Paying it Forward: Family House



Role: Family House Volunteer
Featuring: A group of UCSF Pharmacy students, organized by Shawn Wen Sun, Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, 2016

1.  Why did you get involved and/or why would you recommend this to others? 

We are a group of pharmacy students promoting and exploring pediatric pharmacy. Since the Koret Family House primarily helps the families of pediatric patients, we felt that volunteering with them would be a great opportunity for our members to think outside the medical mindset by contributing to a basic and vital support system for young patient's and their families. Activities such as these give us a great break from the classroom and a chance to develop a new appreciation for patients we will be caring for in the future. We HIGHLY recommend volunteering here!

2. What does the role entail?

Volunteers are essential in helping ensure a safe and welcoming home away from home for all the families staying at Family House. What's the training like? Training is easy and is a part or the orientation process. Each training session is tailored for a specific project and the number of participants.

3. What's the time commitment/schedule?

Weekly volunteers are required to volunteer at least three hours, once a week for three months. Groups can come work on a “done-in-a- day” project during a morning (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) or afternoon (1-4 p.m.) Monday through Friday. The types of projects include, but are not limited to: sorting donations, painting a bedroom, doorway or communal space, disinfecting, organizing and restocking of communal spaces, etc.

4. How would someone else get involved if they're interested?

For a weekly volunteer position, fill out the volunteer application on the website If you would like to volunteer as a group, please email, Volunteer Coordinator Karen Banks at [email protected].

5. Anything else you'd want to add?

It's because of organizations like the Koret Family House that UCSF is able to deliver high quality care to its patients. The Koret Family House plays a vital role in helping families through challenging times. As volunteers, it's a humbling opportunity to help support the mission of the organization, as well as the care for these families. 

From Greg Mora, Director of Volunteer Programs at Family House: “Volunteers make it possible to serve our families the way we do. It is the Family House community that helps each family persevere during their time in crisis. Volunteers are an essential part of that thriving community.”