You Can Make a Difference – Volunteer

The Children’s Inn at NIH has many opportunities for individuals, families, businesses, and community groups to get involved in supporting our mission. These volunteer opportunities range from working at the front desk to serving family meals to supporting our families through in-kind services and goods. We look forward to exploring ways we can work together to make a positive difference in the lives of Inn residents.


Our volunteer program has received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for many years. Volunteers contribute their time, talents, and resources, engaging in almost every operational aspect of The Inn. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old for available long-term positions.

Adult Volunteer Opportunities

  • Clerical/Administrative Support
  • Kitchen/Pantry Organizers
  • Welcome Desk
  • Family Programming Support
  • Light Facility Maintenance
  • ESL Tutors

Teen Ambassadors

This program offers passionate middle and high school students the opportunity to support The Inn’s mission. Students engage in philanthropic efforts, learn about nonprofit management, and engage in activities at The Inn. Learn more here.

photo of several teens lining the railing and waving

Family Meals Program

Volunteers may contract with a local restaurant or catering company, organize food items off-site, and arrange meal delivery to The Inn. Groups then gather to serve dinner in The Inn’s kitchen. These meals provide an opportunity for families to share companionship. Learn more here.

Volunteers serving dinner to residents

Additional Information

We understand that you’re busy and may not be able to make a long-term commitment right now. That’s why we offer several short-term “micro” volunteer options to individuals who want to help The Inn on a more temporary basis.

For our on-site volunteer positions, the minimum age requirement is 18 years old, a weekly or bi-weekly 2 to 4-hour shift, scheduled on a regular day and time, for a minimum service commitment of one year. Some examples of our long-term volunteer opportunities are:

Welcome Desk
Volunteers are our registration and concierge desk all in one. They answer phones, take reservations, check families in and out of their rooms, orient new families to The Inn, and answer questions about everything from airport transportation to visits to the zoo.

Kitchen Assistant
Volunteers maintain three well-organized and stocked kitchens and pantries for our families. This position involves sorting and organizing kitchen supplies in all cabinets, drawers, and pantries.

Educational Tutor
Engage families in education programs offered at The Inn through activities, study halls, and one-on-one tutoring.

Facilities Assistant
Day-to-day tasks vary greatly, though they often include light maintenance-related projects such as changing overhead light bulbs, fixing broken furniture, and tending to interior and exterior building maintenance.

Administrative Support
Assist staff in a wide range of administrative functions and general office duties including data entry, filing, copying, mailings, phone calls, and more.

Skill-based or Pro-bono Services
If you have a special talent such as photography, art, videography, IT, graphic design, cooking, gardening, fundraising, writing, etc., we might have a job for you!

If you are interested in applying for one of our long-term volunteer opportunities, please complete our Volunteer Service Application.

Let’s go

For additional information regarding our volunteer program, please email Meghan Arbegast or call 301-827-6054.