How much time do I have to commit to volunteer?
It depends. If you are committing to local directorship, we ask that you host at least two parties per year per facility you chose to work with (ie, committing to two facilities in the area is four parties per year). This includes reaching out to the appropriate contact, gathering volunteers and donations, and turning in paperwork to the national office. Otherwise, we encourage you to use creativity to make FADF a main-stay in your community. Your level of involvement is what you make of it.
FADF's goal is to reach as many children as possible over long periods of time. We encourage chapters to make decisions based on longevity and to establish themselves in their community as an organization that provides a service to their hospitalized children.
If you are looking to volunteer with an already established chapter, each director manages their area different from the other. However, events typically last no more than two hours, but they take place during the weekdays between 9am-5pm. Most hospitals do not have volunteer hours on the weekends. If you have a 9-5, M-F job, ask your HR department about their volunteer policy.
Remember: Under-promise, Over-deliver.
Yes, chapter directors turn in pre-event reports with the event date and facility contacts and post-event reports that summarize how many patients attended, special stories, etc. that are then posted on the website to catalog activity. If a chapter raises funds, monthly accounting reports are due as well. It’s our way of keeping up with local activities. We like to keep a constant dialogue with our local directors to assist them in any way we can and these reports are one of the ways we monitor activity to best gauge the direction of the organization.
How are my cash donations used?
While we ideally like to have tiaras donated, we have to buy them most of the time. We purchase an average of 100 tiaras a month for our activities nationwide. We also purchase feather boas and hero-themed gifts for the Hero for a Day program. Then these items are shipped from the distribution office to each local chapter. We pride ourselves in spending your money as we say we will—helping children with cancer. However, we do incur costs that are inevitable with managing a non-profit with activity in multiple states.
What does the contract say?
By signing the contract with FADF you are agreeing to host at least two parties per year at each facility you choose to pursue. You also agree to pre-event reports, post-event reports, and monthly accounting reports (only for fund-raising). We only stipulate three elements for each event and directors are otherwise encouraged to customize their chapter: each child receives a rhinestone tiara; each child receives make-up and nail polish; each child receives a photo in their tiara that day.
Is there an age restriction for volunteering?
To direct a chapter, applicants must be at least 21 years of age. To volunteer with a chapter at a hospital, each facility varies in policy, but generally volunteers must be at least 16 or 18 years of age. If you are younger than 16, we encourage you to help us obtain donations through fund-raisers, tiara drives, or contact us about youth leadership programs in development. Please be specific with how you can support us, so we know how to proceed.
What if there's not a chapter in my local area & I'm unable to start one myself?
Please register for notifications on the Volunteer Opportunities page. When a new chapter is started, we use this list to notify potential volunteers. Most chapters are only hosting visits a couple times a year and the hospital restricts us to a handful of volunteers at a time, so it could take a while before you are notified of activity. You can also follow us on Facebook for the latest information. Better yet, help us start a local chapter in your area by promoting the opportunity to your personal and professional networks.
Do I have to be a beauty queen or beauty professional to be involved?
No. While the FADF’s background comes from a beauty queen’s experience, you do not have to have any pageant experience to be involved. You also do not need to be a nail technician or aesthetician to volunteer. We provide strict guidelines on how to apply make-up to offer the best immunity control procedures, but no industry-specific training is necessary.
If I volunteer at a party, what will it be like?
Each party is different depending on the chapter director, how many activities are planned, how many patients attend, and the space available. Volunteers generally greet patients and make them feel welcome. Most children arrive apprehensive and shy, so be prepared to entertain the child through conversation, applying make-up, and painting fingernails. Sometimes crafts and refreshments are available, too.
FADF respects patients’ privacy. We do not ask questions about illness or treatment and comply with each facility’s privacy and volunteering policies, including obtaining photo releases for each child.
How much does it cost to host a party?
Theoretically, it should cost you nothing. The national office can supply tiaras, hero toys, and other gifts. Make-up is usually easy to get donated, along with individual make-up applicators. Parties can be very simple, but still very effective.
How is the organization structured?
The national office appoints local directors to perform FADF activities in the directors’ local areas. Local directors are responsible for organizing and motivating volunteers, working with the facilities to schedule events, reaching out to media and potential donors, and fund-raising when appropriate. Each local chapter conducts business under the umbrella of the national office; they are not separate entities. All chapters submit IRS filings under a single 501C3 number, therefore acting as a single organization. Local directors sign a contract with the national office agreeing to the established policies of the organization. FADF chose this organizational structure because of its financial efficiency. The national office handles all filings and administrative work for all chapters, allowing chapters to focus time, energy, and funds solely on program activities.