Volunteer Protocols

Becoming a volunteer for The Dragonfly Foundation means that you agree to follow the following guidelines when interacting with Dragonfly patients and families.


  • DO NOT volunteer to attend events or visit the hospital if you or your family has been ill. Many of our patients have compromised immune systems; we can’t risk making them sicker than they already are. Please let us know if you are concerned about your health status.
  • DO NOT ask about the patient’s diagnosis, current health status or prognosis. These are personal questions that we should never be asked. It is not important for Dragonfly volunteers to know this information – it is only important that we provide families with comfortable experiences and smiles while they are Dragonflies.
  • DO NOT ask about the patient’s treatment plan, suggest options or advise about medical or psychological treatment, holistic care alternatives or diet plans. These types of discussions are very disturbing to our families. The very last thing we want to do is upset our families. Please remember that, you are relating to people who have raw, open emotional wounds. They are highly emotional and mentally drained. Do not under any circumstances provide counsel, recommendations, advice or personal experiences.
  • DO NOT ask the age or sex of a patient. The treatments our Dragonflies undergo can drastically alter their appearance. Mistaking the age or sex of a patient can be hurtful, uncomfortable and/or emotionally devastating.
  • DO NOT presume to understand the emotional, physical, psychological and financial struggles and challenges of our patients and families. While you may have had experience with cancer or a blood disease, your experience is not the same nor is it helpful to compare/contrast experiences. There is no winner.
  • DO NOT ask for contact information or seek out personal contact/relationships with our Dragonflies or their families outside of TDF events. Do not send friend requests through Facebook or Twitter. Boundaries are important, for both you and our families.
  • DO NOT provide support to our patients and families unless it is through The Dragonfly Foundation. While well intentioned, our experience has been that families can become very dependent upon your assistance and it is hard to back away, whether you are the volunteer or the family.
  • DO NOT go anywhere with a child unless the parents are present.
  • DO NOT make public statements, commitments or promises on behalf of the organization without written permission from Christine Neitzke and/or Ria Davidson. All volunteers must have written approval from The Dragonfly Foundation before signing any contracts or making “good faith” decisions or commitments.
  • DO NOT ask to take personal photos with our families and/or post photos on social media, unless you receive approval in advance FROM The Dragonfly Foundation. Please keep in mind that that while Dragonfly often takes pictures of our kids/families, we know the circumstances of each family. Without having this knowledge, you may inadvertently ask a family for a photo who just found out their child is terminal. As you might imagine, it would be uncomfortable for families to say “no” or to have to “smile” for a photo during the most trying time of their lives.


Please DO:

  • Get your flu shot.
  • Represent the organization professionally and to the best of your ability.
  • I will treat others with respect and hold myself to high standards while I am representing The Dragonfly Foundation.
  • Be a goodwill ambassador for the organization. Educate people about The Dragonfly Foundation. If you and our Dragonfly families aren’t excited about being Dragonflies, why should anyone else be? (Don’t forget to tell people to “like” us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and Twitter.)
  • Wear your Dragonfly “Earn Your Wings” volunteer t-shirt (or other event-specific Dragonfly garment) when you volunteer. This will help identify you as a TDF representative that can provide assistance or information. (If you have been cleared to volunteer inside the hospital by The Dragonfly Foundation AND Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, you will also be given a lanyard and identification badge to wear.)
  • Always leave an event space in the same condition (or better) than we found it. We want to be sure that everyone feels good about Dragonfly, including our sponsors and supporters.
  • Help us better understand how we can meet the needs of our Dragonfly families, supporters, volunteers, etc.
  • Understand that protecting our Dragonflies, sustaining our mission, improving the organization’s health and protecting the reputation and brand of The Dragonfly Foundation are paramount to personal egos, goals or agendas. While volunteers often provide recommendations based on personal experience and expertise, it is important that you acknowledge and abide by all final decisions made by Dragonfly co-founders and/or its Board because of their understanding of the goals, initiatives and workings of the entire organization.
  • Let us know if, for any reason, you are unable to complete your assignment or commitment.
  • Keep all information confidential.