Donate and Volunteer

Become a volunteer

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is very fortunate to have more than 200 caring volunteers providing over 1,600 hours of service annually working with our patients and families. Our dedicated volunteers provide vital practical and social support for our patients and their families in a variety of ways. Volunteers are an essential part of our team and their direct service provides support and encouragement to our patients and families at a critical time in their lives.

Volunteer Services

SCCA Volunteer Services is proud to offer a variety of roles in which volunteers are able to support SCCA patients and caregivers. Volunteers offer airport transportation, housing tours, peer mentor support, healing music, and retail support at SCCA South Lake Union. Volunteer opportunities are for adults 18 years and older and vary but generally are available at SCCA South Lake Union between 8 am and 5 pm weekdays.

We are happy that you’re taking the first steps to becoming a volunteer with SCCA. For more information or questions about becoming a volunteer, please contact us.

Join the volunteer team

As of March 2022, SCCA is happy to announce we are hosting a new volunteer online orientation for the following roles only: retail, drivers and physical therapy. See below for the descriptions of these roles. 

The online application is closed at this time. Please check back in June 2022 for another opportunity to apply. 

Eligibility and time commitment

Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age (21 years for some roles), commit to 3-6 months of consecutive service and meet our screening and training requirements.

Steps to becoming a volunteer

Step 1: Sign up on Better Impact

Thank you for your interest in the SCCA Volunteer Program. If you are able to complete the online orientation session, online background check, health requirements (including proof of annual Flu vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine and masking policy) and commit to volunteering for at least 3-6 consecutive months, please complete our volunteer application (Step 1).

Once you have submitted the application (Step 1) you will receive an email confirmation outlining the next steps in the application process (Step 2).

Your application will not be considered complete until we receive the completed additional forms. Once these items are received, your application will be reviewed. If you have any questions, please contact the SCCA Volunteer Services at (206) 606-1072 or email volunteer@seattlecca.org.

Step 2: Mandatory online new volunteer orientation

Once you have successfully completed your online application and the required documents have been received by volunteer services you will be sent an email link to begin your new volunteer online orientation. Orientation includes LMS training modules and post quizzes to test your knowledge of the content. All volunteers must complete an online national background check during the onboarding process.

Health requirements: All new volunteers are required to have an Employee Health screening appointment after completing online orientation and before they begin volunteering. Screening appointment includes health immunization form (may require additional titers or boosters), TB blood draw, annual seasonal flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine.    

Step 3: Interview and placement

After completion of the volunteer orientation, health screening process, and all application paperwork is complete, you will be scheduled to meet with the appropriate department supervisor for a meeting and begin role-specific training.

Screening Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease. Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (for breast cancer), colonoscopy (for colon cancer) and Pap and HPV tests (for cervical cancer). Screening can also include a genetic test to check for a person’s risk of developing an inherited disease.

Volunteer roles

As of March 2022, we are recruiting for following roles only: retail, drivers and physical therapy.

Volunteer Services is proud to offer a variety of roles in which volunteers are able to support the patients and caregivers at SCCA. Many of our roles have a waitlist or have limited availability. Please consider volunteering in a role that has an urgent need until space becomes available. 

The following is an alphabetical list of all of our volunteer roles – simply click on each title to read the service description for that role:  

Child Life Volunteers

Offer diversionary activities and companionship for pediatric patients and patients’ family members (ages 0-23 yrs). Activities include crafts, games, storytelling and watching videos. Direct supervision will be provided by the Child Life Specialist on-site at the SCCA outpatient clinic. Weekday/daytime availability.

Comfort Hand Massage Therapy Volunteers

Provide comfort hand massages to our patients and caregivers in the outpatient clinic (must be licensed massage therapists and insured). Comfort Hand Massage Therapy Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Cosmetology/Barber Volunteers

Provide compassionate, caring and hygienic head shaves, wig trims and caregiver haircuts to customers of Shine, the retail store at the SCCA House. Must possess a valid Washington State Cosmetology license.Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Caregiver A person who gives care to people who need help, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves, such as children, older people or patients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers or members of the clergy. They may give care at home, in a hospital or in another health care setting.
Crafts and Conversation Volunteers

Meet weekly to share knitting skills and provide guidance to patients and family members at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Driver Volunteers

Provide transportation to and from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Boeing Field, and King Street Station for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance patients and their primary caregivers. Driver volunteers will use their personal vehicle for arrivals and departures. Driver volunteers are expected to fill at least two trips per month and must be must be at least 21 years of age.

Event Committee Volunteers

Provide a more positive experience to patients and caregivers at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance by offering social and diversionary activities monthly at the Pete Gross House and SCCA House. 

General Oncology/Hematology Lobby Volunteers

Provide service to the patients and family members waiting to be seen in the 4th floor General Oncology/Hematology clinic. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Guest Services Volunteers

Provide information and social support for oncology patients and families at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Healing Music Volunteers

Provide welcoming and calming music to patients, family members and staff at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance clinic. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Please see specific application for musicians. Weekday/daytime availability.

Labyrinth Host Volunteers

Provide a welcoming presence, information, and brief instruction to all inquirers and walkers for the bi-monthly open labyrinth walk at the SCCA. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Patient and Family Resource Center/Education Volunteers

Provide assistance with special projects that support Patient Education and the Patient and Family Resource Center. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Patient/Family Volunteers

Provide practical assistance, social and emotional support for families of oncology patients who are receiving medical care at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Enable family members to cope with the challenges of caring for a critically ill person. Typically, volunteers assist families who are from outside of western Washington who have needed to relocate to the Seattle area for treatment. Patient/Family Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age; possess a valid driver's license and automobile insurance; have a good driving record; no criminal history or current substance abuse issues.

Physical Therapy Volunteers

Assist the Physical Therapist and the department by supporting patients undergoing treatment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

SCCA Gift Shop Volunteers

Provide efficient and courteous service to gift shop customers and help maintain the clinic retail operation. The gift shop is located on the first floor of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Clinic. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

SCCA House Concierge Volunteers

Assist residents at the SCCA House to navigate Seattle and answer questions about the South Lake Union neighborhood, give tours to potential residents and assist staff as needed. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekdays/Saturdays, daytime and evening opportunities.

Shine Volunteers

Provide efficient and courteous service to Shine customers and help maintain the retail operations. The shop is located at the SCCA House. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.

Wig Fitter Volunteers

Assist patients during wig fitting appointments to find an appropriate wig, including style, fit, etc. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Women's Center Lobby Volunteers

Provide service to the patients and family members waiting to be seen in the 3rd floor Women's Center Clinic. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Weekday/daytime availability.

Volunteer profiles

SCCA is very fortunate to have caring volunteers working with our patients and families. Please learn about our volunteer program by meeting just a handful of these dedicated volunteers:

Comfort Hand Massage Volunteer

Labyrinth Volunteer

Join SCCA Volunteer Services on Facebook

Become a fan, share volunteering opportunities with your friends, and keep up-to-date with news, events and articles related to SCCA and volunteering.

FAQs about our program

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
The minimum age to volunteer at SCCA is 18 years old for most volunteer roles. We require Child Life Volunteers and Driver Volunteers to be at least 21 years old.

I'm currently a patient. Can I volunteer?
If you are a patient and would like to volunteer with us, thank you for your enthusiasm and willingness to give back! We ask that all General Oncology/Hematology patients wait at least one year after active treatment to become a volunteer. If you have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, we ask that you wait at least two years post-transplant to become a volunteer.

Do you allow "summer" volunteers?
We do not have a Summer Volunteer program, but if it works with your school and/or vacation schedule to attend orientation in early May and you can commit to at least three months of volunteering, we'd like for you to consider our program. Volunteers that attend the orientation in early May will need to commit to stay with us through the end of August. Volunteers who attend the sessions in July will need to commit through the end of November.

What can I expect from Volunteer Orientation?
Orientation is a general overview of the SCCA, our patient population, and our volunteer program. After completing orientation, you will interview for a specific volunteer role and then complete role-specific training. Included in the orientation is time to complete medical compliance with our Employee Health nurses. The service descriptions for all volunteer roles are posted on this website for you to become familiar with prior to orientation. Please contact us if you have specific questions about a volunteer role.

What is the process for becoming a volunteer?
Please complete the online application and required documents via our volunteer database called Better Impact and submit it to us prior to the application deadline. Next we will send you details about the orientation and will confirm your attendance. You'll then attend the two orientation sessions, meet one-on-one with an Employee Health nurse and complete medical compliance, meet with your role's supervisor for an interview, then complete role-specific training.

Do you complete background checks?
Yes, we complete national background checks on all of our volunteers. In addition, Driver Volunteers will have an abstract run on their driving record.

Do I need to complete the Immunization/Health Assessment Form?
Yes. Please return this, along with any immunization records you have, with your application prior to the deadline. This will allow our Employee Health nurses the opportunity to review your records and determine what, if any, blood draws (titers) or vaccinations you need to meet our medical requirements. There is no need to visit your medical provider to receive these vaccinations – we will provide any blood draw or vaccination that is required at no cost to you. If you are unable to provide documentation of previous vaccinations, we can easily perform a blood draw to determine proof of immunization. Annual flu vaccination is required for all volunteers.

What is the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus Blood Test baseline testing process?
New volunteers are required to complete individual risk assessment and symptom evaluation forms or TB screening. Baseline TB testing is an IGRA-QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus blood draw test administered by an SCCA clinician at our lab during your orientation session. 

Besides the two orientation sessions, will I need to return to SCCA for any reason?
In order to complete the medical requirements you may need to return to Employee Health to complete the immunizations, health history requirements and an annual flu shot. You will also need to return for the informal interview with your supervisor. A complete list of this process and the dates involved are listed on the front cover of the application. You will receive these dates again in your confirmation email prior to orientation.

Will I be guaranteed placement in my first role choice?
Prior to each orientation, we assess the needs of all of our volunteer roles. If it is determined that there aren't any openings in the role that you are most interested in, we invite you to volunteer in another role until availability in your first choice opens up. In the event that there are more prospective volunteers in a particular role than there is space, we base placement in that role according to the date the volunteer's completed application was received. We do keep a wait list for many of our most popular roles.

I've attended orientation – what's next?
Once you have attended the two orientation sessions and all of your paperwork has been submitted, you will be scheduled to meet with your role's supervisor for a meeting. Upon completion of all medical compliance requirements, you will then be scheduled for your role-specific training and volunteering.

Can I continue volunteering beyond my three-month commitment?
We require a commitment of at least three months with our program. Due to the time invested into your orientation and training, as well as the screening and medical costs we incur, we ask that you stay with our program for at least three months following the completion of your training. We hope you'll stay longer, though – we have volunteers who have been with us for close to 30 years!

Do I still need to attend orientation if I'm interested in the Healing Music Program?
Prospective Healing Music Volunteers have a different application and orientation process. Please refer to the application specific to Healing Music Volunteers for more information.

Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Bone marrow transplant The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Because this treatment destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. Screening Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease. Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (for breast cancer), colonoscopy (for colon cancer) and Pap and HPV tests (for cervical cancer). Screening can also include a genetic test to check for a person’s risk of developing an inherited disease. Stem cell A cell from which other types of cells develop. For example, blood cells develop from blood-forming stem cells. Symptom A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea and pain.
FAQs about our program

View frequently asked questions and answers about our volunteer program.