Category Archives: News

2014 Volunteer Services Scholarship Winners!

Congratulations to the 2014 Volunteer Services scholarship winners!

This year, six deserving Children’s volunteers won a $1,500 scholarship toward their continuing education.

Each volunteer has put in a minimum of 250 hours of service at Children’s, has completed a scholarship application and essay, and shows up to volunteer each week with incredible drive, determination and a true passion for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Congratulations to our winners: Amanda Wanous, Nick Plimpton, Grace Scribner-O’Pray, Sarah Hovseth, Susie Wolter, and Sean Creegan.

We are thrilled to support their educational goals, and look forward to having future doctors, a future nurse and future child psychologists among us.

Volunteer Services Welcomes Karen Alderfer!


Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is excited to welcome the newest member of their Volunteer Services team: Karen Alderfer!

 What better way to get to know someone than to learn their favorite superhero??

 Karen is originally from New Jersey, but  has been living in Minnesota for the past 22 years. She started her professional career as a teacher and coordinator at a child care center. After 10 years though, it was time for a change which is when she joined a hospital team in the Volunteer Services department. She is thrilled to continue her passion for volunteer coordination with joining the Children’s team,  and we look forward to incredible teamwork!

  1. What excites you most about working at Children’s?

“It is such a positive environment, it’s contagious!  Children’s has such a great mission and I enjoy being a part of that.”

2. Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“I love to travel, run, bike, and hike.”

3. Something unique or interesting about you?

“One year I visited and hiked in all of the state parks in MN. I was gone most weekends that year!”

4. Favorite Superhero?

“Does Pippi Longstocking count?  I LOVED Pippi when I was a little girl.”

5. Do you have any pets?

“Nope, no pets.”

6. What words come to mind when you think of a volunteer?

“Inspiring, present, caring, giving, thoughtful.”

7. If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

“It would have to have pecans, caramel and chocolate for sure…throw in a few marshmallows and call it ‘Pecachma’ (from the first 2 letters of the ingredients…not some funky word!)”

Volunteer Services Welcomes (back) Ben Reed!


Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is excited to welcome (back) Minneapolis Volunteer Coordinator,

Ben Reed!


Why share his talents with Children’s? Find out below (along with other fun facts about Ben):

 What excites you most about working at Children’s?

   “The people and the culture. Knowing that each day I am making an impact, direct or indirect, on the experience that children and families have.”

 Favorite thing to do outside of work?

 “Stay current on doomsday prepping in the event of a zombie apocalypse.”

 Something unique or interesting about you?

 “I have ran the Twin Cities marathon twice. And never will, ever again.”

    Favorite Superhero?

  “Aquaman. I love fishing and fish frys, although being Aquaman may take the fun out of it.”

 Do you have any pets?

 “Two cats. Belle, who my wife named and Beluga, who I sort of named. My wife would not go for Lester or El Tigre.”

    What words come to mind when you think of a volunteer?

 “Hero, selfless, engaged.”   

 If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

 “Layers of bacon, maple breakfast sausage and chocolate, dipped and covered in chocolate. I’d call it ‘Choco-Meaty’.”

We are excited to have you back on board, to collaborate and see what endeavors are ahead!

Volunteer Services Welcomes Kristin Schumacher!

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is excited to welcome the newest member of our Volunteer Services team:  Kristin Schumacher!

 What better way to get to know Kristin than have her answer some fun questions?  Read her bio and check out her answers below!

Kristin is a past Children’s volunteer and Child Life intern! She recently moved to the cities from Duluth, where she was working as a Child Life Specialist in a Surgery department. Through her experiences in Child Life and as a volunteer, she realized the incredible importance and value of volunteers, and is thrilled to work with them in the Volunteer Services Department. Welcome back to Children’s, Kristin! 
 1. What excites you most about working at Children’s?

“The people! I am so excited to meet the staff and volunteers and work with each of them!”

2. Favorite thing to do outside of work?

“Arts and crafts! I love making cards, sewing and taking on do-it-yourself projects.”

3. Something unique or interesting about you?

“I have recently taken up hiking. This summer, I hiked to the highest point in Minnesota:  Eagle Mountain.”

4. Favorite Superhero?

“Iron Man.”

5. Do you have any pets?

“I don’t, but I LOVE animals!”

6. What words come to mind when you think of a volunteer?

“An important, enjoyable, amazing, and incredible person that I want to be around!”

7. If you could create a new candy bar, what would be in it and what would you name it?

“I would create a s’more-style candy bar with marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and peanut butter. I would call it ‘S’more, Please!’”

Welcome to the team, Kristin! We are excited for you to share your talents and get to know the staff & volunteers at Children’s!

Sneak Peek: National Volunteer Recognition Week, April 21-27!

Volunteer Services is looking forward to celebrating with volunteers and staff for next week’s National Volunteer Recognition Week! All over the country, this week is a great opportunity for those impacted by the work of volunteers to say thanks!

Here at Children’s, we have lots of fun photos, volunteer stories, and other surprises planned for the week!

Here’s just a peek at what’s in store:

-Treats for volunteers in our Minneapolis & St. Paul offices
-Open Houses recognizing the staff who support volunteers
(St. Paul Volunteer Services office (L-297), Wednesday, 11 am-1 pm/Minneapolis Volunteer Services office (B-700), Thursday, 11 am- 1 pm)
-Daily blog posts with a variety of volunteer stories
-Television ‘Shout Out’s’ to 2 fantastic Children’s Hospital volunteers on KARE 11! Watch for these highlights Saturday, April 20th during the 8 o’clock hour, and on Monday, April 22nd during the 4 o’clock program! KARE 11 will highlight volunteers across the Twin Cities all week in celebration, we’re excited to be a part of the fun!
We look forward to celebrating with you!

2012 Annual Report

Have you ever wondered how many books volunteers checked out to patients last year?
 How about the total numbers of volunteers that Children’s had in 2012?

Find the answers to these questions and other cool stats by checking out our 2012 Annual Report!

Read fun volunteer bios, find out the monetary value of our annual volunteer hours, and much more…

Visit our website:, scroll down to the bottom right, and click on Annual Report.

FREE Flu & Tdap Vaccines Available Soon!

It’s that time of year again:  the State Fair has ended, school has begun, and people are beginning to ask us about…FLU SHOTS!  The following employee & volunteer vaccine clinics have been scheduled this fall on both Children’s campuses, and will offer nasal & injectable flu vaccines, as well as Tdap (pertussis) boosters:


September 24, 25, 27, & October 18:  Back Education Center (2nd Floor)

5:45 am-6:00 pm

Children’s-St. Paul

October 1, 2, 4, & 25:  Garden View 1053/1054

5:45 am-3:30 pm

These vaccines are FREE, and are offered to all current volunteers!  Beginning this fall, documentation of a Tdap vaccine will be required of all volunteers, and flu vaccines are always strongly recommended (those who are not vaccinated will need to wear a mask when working with patients).  For further information, please feel free to ask any Volunteer Services staff member, or contact Children’s Employee Health at (612) 813-6140.

Fall Volunteer Applications Open July 16th!

Can you believe we’re talking about fall already?!

Those interested in becoming volunteers this fall may apply through our website beginning July 16th. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis…the sooner you apply, the sooner your application will be considered!

To learn more about the qualifications for our summer volunteer program, and to apply, please visit our website:

Happy Independence Day!

In honor of Independence Day, both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Volunteer Services offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th. Volunteers are not required to come in tomorrow, but are welcome to stop by if they so choose! Rehab and other offices will be closed in observance of the holiday. Staff will be back into the office on July 5th!

Have a safe and fun holiday celebration!

Thank You, Volunteer Trainers!

Can you believe that we’ve had over 140 new volunteers joining us here at Children’s Hospital over the past couple of months!?!

New volunteer badges, all ready to go!

Our summer volunteer program for students is well underway. The final orientation session has taken place, and all of our volunteer training sessions will soon be complete. Thanks to our rockstar volunteer trainers, new volunteers have been ‘learning the ropes’ and will be confident regulars in no time!

Each new volunteer spends time with an experienced volunteer before beginning their regular weekly volunteer shift. This ‘training shift’ gives new volunteers the opportunity to ask questions, learn their way around the hospital, and become familiar with their new volunteer role!

Trainer Eric Gustafson with trainees Vanessa Samuelson and Emily Holdahl. Eric has trained a total of 12 new volunteers in the past month! WOW!

Thank you to our awesome volunteer trainers for passing along your knowledge and passion for Children’s Hospital! You’re amazing!