If you are interested in joining us on a mission either as a medical or non-medical volunteer, please read through our FAQ to learn more and fill out the interest form to attend one of our upcoming web conference calls to get further details.
Mending Kids: Missions
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone......so come on abroad! Mend a life, and change your own!
Frequently Asked Questions
Read through these FAQs and fill out the Volunteer Interest Form at the bottom of the page to be entered into our volunteer database. You will then be contacted by the Missions Department periodically as opportunities to volunteer on missions arise.
The vast majority of our surgical team members are hand-selected by the lead surgeon of each mission and must have at least 5 years of working experience in the particular pediatric specialty. This ensures that the surgical team members know each other and work cohesively together. We still encourage licensed, insured medical and surgical personnel to apply as volunteers on our missions, as we will sometimes need to supplement surgical team personnel. Surgical team members are expected to work 5 days in the ICU/OR/Recovery room during the trip. R&R and sightseeing opportunities are often available at the end of the mission week, but this is considered a work trip and Mending Kids does not coordinate any excursion activities.
While we cannot guarantee a position as a surgical team member, you may always apply to come as a non-surgical team volunteer.
Yes. We need non-surgical team volunteers to help with a variety of tasks on our missions. Responsibilities include child-life services, photography, record-keeping, administrative support, outreach, and much more. Not all missions take non-surgical volunteers (depending on hospital and team-size restrictions). Refer to each mission page to see if there are spots available to volunteer.
Volunteers are expected to bring overall positivity and enthusiasm to the team. Each volunteer must be a team-player and represent Mending Kids in a friendly and professional manner. Before you leave on a mission, you will be expected to attend an orientation meeting and any other pre-mission meetings at the Mending Kids office in Burbank, CA. If you live outside of Southern California, you would need to join the meetings via phone. While on the mission, you are required to follow the pre-set trip itinerary and all directions from our Mission Coordinator. Volunteers need to be flexible, adaptable, open-minded, and ready to serve the families and children that need our surgical care.
Teenagers ages 15-17 may join a mission but must be accompanied by a parent or designated legal guardian. Not all missions are open to children under the age of 18. Adults ages 18 and over are welcome on any mission that is open to volunteers.
If you are a surgical team volunteer, your fees will range between $300-500 depending on the location. Missions to countries in Central America are usually $300, South America and Southeast Asia $400, and Africa $500.
If you are a non-surgical team volunteer, your fees in 2016 will range in cost from $3,000 - $5,000 depending on the location. Missions to countries in Central America are usually $3000, South America and Southeast Asia $4000, and Africa $5000. As our volunteer spots on missions quickly fill up and form waiting lists, to secure your spot on the mission as a non-surgical volunteer you must submit a $500-$1000 deposit. You must pay the remaining balance of the team fee by the appropriate deadline (usually 6-8 weeks before the mission departure date). Mending Kids will not book any airfare or hotel accommodations until all team fee balances have been paid.
Team fees are subject to change and can vary from country to country.
The team fee of your trip includes the cost of your economy flights, double, triple or group occupancy accommodations (depending on the location,) local transportation, breakfast, lunch, and some dinners, and a life-changing experience.
The cost of your trip does not include: visas, transit visa authorizations for layovers, vaccinations, souvenirs, or excursions outside of our mission schedule or the additional flight costs if applicable to join the group when traveling from outside the Los Angeles area.
We encourage all our volunteers to raise money for their team fees by setting up a fundraising web page, through which you can use email and social media to ask your friends and family to help sponsor your trip. Mending Kids will provide you with the information on the particular mission, photos, and information on some of the children we will be helping.
Even if you already have the funds available, we still encourage spreading the word about why you are volunteering on a Mending Kids surgical mission and asking for support. Any amounts raised beyond the team fees will help us underwrite the costs of providing critical surgical care to the children on your mission. Any donations made on your behalf will be restricted to that mission and tax-deductible to the donor.
Mending Kids will arrange all travel to and from the mission site, so that the team travels on the same itinerary as best as possible. You will be asked to approve your flight schedule before it is booked. Mending Kids will not book flights for any team member before all team fees and application paperwork are submitted - usually 6-8 weeks prior to travel. If team fees are received late, and the position is still available, increases in airfare costs will be added fees. Once travel is booked, all team fees are non-refundable.
Mending Kids will arrange all room and board during the week of the mission. You will be sharing a room with one or more roommates, depending on the accommodations available at the site. Accommodations will be provided either at a local hotel, or on-site at our local partner facility. You will be given all accommodations information prior to leaving on your mission. Mending Kids will not arrange room/board for any excursion activities or any personal extra days of travel outside of the mission dates.
Should you need to cancel your participation on the mission, you must notify Mending Kids as soon as possible as we must open that spot to others on the waiting list. We will refund your team fee less the deposit only if we have not yet booked your airfare and accommodations. If we’ve already booked the travel plans (usually at 6 weeks prior to the mission departure), we can no longer return your team fee.
Our mission trips typically last from 7-10 days, generally with 6-7 days in country, and 1-2 days of traveling to the site before and after the mission dates.
Mending Kids takes every precaution to keep our staff, medical personnel, and volunteers safe. We always partner with a local host or organization who assists us with in-country travel, food recommendations, and local cultural practices. Our pre-mission orientation meetings cover concerns and appropriate, cultural sensitivity conduct and wardrobe. In the event that a mission site is deemed to be dangerous (political instability, natural disasters, epidemics, etc.), Mending Kids will postpone, reschedule or cancel the mission. All American Citizen travelers are registered with the local embassies of the countries we travel to.
Ready to Continue?
Simply click the button below and fill out the form provided. You can even save your progress and return to fill in the rest later. After we receive your submission, one of our staff will contact you to follow up.