Special Projects for Volunteers

Are you interested in helping our patients but not able to make the commitment required to become a regular hospital volunteer? Maybe you belong to a group (Girl Scouts, for example) interested in making a difference together?

Volunteer Services is fortunate to receive donations that make a real difference for patients and their families. Individuals and groups take up a particular project, and the results are spectacular.

Projects that May Interest You or Your Group

  • Learn more about the process for donating items to benefit our patients and families.
  • Sew Care Caps for patients undergoing cancer treatment by following this video tutorial.
  • Collecting convenience foods like microwave popcorn, snack bars, single-serving fruit cups, etc. for our guest areas.
  • Donating new clothing items for our clothes closets. Patients may have had their clothing damaged from their illness or injury. We especially need L to 3XL sizes of sweat shirts and elastic waist sweat pants and underwear.
  • Donating phone cards so that families can keep in touch while they are away from home.
  • Movie and book drives for our Patients' Library.
  • Knitting or crocheting hats for our newborns. See our patterns for knitted or crochet hats.
  • Do you knit or crochet and want to try something different? Do you have an interest in supporting breast cancer survivors? Consider making prosthetics to be distributed through our clinics. View patterns for knitted prosthetics or crocheted prosthetics.
  • Sewing clothing for our premature infants through The Preemie Project. View the patterns for sewing clothing.
  • We have patterns for sock monkey dolls that we give to our hospitalized pediatric patients.
  • Get together with your friends, craft group, as a family, or by yourself and make pillowcases! Pillowcases are terrific to cheer up a patient and bring warmth to a hospital room! Check out these easy pillowcase instructions.
  • UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital has a wish list of items that help patients and their families.
  • Make prayer shawls for Spiritual Services distribution.  Prayer shawl patterns and more information.
  • Sewing heart shaped pillows for post cardiac surgery patients using this pattern. These pillows are essential to the recovery process. Patients hold the pillow against their chest while coughing and moving to prevent painful pressure.
  • Donate blood! Contact the DeGowin Blood Center to set up an appointment to donate at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics or to organize a community blood drive. This is a wonderful way to give back to the patients at UI Hospitals & Clinics as all blood donated stays within our hospital.
  • Our families always need travel toiletries. Collect and donate a few from your travels or sponsor a drive to benefit our ICU families. Items in order of popularity: soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand or body lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant. Some groups enjoy creating/putting together toiletry “kits” for our patient families in cute bags; a welcome comfort!
  • Make activity aprons/vests/pillows to help soothe people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, ADD, or head trauma. This is an easy project, well-suited for scout troops or church groups and truly improves the experience for our patients.
  • Prepare a buffet-style dinner for families in the Ronald McDonald House Charities Family Room, located on Level 3 of the UI Stead Family Children's Hospital.