Healing Tree Program Assistant

Position Summary

Along with a licensed professional counselor and/or Dempsey Center staff member the Healing Tree Program Assistant will help plan, organize and facilitate Healing Tree Programs including community events, adventure-based activities and possibly summer camps.  Healing Tree Program Assistants will help children and families to connect with one another and other children and families impacted by cancer through activities and play to build trust, reduce isolation, and find joy and hope in the present moment. The ideal program assistant would have a passion for working with children of all ages (0-23) and families. Program Assistants are responsible for accurately representing the Dempsey Center’s mission and philosophy to the Healing Tree clients and to the general public.


At least 1 year and up to three-year commitment to assigned support group.

Time Frame:

  • Length of commitment: at least 1 year
  • Hours required monthly: 3-5
  • Community events and adventure-based programs frequently take place outdoors and in the evenings or on weekends to accommodate families’ schedules.


  • Volunteer Training
  • 3-5 hours per month, dates and times will vary based upon programs and events scheduled
  • Complete a Criminal Background Check Inquiry

Regular Duties Include:

  • Leading/guiding program activities (ex: pumpkin carving, art project stations etc.)
  • Arrive for event 30-60 minutes early in order to set-up and then greet arriving members.  Start and end program events on time.
  • Communicate adequately with Healing Tree Program Manager to coordinate participation and role in the event, including providing adequate notice if unable to attend an event due to illness so that additional support can be arranged
  • Fostering a caring and safe atmosphere
  • Providing structure within which group activities will occur
  • Creating safety by keeping boundaries, confidentiality and structure
  • Intervening when necessary
  • Assisting the Center in spreading the word about its programs and volunteer opportunities
  • Participate in volunteer orientation and ongoing training and evaluation


  • Successfully complete volunteer training
  • Excellent listening and conversation skills
  • Sensitive to the emotional highs and lows that can accompany the cancer experience
  • Assess distress in participants and respond appropriately
  • Self-awareness of one’s own issues and an attitude of responsibility for one’s life (choices, feelings, relationships, triggers)
  • High respect for diverse lifestyles, values, beliefs, and ways of moving through the world
  • Attitude of acceptance toward all feelings
  • Exceptional listening skills
  • Empathic and caring, open minded and dependable
  • A healthy sense of humor