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Welcome to CPALS!

Carolina Pediatric Attention, Love, and Support, or CPALS, is a 501c3 non-profit composed of UNC students (the CPALS!) who are dedicated to supporting current/previous UNC-Hospitals Hematology-Oncology patients, their families, and healthcare workers. Our mission is to create trusting, supportive relationships with pediatric patients and their families.

CPALS can apply to be UNC Hospital volunteers and, once they have spent a semester volunteering in a pediatric setting (such as the pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic or the Inpatient Pediatric Playroom), can apply to be matched with a 1:1 Pal. Veteran CPALS who become 1:1 pals earn the opportunity to provide fun, positivity, and support to a specific patient and their family during their inpatient stays and/or clinic visits. This is a really meaningful relationship to both our patients and our volunteers! 

Beyond spending time with their 1:1 matches, CPALS provide positivity and support in the inpatient and clinic environments in other ways, such as with the annual Festival of Hope, special Sibling Clinic Days, and more. CPALS host many fundraisers and special events that support UNC’s Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and its psychosocial support programming. These events occur throughout the year in the forms of clinic decorating events, benefit nights, collaborative retreats with Victory Junction, and more. 

Prospective CPALS members must be registered UNC members. Those who wish to volunteer at UNC Hospitals (which involves a separate application), must also be a minimum of 18 years of  age. However, being a hospital volunteer is not a CPALS membership requirement—we have many opportunities for involvement outside of directly patient-facing experiences. More details are provided on the Membership Requirements page and at interest meetings at the beginning of each semester. 

This opportunity does not specifically provide medical exposure or education but is focused on supporting pediatric families during their treatment experience. Attendance at monthly CPALS meetings and participation in the CPALS student organization activities is required. For more information, visit our CPALS Registration page!

Check out CPALS in the Media!

Additional Questions? Contact us.

If you have any questions about becoming involved, contact CPALS Advisor Sarah Frantz or CPALS President Rachel Hodakowski (contact info under Contact Us). Thanks!