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CPALS make a huge difference in the UNC community by serving patients and families with a pediatric cancer diagnosis or severe blood disorder. CPALS start as hospital volunteers in the outpatient Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic, and may progress to having a 1:1 Pal. You can be in CPALS as either an unregistered or registered member.


The CPALS application opens at the beginning of each semester and will be posted here when it opens. In order for an application to be considered complete, prospective members must complete the application form AND attend one of our interest meetings. More information about each semester’s specific application window can be found on our Instagram, @unc_cpals. Current members are not required to reapply. If you have missed the application window, we encourage you to apply at the beginning of the following semester. Late applications will not be considered.

Unregistered CPALS:

Our unregistered CPALS are just as important as our registered CPALS! Going through the application process to volunteer at UNC-Hospitals can be discouraging and may take you more than a semester or year to claim a spot. You also might not be interested in the patient-facing aspect of the organization, but we love and appreciate your contributions in other areas of the club, like fundraising and publicity! We keep track of everyone’s activity within the club and will make sure to reward high participation. 

General Requirements:

  • You must be a UNC Student
  • You must complete a minimum of 4 credits per semester: 1 Special Projects, 1 Fundraising, and 1 Social, and 1 other credit (of any type).
  • You must attend the general body meeting (GBM) each month. These are typically held on the first Thursday of the month.

Non-Registered CPALS Members “Cans and Cannots”

  • Can:
    • Attend monthly meetings
    • Serve on Special Projects, Fundraising, Social, and Publicity Committees
    • Volunteer at events (special projects shifts, football games, virtual retreat, and other fundraising events etc.)
    • Attend CPALS social events, fundraising events, etc. 
  • Cannot:
    • Volunteer in a clinic shift
    • Apply for a 1:1 Pal
    • Attend events where contact with patients will occur

Registered CPALS:

In order to be considered a registered member of CPALS, you must first become a registered UNC Medical Center Volunteer. Please click this link to access the application for UNC Medical Center Undergraduate Volunteers.


  • You must be a UNC Student.
  • You must be able to commit to a minimum of 1, 2-hour volunteer shift per week. CPALs are able to work shifts in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic between the hours of 7:00am and 2:00pm on Monday through Friday. Shifts are also available for CPALS to work in other areas of the hospital such as the inpatient playroom, Children’s Hospital Units, and the Pediatric Specialty Clinic, which provides CPALS with an opportunity to volunteer in the evenings and on weekends, in addition to regular daytime hours of operation. 
  • CPALS must have volunteered at least one semester with pediatric patients at UNC Hospitals before they are eligible to apply for a 1:1 Pal. 
  • All UNC students must first register with UNC Medical Center volunteer services and complete mandatory paperwork and orientations.
  • You must complete a minimum of 25 volunteer hours with UNC Hospitals.
  • You must complete a minimum of 3 credits per semester: 1 Special Projects, 1 Fundraising, and 1 Social.
  • You must attend the general body meeting (GBM) each month. These are typically held on the first Thursday of the month.

Expectations of Registered CPALS:

  • Volunteer for the entire year (both fall and spring semesters) to provide continuity for our patients.
  • Attend all general membership meetings during the semester. Meetings will last at least one hour. The purposes of these meetings are education and organization of activities including extra activities for the patients and fundraisers.
  • Earn an additional 3 credits per semester. The majority of these opportunities will be held outside of the hospital. Some of these events will take place on weekends. Events range from fundraising opportunities (including working football and basketball games) to large special events for the patients and families of the Pediatric Oncology Clinic (the largest of these events are Family Retreats held in the Fall and Spring of each year)
  • Volunteer a minimum of 25 hours per semester. Outside event hours will count toward your total hours.
  • Sign in at the volunteer kiosk and in the notebook in the clinic playroom each time you volunteer. 
  • The focus of CPALS is the 1:1 Pal program. You may earn the privilege of being matched with a patient after volunteering in the clinic for at least one semester or at the discretion of the CPALS advisor. Once you are assigned a Pal, you will be held accountable for attending all of their clinic appointments and visiting frequently when they are admitted to the hospital. We will work to find you a Pal whose appointments fit your class schedule, but that is not always possible. Keep in mind that most appointments are held in the mornings and early afternoons.
  • The CPALS Vice President oversees 1:1 Pal details, so please reach out to the VP if you have specific questions about this process. 

Please do not apply for CPALS if you are simply looking for an organization to add to your resume. Our patients have life-threatening/chronic illnesses and rely on your commitment and attention. They value your friendship and look forward to your visits. We ask that you take this commitment seriously, and decide, before you apply, that you are able to maintain the commitment required to be a CPAL.