In this Section

Big Hearts for Little Hands

Patients at Valley Children's Hospital in Madera look forward to the many special events organized by volunteers from high schools, churches, retirement and nursing homes, scouting troops, corporations and professional groups and societies. The Child Life Big Hearts for Little Hands Program was designed for infrequent volunteer visitors. This program offers groups or individuals an opportunity to volunteer three times a year.

PLEASE NOTE: All Big Hearts for Little Hands visits and donations are scheduled at Valley Children’s main hospital campus in Madera. The minimum age requirement for groups or visits is 15 and older. These requested visits are not designed to be part of the Job Shadow program. If you plan to donate items during your visit, please understand that donations must be brand new and drop-off only; passing out donations to patient rooms will not be permitted.

We have included some ideas for you to consider when scheduling your Big Hearts for Little Hands visit.

Event Ideas: Use your creative genius – the sky is the limit!

  • Host a Bingo game (prizes welcome)
  • Entertain us! (musical, theatricial or dance performances)
  • Share a special skill (arts & crafts, drawing, etc.)
  • Host a small carnival with fun booths and games
  • Donate toys and games from our Child Life wish list

We also love to hear your own creative ideas for events. Scheduled volunteers with the Big Hearts for Little Hands program must arrive prepared with all materials. Groups or individuals that arrive unprepared may be asked to reschedule. Please note that we are unable to accept handmade cards for patients.

To Request a Visit

  • Complete the Big Hearts for Little Hands request to visit form.
  • Visits are reviewed every Tuesday and Thursday in the order received.
  • When your visit is approved, you will receive written confirmation, Group Guidelines to share with your group, and the Confidentiality Agreement. On the day of your visit, you will need to bring your confirmation letter and a signed Confidentiality Agreement for each member of your group.
  • You are welcome to take photographs during your group’s visit to the hospital as long as patients are NOT in the pictures. Photos cannot be used for promotional or fundraising purposes. Please consult our privacy policy for more information.
  • Groups should come prepared with all the items they will need for the visit.
  • The content of any performance or activity must be religiously and politically neutral.
  • Group size is limited to five individuals in the Child Life Playroom and Classroom at any one time.
  • Performance groups will be booked into the Guild Hall, and visits are subject to availability.
  • Performances should last no longer than 30 minutes.
  • The minimum age of a guest in the playroom or classroom is 15 years or older.
  • The minimum age for performers is 13 years and older and only performers should attend.
  • At least one adult over the age of 18 must accompany all Big Hearts visitors.
  • Individuals are also welcome. Community Service hours for class credit are limited to two hours. We do not provide written documentation for service hours under the Big Hearts for Little Hands Program.
  • All entertainers must be screened and approved in advance by the Child Life Department.
  • Individuals must be at least 15 years of age or older to be involved in special events. Groups are limited to entertainers only (please no children or family of entertainers).
  • Infection Control guidelines must be followed. Hospitalized children are particularly vulnerable to common illnesses such as colds and flus. If any symptoms are present among your group members, please re-schedule your event or ask the affected person(s) not to participate.
  • If your group is not prepared with the confirmed activity at the time of your visit, your group will be asked to reschedule your visit.
  • If your visit includes a donation of items, please understand that due to the health and safety of our patients, donations must be brand new and drop-off only. Passing out donations to patient rooms will not be permitted.

Please note that, although rare, there may be an occasion when an event must be rescheduled or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation if such an event does arise.