Frequently Asked Volunteering Questions

Below are some common questions we receive about volunteering at Memorial Hospital of South Bend. If your question is not answered here or you need additional information, please contact the Ambassador Services office during normal business hours.

Q: How do I get started on the path to volunteering at Memorial?

A: You will need to attend New Ambassador Orientation, complete the required paperwork, and turn in some medical information. Once this is complete we will schedule an interview, then run a background check before assigning you to your service area.

Q: Do I have to RSVP to attend the scheduled New Ambassador Orientations? ~ No, we just ask that you arrive on time or a few minutes early.

A: Do I need to come to both session 1 and session 2 of orientation? Yes, you need to attend both session 1 and session 2, as they each cover completely different information.

Q: Is there a minimum volunteering requirement?

A: Yes, new ambassadors are expected to volunteer a minimum of 50 hours.

Q: How often do I need to volunteer?

A: We ask for a minimum of one time per week for a 3 - 4 hour shift, the same day and same time each week. You are welcome to volunteer more than one shift if you have available time. Summer only new ambassadors have to commit to at least two 3 hour shifts per week for the summer.

Q: I have a bright 12 year old son who wants to be a doctor. How can he become a volunteer at Memorial?

A: At this time we are only able to onboard 18 year old and older ambassadors. However, high school students between the ages of 15 - 18 can inquire about attending Mini Medical University for Teens, a wonderful one of a kind learning experience for high school students that also opens the door to volunteering at Memorial. Please see the MMU webpage for further details.

Q: I am a college student and need to complete some volunteer hours for my resume or application for grad school. Will you write me a letter of recommendation?

A: We will happily write you a letter of recommendation after you complete the minimum 50 hours of volunteer time provided you have been a reliable, courteous, and friendly ambassador. We are not able to write letters of recommendation until you have at least completed 50 hours of service.

Q: I need service hours for school, can I do them at Memorial?

A: If you are 18 or older you are welcome to attend New Ambassador Orientation to get started with the process. If you are between the ages of 15 - 17, you must first complete Mini Medical University for Teens (offered in the summer) and then interview for an opportunity to volunteer at Memorial. We are happy to sign off on ambassador service hours you have completed at Memorial.

Q: Can I get a copy of my time sheets or some sort of record of when I volunteer?

A: Yes, if needed we can supply a print out of your logged times, we just ask that you give us 24 - 48 hours to complete this request. We are not in the office on the weekends, so this time frame refers to weekdays.

Q: Can I volunteer any day I want?

A: Once you have completed New Ambassador Orientation and are cleared to begin we will schedule you to a regular fixed schedule based on your available day/time and what is open on the schedule.

Q: Can I pick the service area I want?

A: Due to the high popularity of some service areas, and the limited number of ambassador shifts available, you may need to volunteer in your second or third choice service area. College students in particular sometimes change service areas after one semester, so spots do occasionally open up in various service areas.

Q: I am a working adult and only have weekends or evenings free. Is there an opportunity for me?

A: Yes, we do have limited availability on the weekends or evenings. We want you to know in advance that there are far fewer available options than if you have as little as 3 hours of free time during regular business hours Monday - Friday.

Q: Where can I volunteer at Memorial?

A: We have over 40 service areas available, so there is a wide variety of options. During the first session of orientation we will give you an opportunities sheet so you can see what is open during your available days/times. We ask that you list your top 3 choices on your application, but do not assign you to a shift until you are completely processed and cleared to volunteer. Because of this you should be sure to turn in all your requirements right away.

Q: Do I need an interview?

A: Yes, we will discuss this during New Ambassador Orientation.

Q: I just want to rock babies. Is that possible?

You are not alone. We receive many requests to rock babies, which is a wonderful and needed service. There is a waiting list for this service (River City Rockers) though, so you are welcome to go through orientation and either have your name put on the waiting list and wait for an opening, or you can volunteer in another service area until there is an opening.

Q: I have a really friendly and smart dog. Can I bring her to Memorial to visit people?

A: All the dogs who volunteer at Memorial must first be certified as therapy dogs by either Therapy Dogs International, or Pet Partners, and submit current vaccination and vet well visit records each year. Additionally their owner/handler must undergo New Ambassador Orientation before they are cleared and added as a therapy dog team.

Q: I only want to volunteer one day. Is this possible?

A: Unfortunately it is expensive to clear and train someone to volunteer in a hospital or health care setting. All volunteers must commit to a minimum of 50 hours of service unless they wish to knit or crochet prayer shawls, which can be done at home on your own schedule. You are welcome to inquire about this.

Q: I was ordered to do community service as part of a fine. Can I do my community service at Memorial?

A: We are not able to accommodate this type request.

Q: I heard that Memorial's Auxiliary offers scholarships. Is this true?

A: Yes, they have given scholarships to high school and college student ambassadors in the past. One of the requirements to obtain an application is a minimum of 100 hours of service to Memorial by December 31 each year.