as long as you remain in good standing, we would like to have you as a volunteer as long as possible. You will be required to complete annual education requirements once a year, and to have an annual flu vaccine. There may be additional annual, periodic, or one-time requirements depending on the volunteer program and/or volunteer assignment.

If I don’t like where I am volunteering, can I change assignments?
We want all of our volunteers to find their assignments meaningful and enjoyable. If you are not satisfied, please speak to a Volunteer Services staff member and we’ll work with you to fix the problem or try to help you find another area that has availability.

I would like to donate items to the hospital, what should I do?
We appreciate your generosity, and will gladly accept donations. Most items must be new, but we do accept gently-used books for adults and (recent) magazines in good condition. Please see more information here or contact the Volunteer Services office to inform us of your donation and to discuss drop-off options.