Volunteer Questions?

Volunteering your time to Kate’s Kart by serving in one of the area hospitals passing out new books to hospitalized children offers many opportunities to bring a smile to the faces of many children during a very hard time. With that being said, you probably have a few questions like what is involved, expected and age restrictions. Click on the heart to the right side to expand that question to see the answer and associated information.

Waiting List

Kate’s Kart currently has a waiting list to become a volunteer. Completing a Kate’s Kart application adds you to the list. A representative will contact you once we receive the application to give you an anticipated time frame when openings may come available.

  • Unfortunately, due to our regular volunteers who work in our office, we are unable to accommodate large groups.  We encourage you to utilize your group to coordinate a book or fund drive within your workplace or school.

  • Volunteers must be 18 years old to volunteer by themselves, or 16 with an immediate family member.

  • As a Kate's Kart volunteer, you and a partner will push a fully-stocked book cart through the hospital, offering free books to pediatric patients to keep and take home.

  • To volunteer with Kate's Kart, you are required to complete the following steps:

    1. Complete a Kate's Kart Volunteer Application
    2. Attend a New Volunteer Orientation at our office
    3. Complete a hospital application for the appropriate hospital
    4. Other requriements vary by hospital but may include:
      • Complete a hospital volunteer application (which includes a criminal history background check)
      • Submit to a urine drug screening
      • Attend a 1-2 hour hospital orientation
      • Complete a 2-shot series TB test (in the arm); to be updated annually
      • Receiving your official hospital identification badge
  • All volunteers must be 16 years of age, if volunteering with an immediate family member (parent or grandparent).    If not partnering with a family member, volunteers must be 18 years of age.

  • Every new volunteer will be provided with a Volunteer Handbook which details our history, policies and procedures.  During your shift, you will push the Kart to each designated area within the hospital where you will offer books to pediatric patients.  The Kart can be very heavy, and there is a lot of walking involved, so being in good physical condition is important. You will need to be prepared to briefly explain what Kate's Kart is and our mission; however, many long-term patients will already know who you are.  Specific guidelines are in place regarding distribution of the books and are outlined in the handbook.

    Volunteers are scheduled to work on a monthly basis by our Volunteer Schedulers.  The schedule is posted 2-6 weeks in advance on the Kate's Kart website.  We ask for a once-per-month commitment.  You will be paired with another volunteer for your shift, and it will be up to you and your partner to arrange a time/place to meet.  The Kate's Kart Volunteer Schedulers will set the original schedule; however, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you should be unable to fulfill your assigned shift.  You will have access to a complete contact list of other volunteers who work at the same hospital for your reference.

    The amount of time it takes to run the Kart varies depending on which hospital, the time of year, and number of patients.  Dupont Hospital generally takes about 45 minutes. Parkview Regional Medical Center and Lutheran Hospital can take up to 2 hours.

    • Lutheran Hospital runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
    • Parkview Regional Medical Center runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
    • Dupont Hospital runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

    The other hospitals we serve distribute the books via their nurses and staff, and therefore do not require volunteers. You are expected to adhere to each hospital's dress code (basically no jeans, shorts or open-toed shoes),  and will be provided with an apron to wear while running the Kart.

  • Office / Storage Individual Volunteer - As an individual (over the age of 18), you may staff our office/storage unit during daytime hours.  Working in the office may include labeling and sorting books, or other miscellaneous jobs, as well as providing a welcoming face for those dropping off book donations. Please note that children are not permitted with parents/volunteers while working in the office. You must submit a volunteer application in order to be considered for this position.

    Groups - Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate groups volunteering in our office space. Since our office is staffed almost daily with regular volunteers, we are able to keep up with the workload of organizing/labeling books.

    If your group or organization is interested in serving with or for Kate's Kart, we recommend organizing a fund or BRAND NEW book drive. There are many creative ways in which you can raise funds to help support Kate's Kart. This is the best and most beneficial way to support us. Please contact us prior to holding a book drive so we can communicate with you the best possible strategies to ensure that books donated are the ones we need, and can be placed on the karts in the hospitals.

    Groups or organizations are welcome to setup a time to visit the storage space, hear a presentation about Kate's Kart and learn more about how we distribute over 3,000 books each month to 17 area hospitals.  Please email info@kateskart.org or call 260-413-4089 to set up a time for a tour.

    We wish that we had more opportunities for groups, especially children, to be directly involved with the distribution of books. However, due to age restrictions set by the hospitals, our amazing team of volunteers who give regularly of their time, and our desire to keep the books as germ-free as possible, we cannot allow children to distribute books or work in our storage area.

  • The first step in becoming a Kate's Kart volunteer is to complete our volunteer application.  Upon receipt of your application, the Director will contact you regarding setting up an orientation in the Kate's Kart office, and help you begin your application/orientation within the hospital you are serving.  Once your application, hospital orientation and TB testing has been completed, you will be scheduled for a training session with an experienced Kate's Kart volunteer.  During this session, you will learn what parts of the hospital to visit with the Kart, where the Kart is stored, accurate record keeping of the Kart's inventory, and what to say to the  patients and families.

Being a Volunteer Has It's Rewards!Meet a few of our wonderful volunteers