Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: I’ve heard that collecting pull-tabs from soda cans can help provide chemotherapy or dialysis treatments. Does Arkansas Children's Hospital participate in such a program?

    A: No. Charity groups like Arkansas Children's Hospital, and the aluminum industry, have been fighting these rumors for years. Sadly, this is a good-hearted, but untrue myth that has been around for so long that urban legend researchers have a hard time pinpointing how and when it actually started. You may donate the proceeds from recycling aluminum cans (not just pull-tabs), but we are unable to accept actual pull-tabs or cans.

    Q: May I come perform at the hospital?

    A: Click here for information on special entertainers.

    Q: May I deliver my gifts/donations directly to a patient?

    A: We are sorry, but because of concerns for the patient's privacy, infection control and security, donors are not permitted to visit patient floors. Please be assured that our patients are appreciative of your donation.

    Q: Can I donate food?

    A: No food (including candy) may be given to the patients. According to the Public Health laws, all food given to patients must come from a certified kitchen. Please do not bring any edible donations to the hospital. We also ask that you not include any food with other donations.

    Q: What about used toys?

    A: Due to infection control issues and safety guidelines, we are only able to give our patients newly purchased items. It is recommended that donated items be in original packaging.

    Q: Will someone pick up my donation?

    A: Due to staffing and transportation limitations, we are not able to pick up your donations. However, in-kind donations can be mailed to Arkansas Children's Hospital, 1 Children's Way, Slot 108, Little Rock, AR 72202.

    Q: Are my donations tax-deductible?

    A: All donations will be acknowledged for your tax purposes. If you deliver your donation, fill out a Donor Form and we will mail you an acknowledgement letter. If you are sending a donation, please enclose the Donor Form, and we will mail you a letter of acknowledgment. The IRS requires that donors provide proof of the value of the donation, so we recommend you save your purchase receipt.

    Q: What items does Arkansas Children's Hospital need?

    A: Because our children come from a wide variety of religious, political, and social backgrounds, we require that all donations be religiously and politically neutral. Please visit our Guidelines for Donating Toys and Gifts and Donations for suggestions.

    Q: How do I deliver my donation?

    A: Please call the Volunteer Services office at (501) 364-1825 to inform us of your donation. You may park at the main entrance to the hospital and come in our lobby. The Welcome Center desk will direct you to the correct place. Please note that donated items must be new, and should NOT be gift-wrapped in order for us to distribute the items.

    Q: Can my group/organization/school/company come for one day and visit the children?

    A: We, as always, appreciate your generosity, however, due to patient confidentiality purposes, we cannot accommodate group volunteering. Your group may host a mock party or participate in our Comfort Food program. Please see our What’s New section for more information.

    Q: How will I be trained?

    A: Our volunteers will attend a general Volunteer and Child Life orientation and will also receive a specific departmental overview.

    Q: Once I apply, how long does it take to become a volunteer?

    A: This process can take 4-6 weeks to complete. If daytime phone numbers are given for references, an application can be processed efficiently. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our patients through a thorough screening process, as we are a children’s hospital.

    Q: I would like to volunteer because I am considering a career in health care. Will I be able to do this?

    A: Volunteers do have a wide range of contact with a variety of staff members, however, the volunteer program is not structured to provide a shadowing/observational/mentoring experience. All volunteer assignments are non-clinical.

    Q: How old do you have to be to volunteer?

    A: You must be at least 14 years old to begin volunteering at ACH. Teenagers who are at least 14 years old are invited to apply for our junior volunteer program.

    Q: How do I become a volunteer?

    A: First, you will need to fill out our online application. After your application is received, we will process the paperwork. When the reference checks are complete, you will receive an invitation to the Volunteer and Child Life Orientation. At the orientation, we will schedule an interview time to meet with you and discuss appropriate placement for you in the hospital. A criminal background check is also required for all volunteers over the age of 18.

    Q: When do you need volunteers?

    A: Our greatest need for volunteers is Monday-Friday before 6 p.m. Limited evening and weekend placements are available.

    Q: Who are our volunteers?

    A: Adult Volunteers

    • Must be 18 or older
    • Are welcome to begin at any time during the year
    • Are requested to make a minimum commitment of three months (36 hours)

    Junior Volunteers

    • Are 14-18 years old
    • High school community service project students must call the Volunteer Services office at (501) 364-1825 for specific details and guidelines.
    • See Junior Volunteers/Program Dates for specific deadlines for Junior Volunteer programs