MamaLA: Turns Out Volunteering at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is Contagious For Kids

We’re in favor of an outbreak

Siena and friends got their arms painted for CHLA at the Junior Ambassadors Celebration party.

Parents in the Los Angeles area are lucky to have a world-class children’s hospital in our own backyard, one that many of us have had both the fortune and misfortune of visiting at some point in our lives. What fewer parents know is that there’s a way for our families to give back.

The Junior Ambassadors Program enlists kids of all ages to fund-raise for the hospital—with permission from their parents, of course (participating tweens and teens enjoy more autonomy while younger kids require more parental support). Here’s how it works: Kids and their families are asked to set an annual fundraising goal of $1,000 through a very simple fundraising site, which moves money raised to the areas of the hospital with the greatest need. (If your child would like to designate a specific area of the hospital to receive contributions that can be arranged through the hospital’s Foundation Department). Families looking to register a child as a Junior Ambassador can fill out an application, release form, and correspondence consent here.

Siena was introduced to the Junior Ambassadors Program this past summer after spending part of the season volunteering for another beloved program at CHLA, Dec My Room, which is run by the mother of Siena’s good friend, Josie Hull. Once they saw the joy of the patient whose room they had decorated, Siena and a whole slew of her friends were bitten by the philanthropic bug, so to speak. As adults, we have had simiilar experiences and know how giving back can lead to a feeling of fulfillment. For children, early-in-life philanthropy can culture a penchant for giving and compassion, and in this case for other children in need. 

Junior Ambassador events are planned throughout the year, like the Celebration party, which took place this past Sunday in the Conga Room at L.A. Live. Next up is a group hospital tour on November 7th and an Ambassadors Conference (date TBD). Now might seem like the time to wind down extra commitments, but this is an excellent exception. It’s the season of giving, after all.


With seven children ranging in age from eleven months to seventeen years between them, sisters and bloggers Yasmine Delawari Johnson and Soraya Delawari Dancsecs are experts at parenting in L.A. They take a break from PTA board meetings, cooking, and producing films to blog at CityThink each Thursday.