College Volunteers Deliver Critical Support to Children
Project Sunshine college volunteers deliver play and activities to children in need of socialization and human connection to help them cope while they are dealing with medical challenges. Play allows children to learn, explore, and it enables them to heal. (According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is one of the most effective methods of reducing stress in kids!)
New Volunteer Opportunities during the Pandemic
In March 2020 our in-person volunteer activities were halted. But we were committed to deliver our mission, so we piloted and launched a new program: TelePlay. TelePlay connects small groups of children with trained volunteers over a HIPAA-compliant Zoom platform where they play games and activities designed by behavioral health professionals.
About College Volunteers
Project Sunshine has active college chapters on over 100 campuses nationwide. Through volunteering, college students develop leadership skills, engage in service opportunities, and raise awareness about Project Sunshine across the country. Chapters participate in volunteer program activities, organize Sending Sunshine events, and fundraise on campus to support Project Sunshine’s mission.
College Chapters engage with Project Sunshine in 3 ways:
- Provide Service opportunities (Sending Sunshine, Teleplay, Direct Service, and Collection Drives)
- Develop Leadership (Chapter Leaders, Executive Board, Committees, etc.)
- Raise Awareness (Fundraising events, collaboration with other clubs on campus, national campaigns, and university press) on campus about Project Sunshine.
By maintaining active status as a chapter, you have access to:
- Chapter Leader and Teleplay Trainings
- Chapter Technology Applications: Microsoft 365 Office, Salesforce, Zoom
- Access to a network of over 100 College Chapters across the country
- Sending Sunshine Materials
- T-shirts, Promotional and Marketing Items
The Process for Becoming a College Volunteer
We are committed to making the training accessible and time manageable to you, our volunteers, while also ensuring that you are well-prepared to engage with an important and vulnerable population. Here is what to expect from the college volunteer application process:
- Complete college volunteer online application for the college you are enrolled in.
- Chapter Leader for your college chapter will be in touch to schedule training.
- Participate in a scheduled new volunteer training led by your college chapter.
- Participate in a minimum of two TelePlay practice sessions.
- Engage with chapter in other ways: fundraising, Sending Sunshine and other chapter events.
For over 20 years, Project Sunshine served children during hospitals stays. Now, for the first time, we are building direct relationships with children and families to deliver services. As we do this outreach, we will be slowly expanding the TelePlay program, and we anticipate increasing participation with both children, and volunteers over the coming year.
It may take some time between completing your training and participating in your first, live TelePlay session. However, we would like to invite you to join us in building this innovative program! If there is delay after you complete your training and practice sessions, we invite you to serve as an ambassador to let families know about TelePlay as a free resource. You’ll receive our outreach materials after you complete the training.
Our team has currently paused accepting new college applications. We will resume with new college chapter applications in September 2021. Thank you for your interest! You can continue to support us by starting a fundraising campaign..
To learn more, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or set-up a meeting through Calendly to speak directly to our College Volunteer Engagement Coordinator.
FAQs - Prospective College Volunteers
How can I become a college volunteer?
What is the age requirement to volunteer with Project Sunshine?
How can I find out if there is already an active college chapter at my school?
Is there a minimum time commitment?
We ask all college volunteers to commit to at least one academic year. Many College volunteers go beyond to volunteer their entire postsecondary career and transition to our Community Volunteer Program to serve as a community volunteer after graduation.
After I submit my college volunteer application what’s next?
Your application submission is received by the respective chapter you chose to join. You can expect to hear from the chapter about New Volunteer training you must complete prior to partaking in volunteer programming. If you don’t hear from the chapter within 2 weeks from the date you submitted your college volunteer application contact us so we can connect you with the chapter via their Project Sunshine chapter email.
Will I receive volunteer training?
Project Sunshine trains all college chapter leaders either in our office or virtually. Who will than train their chapter executive board and volunteers.
Do I have to undergo a background check?
Project Sunshine does not require college volunteers to undergo a background check unless they are a Chapter Leader or Co-Chapter Leader. If you are a college volunteer with a chapter that partners with a medical facility who requires volunteers to undergo a background check then you will need to abide by the policies & procedures of that specific medical facility.
Can Project Sunshine verify my volunteer hours?
Can medical students volunteer with project sunshine?
Project Sunshine welcomes all students who are pursuing a medical or medical related degree &/or certificate to volunteer with us. In fact, we have a number of medical schools who participate in the college volunteer program across the country. It is a great opportunity to get to know pediatric patients outside of clinical rotations.
How do I learn more about Project Sunshine Volunteer Programs?
Check here to learn more about our volunteer programs
FAQs - Prospective College Chapter Leaders
How do I establish a college chapter at my school if there is not one?
Check here to see if there is an active college chapter at your school. If not, contact us to request a college chapter leader application to start the process. Establishing or Reinstating a college chapter requires a chapter leader and Co-chapter leader to share the responsibilities of running a chapter.
How long does the Chapter Leader Application process take?
The application process typically can take between 1-3 months due to the high volume of interest we receive from individuals who wish to start a chapter at their school.
What is the minimum commitment for Chapter Leaders to serve?
Chapter Leaders are required to serve one academic year and may serve longer.
Will I receive Professional Development as a Chapter Leader?
Project Sunshine provides ongoing Professional Development to all Chapter Leaders and Co-Chapter Leaders during the duration of their undergraduate or graduate studies. We require Chapter Leaders and Co-Chapter Leaders to complete trainings such as New Volunteer; TelePlay and In-Hospital safety, etc. Project Sunshine provides and will teach all college chapters how to use technology applications such as Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Zoom.
What resources are provided from Project Sunshine to College Chapters?
- Chapter Support and Trainings
- Technology Applications: Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Zoom
- College Chapter Resources
- T-Shirts, Promotional and Marketing Items
- Access to a Network of over 100 College Chapters across the country
How do we pay for things?
College chapters are allowed to fundraise to cover expenses in accordance with their school policies and procedures. Chapters also have access to available resources from their school.
Do I have to reach out to a medical facility to develop a partnership?
Project Sunshine will conduct outreach and develop partnerships with medical facilities across the country. College Chapters are partnered with a medical facility in their home state and introduced to a facility point of contact. If you have a contact at a medical facility you want to partner with please document their information in your application.
How do I learn more about the College Volunteer Program?
FAQs - TelePlay
What is Project Sunshine TelePlay Program?
Project Sunshine’s TelePlay program is a live play experience, using a HIPAA compliant technology platform. TelePlay provides developmentally appropriate, engaging activities and games led by volunteers, including skilled volunteers like artists and musicians, and is open to any child facing medical challenges in or out of the hospital.
What is the difference between Chapter and National TelePlay?
- Chapter Teleplay occurs with a medical facility the college chapter is partnered with. Sessions are open to children and families at the chapters specific partner medical facility.
- National Teleplays are scheduled by both college and community chapters who may or may not have a hospital partner. Sessions are open to any pediatric patient, across the nation whether they are in or out of a medical facility.
What type of TelePlay activities are available during a session?
Project Sunshine provides college chapters with TelePlay resources to meet the needs of Pediatric patients. From Bingo, Jeopardy to Trivia, there are activities to accommodate and engage all children of all ages and their families.
When are TelePlay sessions scheduled?
College Chapters schedule and host their own Teleplay sessions any day and time of the week including weekends. You can view our TelePlay National Calendar. Please note the calendar can be changed and viewed in your preferred time zone. College Chapter E-Board members and Volunteers promote their TelePlay Sessions and the national calendar through social media and personal networks to attract participants to engage with Project Sunshine TelePlay program.
How long are TelePlay sessions?
College Chapters schedule their Teleplay session for 1 hour. However, a session may end earlier or last longer than 45-60 minutes.
How many college volunteers can participate in a chapter teleplay session?
At this time TelePlay sessions are only allotted a maximum of 5 college volunteers including one-chapter E-Board member to lead TelePlay activities per session.
How many children can participate in a chapter teleplay session?
At this time TelePlay sessions are only allotted a maximum of 15 participants to join per session.
How can pediatric patients &/or children signup for a TelePlay Session?
Parents &/or Guardians can view the TelePlay National Calendar to register for a TelePlay session. Please note the calendar can be changed and viewed in your preferred time zone. All participants must sign a consent form before every session that assures and reinforces Project Sunshine commitment to privacy. Once participants have registered for a session an email will be sent from email@example.com with the Zoom link and passcode.
When will College chapters receive a Medical facility partner?
We are doing our best to match you to a partner medical facility for Chapter TelePlay. Currently, we do active outreach via calls, emails, and newsletters. However, we are experiencing some delays since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, pediatric healthcare facilities have undergone many changes to maintain the safety of patients, their families, and the medical staff. These changes include restrictions for visitors, volunteers, and other non-medical interactions. All healthcare facilities we have spoken to LOVE our Project Sunshine volunteers and are eager to have you return once it is safe for all. In the meantime, we are working tirelessly to bring TelePlay to facilities. We hope to get back to you as soon as we know more.
FAQs - Greek & Student Organizations
How can Greek & Student organizations support Project Sunshine?
Fundraising for Project Sunshine is a great way to support our causes and initiatives domestically and internationally. In addition, to assembling sending sunshine activity kits for our hospital partners. contact us for further details.
Can Greek & Student organizations participate in a TelePlay Sessions?
Yes, there are 3 ways to participate in a TelePlay session. First, check here to see if there is an active college chapter at your school and submit a college volunteer application. Second, check here to see if there is an active community chapter in your home state and submit a community volunteer application. Third, if there is not an active college chapter at your school and you want to collaborate with a chapter at a neighboring school contact us.