Pet Visitation Volunteer
Charlotte Rippel disliked dogs with a passion: “My philosophy was dogs poop, pee and destroy things—why would you want one?” explained the elementary school teacher. But when someone was giving away a year-old cocker spaniel, the committed dog-hater took the animal home—to the overwhelming shock of her husband. Named “Copper,” the 28 lb. dog quickly became a much-loved and important part of his new owner’s life—and when Charlotte became a pet visitation volunteer at St. Jude Medical Center, he began winning the hearts of hundreds of patients as well. Upon hearing she is a volunteer, the first reaction of friends and acquaintances is often: Isn’t it depressing to visit people in the hospital? But Charlotte says the exact opposite is true. “I come away feeling so uplifted,” explains Charlotte, a two-year veteran of the pet visitation program. “Copper and I love going to the hospital—we look forward to it all week.”
Become a Hospital Volunteer
St. Jude Medical Center is honored to have over 800 volunteers annually, providing non-clinical support to patients, visitors and staff. Our volunteers assist more than 60 departments, from escorting patients and visitors throughout the hospital to running internal errands, providing clerical support, and more. Volunteers also help in a variety of off-site locations, such as the St. Jude Medical Plaza, Knott Family Endoscopy Center, and the Outpatient Testing Center.
Volunteers must make a one-year commitment, with a minimum of 100 hours of service. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities and orientation information, please fill out the below form to email our Volunteer Services Department. Please note the following:
- If you are in high school or are enrolled in college, please inquire about our student volunteer program. Student shifts begin at 4 p.m. Monday - Friday, and as early as 7 a.m. on the weekends. The minimum age requirement to volunteer is 15 years old and you must be at least a sophomore in high school.
- Adults who are not enrolled in college should inquire about the Guild volunteer program. Shifts are typically Monday - Friday, beginning as early as 6 a.m., through 4 p.m.
St. Jude Medical Center and St. Jude Memorial Foundation in Fullerton, California, are not associated with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.