The Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, which is slated to open in Fort Myers this spring, is looking for volunteers to fill various roles.
"We are needing about 1,000 shifts to be filled for the new hospital," said Prisca Asaro, volunteer resources at Golisano Children's Hospital.
In particular, the hospital is looking for supervisors for the music room, arts and crafts volunteers, performers, clowns, NICU sibling program supervisors, hospital's teacher assistant volunteers, couriers, huggers, cuddlers, gift shop volunteers, children's memorial gardeners, clerical volunteers, emergency room patient care volunteers, emergency room triage volunteers and library and business center volunteers.
Their main priority though, is garnering 42 Sunshine Ambassadors who will be stationed on all seven floors. Three-hundred will be needed in total.
Sunshine Ambassadors guide patients and visitors around the hospital and provide information to visitors. They also will share information on resources within the hospital and the community to visitors.
The three shifts include 8 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Individuals must do at least one four-hour shift per week.
"We are taking applications all year round, but the sooner, the better. The hospital will be opening so I'd like to have as many folks in place as possible for that," Asaro said.
Typically, the hospital takes seasonal volunteers, but for now, they will need year-round volunteers since the hospital is opening this May.
"Once the hospital is open, let's say next season, we'll take seasonal workers," she said.
Asaro said that prior experience is not required to volunteer. Individuals have the opportunity to choose which position will fit them best. The training period typically lasts for a couple of weeks, depending on the position.
To become a volunteer at the hospital, go to leehealth.org/volunteer/index.asp to fill out the application. Two references and a background check will be required.
After completion, Asaro will schedule a three-hour orientation class which is held on the first Friday from 9 a.m. to noon every month.
Volunteers will also be asked to do a two-step tuberculosis test, complete blood work, be vaccinated for the flu and purchase a uniform shirt.