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Starlight Children's Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Public Foundations

Mission: Starlight delivers happiness to seriously ill kids and their families. For more than 35 years, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 60 million critically, chronically and terminally ill or injured children in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. With your help, more kids and their families will enjoy Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight Gaming, and other Starlight programs at a children’s hospital or facility near you. Support Starlight’s work by visiting www.starlight.org.

Results: Since 1982, Starlight has delivered happiness to more than 16 million seriously ill children in the United States.

Target demographics: Delivering happiness to seriously ill children and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Millions of hospitalized children and their families

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, Starlight Gaming, Starlight Deliveries, and Starlight Spaces.

Community Stories

142 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The team at Starlight are awesome! You can tell that they really care about the work that they do and really want to have a positive impact on a child's hospital experience. Being able to volunteer at a local hospital event I had the opportunity to witness the values of the organization and how appreciative the hospitals and patients are of the programs that they offer.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Everyone at Starlight is 100% dedicated to their mission. They are passionate and really care about helping hospitalized children and making that difficult experience somewhat easier for them. Thank you for all the work that you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Starlight several times and, most recently, at a Health Fair in Los Angeles. It was truly amazing to watch their programs bring smiles to these kids' faces. They really do fulfill their mission, to deliver happiness to seriously ill kids, in every thing they do. Thank you Starlight for helping so many communities!

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the Starlight virtual reality program. I think it's really great that they're using state-of-the-art technology to bring happiness to kids in the hospital. Not only is it fun but it can greatly reduce a child's pain. Great job, Starlight!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a monthly donor to Starlight and I love knowing that more than 85% of their funding goes directly to their programs. They truly are doing everything they can to deliver happiness to hospitalized kids.

Donor

Rating: 5

This non-profit is extraordinary with what they do for the lives of children in the hospital and their families too! They really think about the impact of the experience for the patient as well as their siblings and parents by providing an atmosphere of fun and normalcy as much as they can. I love that they also take the time to really follow-up with their families and patients.

I donate to Starlight because I believe in their mission and the genuine people behind their company.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight is such an amazing organization. Our family is personally thankful for the gaming systems during our sons hospital stay(s). Each and every time the system was rolled into the room it immediately brought a smile to our sons face. During a difficult health journey these gaming systems had the entire family laughing and smiling. Both our boys loved playing games together day and night, it was a great way for the boys to connect during a not so great time.

Client Served

Rating: 4

My daughter was a Starlight kid 30 years ago. Hundreds of thousands of kids have been hospitalized since then and Starlight continues to provide peace of mind for parents by making the stays more pleasant... recently new softer gowns with updated designs. Also, state of the art technology through different decades, currently VR technology and gaming for kids who would otherwise be stuck in rooms, surprise celebrity visitors, sharing opportunities for medical staff training, and most importantly long term, forward thinking advisors, directors and employees dedicated to making Starlight sustainable for future patients. That’s why I donate.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son who was 8 years old at the time had a big surgery on his legs at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. His threshold for pain is low. His therapist wanted to get him out of bed and moving around. He was in a lot of pain and just wanted to stay in bed. They brought the Nintendo Wii for him to play. This gaming system was what he needed to take his mind off of the pain. He was able to get out of bed and would sit in a chair and play the Nintendo Wii. I feel this was the best thing for him to help with his recovery.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight Children’s Foundation did an excellent job providing my little one with this fun and comfortable gown. It was a nice way to brighten up his hospital experience.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight is a wonderful organization working to make children’s lives better. Our family’s life has been touched by their generosity to help make a deeply challenging medical Issue much easier to cope with. They have spread starlight upon us all. Thank you and God bless.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight Children’s Foundation has brought lots of joy to my 5yr old son Andrew who is currently fighting a rare form of Leukemia. Starlight provided Andrew with the most comfortable, and not to mention the cutes hospital gowns. The gowns make Andrew feel like he his wearing pajamas and not the normal hospital gowns.

Zach P.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization helped with getting my niece and her family to a Cubs game this past April, and they were able to get some of the Cubs team to meet the family, and they had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch. Class act organization!

Mike B.10

Client Served

Rating: 5

so grateful for the product in that it really helped our family when our son was in the hospital to make it feel like it wasnt in the hospital and he was able to be a real kid.

Kelly_B

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is totally amazing! We are a recipient of the Beautiful gowns and have worn them time and time again throughout many procedures! It’s wonderful to look back at photos and know that he was able to have a moment of just being a kid and show people the muscles on his shirt instead of feeling very sterile and having PTSD about having the standard one put on. So grateful and look forward to the future to see what Moore this nonprofit can do to help others!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight is such a wonderful group! We got to help Jack, their 2018 Design a Gown winner celebrate his fantastic design and special win at a Cubs game this Spring! Starlight has helped put smiles on the faces of so many sick children-wonderful job and mission!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization, headed up by wonderful people, create a warm, fun atmosphere in an otherwise sad and cold environment by adding happiness and fun to hospital stays for sick children. Seeing first-hand how their soft, functional hospital gowns made my now-one-year old daughter more comfortable during one of her many hospital stays was incredible. They are like make-a-wish for hospitalized children. I just wish more people knew about them and their amazing mission and purpose.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned of Starlight when they worked with Michaels for the create a gown contest. A friend of ours, their son, actually ended up winning!!! We were lucky enough to join at the Cubs game when they announced the winner. We met some people from starlight, and it is obvious how passionate they are about what they do. I’ve also since seen, many children who are sick in gowns given to them from starlight. They are an incredible organization. 5 stars for starlight!!!

1 Erin A.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched Starlight come alongside my friends, the Backe family. The support and encouragement the family received during the design a gown contest was fabulous. We had so much fun cheering them on and joining them at the Cubs game, while also supporting a wonderful cause. This foundation brings joy to children who might otherwise not find it in their current situation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight has helped my daughter and her friends fighting an ultra rare disease called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, get comfortable and funny gowns to wear during their frequent hospital stays. They have brought joy to my sick child and gave brought smiles to a difficult time.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight has been a wonderful resource for my family! They are a kind, compassionate group of people who are trying to do good things in this world. Keep up the great work Starlight!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Starlight Children's Foundation has been an amazing resource for my niece who has spent the last 15 months caring for a critically ill infant. Her family was blessed to be introduced to this non-profit and to use the resources it provided to assist with the navigation required to care for her daughter as well as her family. We loved watching the design a gown contest, voting for our favorites and learning more about the amazing stories that went along with the entries. Bravo Starlight!

2 Nancy L.3

Donor

Rating: 5

My grandson designed a hospital gown in honor of his baby sisters congenital heart defect, and was selected as the winner of the contest from hundreds of entries. Starlight donated 30,000 gowns to hospitals throughout the country and my granddaughter was able to wear one during her hospital stay this past summer for her 3rd open heart surgery. The gowns help all children feel more comfortable during a difficult time. Starlight does many other things to comfort children during their hospital stay. What an amazing organization!

2 Lauren B.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

While we focus each and every day on finding the joy and being grateful for all we have as we navigate this new part of our life- taking care of a critically ill child, the Starlight gown contest added a lot of fun, novelty, and joy to our lives. We met their amazing team, had incredible experiences, and most importantly felt so much pure joy and fulfillment in our hearts making a difference for other hospitalized children, because we know how much it means when someone brightens your day.

One February afternoon, I was waiting for Everly to wake up from one of her 28 minute naps and for Grandma to drop Jack off back home from school. I was flipping through the high risk clinic binder we were given a few days after she was born. In it contained a section entitled “support/resources for families” that I had never had time to really dig into. There were lists of websites. I typed Starlight Children’s Foundation in and up popped the gown contest. Because of Everly’s fragile state, we spent most of the winter months at home, finding ways to have fun around the house. Jack enjoys arts and crafts. This was the perfect activity for a cold, wintery Chicago weekend coming up. I was immediately drawn to the contest because it was win/win. Jack and I would have fun doing an art project together and some kid somewhere was going to get a gown donated from Michaels because of us designing and submitting a gown. We encouraged our family and friends, especially friends Jack’s age, and also people who followed my blog about Everly’s health to design and submit gowns because what an easy way to get a gown to a hospitalized kiddo somewhere, thanks to Michaels. We never imagined that Jack would be finalist, let alone the winner. But we couldn’t be prouder of all he’s done to raise not only awareness to people about bringing joy to hospitalized kids but also the prevalence of childhood illnesses, like CHD.

The first time we noticed a real need for a change in hospital gowns was a few months before Everly was born. Jack had just turned 5 and was having a tympanoplasty which is a skin graft in your ear to fix a hole that hadn’t closed from ear tubes when he was younger. Jack’s two big complaints were about the taste of the sleepy medicine and about the hospital gowns. He just could not get over how he couldn’t wear underwear and how his rear end was sticking out. Afterwards when people asked about his surgery, the majority of the time was spent talking about his extreme dislike for the gowns and how could his parents possibly make him wear that.

Fast forward to designing our Starlight gown… Jack and I just loved the fact that the gowns tied on the side instead of the back and wondered if some day Evie would get to wear a gown like that instead of the traditional tie in the back ones.

Fast forward again and Everly did in fact get to wear a Starlight gown and it was just as wonderful as we dreamed it would be. The bright colors and soft fabric made us feel like she looked more “normal.” It covered up the all the thick chest drain tubes and the bright red incision down her chest and all the millions of IVS and monitors. And for her, I’m sure she enjoyed how soft and comfortable it was. For us, we enjoyed how good it made her look. And don’t we all feel a little better when we look good? I know for me, when I’m living in the hospital, a shower and clean clothes makes me feel like a whole new person. Back to that comfort piece…. I used to be a teacher and I always joked that my best lessons and best student learning took place on Fridays because we got to wear jeans and jeans were more comfortable than dress clothes.

As she came out of the fog of the anesthesia later in the evening after surgery she was pretty grumpy. I asked our nurse if we could get her dressed because she doesn’t enjoy being naked. Plus hospital rooms are super cold. We put her in her gown and she immediately got a little better. And the benefit of the Starlight gown versus the traditional gown... the ties on the sides allowed her to lay comfortable on her back. Can you imagine laying flat in a traditional gown with knots down your spine?

This past surgery (her third open heart surgery before the age of one!) was a rough one. Probably our roughest yet. For a few reasons… 1- she was older and more aware. 2- she was doing so much more prior to surgery, she wasn’t just a little baby who laid around all day anymore like in previous surgeries. 3- although we had complications in all 3 heart surgeries, this one was the worst.

The day before we were gearing up to head home post open heart surgery, Everly was on a mat on the floor playing happily and babbling and interacting with our favorite nurses. We had gotten to go outside that day for the first time since before surgery and the whole team felt that really helped Ev’s spirits. At 4 pm, she was as happy as could be. By 6 pm, she had taken a turn for the worst. She was practically unresponsive and had very labored breathing. By this point since we were anticipating being discharged the next day, everything had been removed except one small peripheral IV. No more central lines. No more chest tubes. For days she was unresponsive, moaning, and just rolling back and forth. It took several days for the ultrasounds and echos and chest xrays and blood labs to show what was going on. Once it was determined what type of infection she had, it was the first time I didn’t feel completely confident that she would recover fully from this infection or that we would be bringing our baby back home. It was the first time all the specialists’ faces dropped and turned white- and these people have seen it all. Lots of discussion. Lots of meetings. New specialists brought in. and then back in when the thick chest tubes that were inserted between her ribs. In went an IV into her neck because all the other IV real estate had been used in the first surgery a few weeks prior. They tried to treat the infection with medications and the chest tube for drainage. Unfortunately, a week after she took a turn for the worst, the team determined surgery that would reopen her chest and wash out the infection was going to be the best and fastest way for her body to fight this infection and give her the best chance at recovery. Thankfully, our team is brilliant and that wash out surgery really did help, combined with a continuous flush and IV antibiotics. This infection sent us back home with a PICC line where I administered IV antibiotics daily and a nose feeding tube because she was too weak to eat on her own for weeks. But thankfully we were able to take our baby home. And that’s just CHD for you. Just when you think you are going down one road to home, the GPS reroutes and back into the operating room you go.

Having Everly wear Jack’s gown in the hospital was really great for our family. I always like to bring things that feel like home… our own blankets, our own socks, our own bottles. This personalized gown was an extra added touch. I spent a lot of days and sleepless nights in the hospital rooms alone with Everly. I couldn’t help but remember highlights of the gown competition and Cubs game while listening to the beeping of the monitors. While Everly is awake, I try to talk to her a lot. Sometimes I run out of things to say after so many days. It was nice to be able to talk to her about the hearts on her gown and who made them and why.

Jack thought it was super cool- phenomenal actually, he must’ve learned that word from You Tube Kids- to see his sister wearing the gown. He thought it was neat that everyone in the hospital knew him when he walked in. The doctors let him have some extra time and privileges in the ICU room with Everly than most siblings get because they knew how awesome and well behaved he was from all his tv appearances. Although we didn’t give him many opportunities to see all wires and tubes and monitors when visiting, his eyes would grow a little larger if he caught a glimpse of everything attached to her, so I think if we dug a little more, he would’ve told us the gown helped her condition to seem less scary. Quite frankly, she was scary enough for him to look at with the gown on. Her eyes were open but no one was home. She’d look right through you. All while moaning.

Jack also really enjoys seeing pics of other kids in the gown he designed. He’s had some tough questions about Everly’s heart. In fact, he even asked Santa for his number one present for Santa to fix her heart. Seeing other kiddos in his gown allowed us to talk about other families going through similar situations that we are.

This year hoping for less times we need to wear our Starlight gowns- less hospitalizations due to illness. And maybe, just maybe - fingers crossed- the next time she needs to wear one she’ll be in the next size.

We are so grateful for the Starlight crew and the nationwide community that has given us so much support. We’ve been blown away by all the msgs for Everly and all the votes for Jack.

Donor

Rating: 5

"We are proud to support Starlight Children's Foundation," said Todd Mulvahill, President of Papa Murphy's Seattle Co-Op. "Making a difference in our local community is important to Papa Murphy's and we look forward to continuing our support of children and families in the greater Seattle area."

Client Served

Rating: 5

“Starlight is so much more than just toys and games,” says Tanya Ybarra, M.S., C.C.L.S., a child life specialist at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles. “Where you see a can of Play-Doh, I see a tool to help my pediatric patients understand how cancer cells form a tumor, and how we treat it to help them get better.”

1

Donor

Rating: 5

“Niagara cares deeply about children and their families and through our corporate giving we aim to support those who face insurmountable challenges,” said Kristen Venick, Director of Niagara Cares. “By partnering with Starlight Children's Foundation we are able to bring some fun and comfort to a child's hospital stay and distract them from the often daunting care they are receiving. We are proud to support this program in all of our Niagara communities.”

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Connecting with nature helps children heal. Whether they are learning to cope with a catastrophic injury or a life-changing diagnosis, medically-supervised camp experiences support and empower kids and teens as they gain independence and self-confidence and develop social/emotional, communication, and leadership skills. Specialty programs include those for burn survivors; children who require respiratory assistance; and children living with craniofacial abnormalities, cancer, kidney and liver disease, and other diagnoses. Help bring the joy of camp to kids in your community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You have the power to stimulate creativity and help kids in your community heal. Art, music, and pet therapy can transform a child’s healing journey and improve health outcomes. Specialized therapists play an important role in a patient’s overall treatment plan, reducing pain and anxiety; improving motor skills and speech and language; enhancing self-esteem and confidence; encouraging self-expression; preparing patients for procedures; and teaching coping strategies that can help children recover from trauma, both emotionally and physically.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Because of the need for specialized treatments and equipment, caring for a pediatric patient can cost four times as much as caring for an adult with the same ailment. This creates a tremendous burden for the communities that financially and emotionally support these children and their families.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Kansas City Royals and New York Mets teamed up with Major League Baseball and Starlight Children’s Foundation during the 2015 World Series to support kids and families in local communities. The teams and the league donated two Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment units to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York. Former team members and MLB executives joined with Starlight and hospital staff to unveil the new units to the delight of pediatric patients at each facility.

Client Served

Rating: 5

“Advocate Children’s Hospital is thankful for this generous donation from Astellas USA Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation. On behalf of the teens and children we care for throughout the Chicagoland area, we want to thank you,” said Mike Farrell, President, Advocate Children’s Hospital. “At Advocate Children’s Hospital, we focus on making our care environments safe, sustainable and engaging. This generous gift allows us to enhance our teen lounge and provide technology and design elements important to teens and their families.”

Client Served

Rating: 5

“At The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, our priority is our patients and providing them the highest quality care,” said Jon Hayes, CEO of The Children’s Hospital. “This means focusing on the healing of the whole child, and we’re grateful to Astellas USA Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation for embracing this goal with us by helping enhance and beautify the dialysis unit.”

Donor

Rating: 5

“Starlight Children’s Foundation and Astellas USA Foundation share a commitment to improving quality of life for patients and their families,” said Jeff Winton, president of Astellas USA Foundation. “We’re proud to play a supporting role in enhancing the healing experience for kids right in our backyard at Advocate Children’s Hospital.”

6

Client Served

Rating: 1

A little over a month ago, I would have given Starlight Children’s Foundation a 5-star review. Allow me to explain why this is no longer the case. For twenty years, Starlight had a program called Starbright World, which was a social networking site for sick kids. When I joined Starbright World earlier this year, I was very alone, having lost most of my friends due to my illness and disability. I couldn’t relate to any of my peers; I’d never even spoken to another person my age who used a wheelchair, much less someone who had my incredibly rare disease. I had no one to talk to about my intense and emotional experience with chronic illness. Everything changed when I joined Starbright World. I met wonderful, caring, supportive people who understood what I was going through and were happy to welcome me into their community. It was a place where I could share my experience, from devastating diagnoses to painful procedures to frustrating doctor’s appointments, without fear of judgment. It was the first time since I’d been sick that I didn’t feel alone. Whenever I needed support, I came onto the chat room, which was monitored by wonderful hosts and full of kids just like me. I made true friends, the likes of which I didn’t have in real life. Starbright World was the first place I would go whenever something wonderful or terrible happened. It was the only beautiful, innocent place I’d ever seen on the internet, and the only safe place I had in my life. I know I’m not the only one who felt this way. There were hundreds of kids like me who depended upon Starbright World for an outlet and a support system.

That was before this August, when Starlight announced that they would be shutting down Starbright World. They fired all of the incredible, giving, loving hosts without warning and gave us only three days notice before the site went dark. Sick, vulnerable, isolated kids, some of whom had been with Starbright World since the beginning, had their support system ripped away in less than a week. The effect was devastating. I was up until 4am three nights in a row, bawling my eyes out. One of my friends had a relapse of her illness from the stress. As kids with chronic illnesses, we already have enough stress and uncertainty in our lives! We weren’t even given an explanation; we were only told that there was no longer a need for Starbright World. We users banded together and desperately tried to save the site, proving that there was a need for Starbright World, but nobody listened. I sent emails and called Starlight Children’s Foundation, but I never got a response from either. They didn’t even send out emails to users, so those who didn’t log in during those three days didn’t find out until after the site was gone. We were completely abandoned and told that we should simply connect on Facebook. There are several reasons why this doesn’t work: 1) Facebook does not provide the anonymity and safety of a closed, monitored community, 2) many of the kids on Starbright World weren’t even allowed to make Facebook accounts, and 3) there is no chatroom where the kids can discuss about their experiences, and 4) it will not connect sick kids to each other in the future. The end of Starbright World was a travesty that hurt the very people it was designed to help. I am once again surrounded by people who don’t understand and can’t relate to me, and I feel more alone than ever. I can’t help but feel that Starlight Children’s Foundation doesn’t really care about sick children at all.

6

Client Served

Rating: 1

While Starlight Children's Foundation has a good overall message they do not have the best interest for the teenagers involved in their social media website "Starbright World." Starbright World is a Facebook-like website for teenagers with chronic illnesses and the administration decided to shut down the website without warning to its members. Members had to put together other means of contact within three days before the site was to shutdown. It was a sudden notice that many were take aback by. Several members didn't even know the website was shutdown until after it was already done. Teenagers with chronic illnesses need the support of others to understand they are not alone and find a safe place to confide in others with their feelings. Instead of giving us support they destroyed the community we once had. Starlight Children's Foundation chose not to support those most vulnerable who needed them the most.

6 Jocelyn N.

Client Served

Rating: 1

Starlight Global advertise an incredible mission to 'empower donors and strengthen communities by supporting the physical and emotional health of children and their families where they live, work and play'. If only they stuck by this.

Over the years, Starlight has had an incredible and positive impact in my life. I live in Australia, so I first came involved with Starlight through Starlight Australia, (which I will note is separate to Starlight Global), through the incredible Starlight Express Room at my paediatric hospital. Going to the Starlight Express Room was an incredible escape from my reality of what seemed like endless admissions, treatments and procedures and therapies. For a moment I could just forget about my reality, I could just go and joke around with the Starlight captains, chat about the things people my age usually would, play some games, do some art and just enjoy myself. It was incredible!

It was here I was introduced to Livewire Online, which is Starlight Australia's great online social network for kids and young adults living a chronic or serious illness or disability, supporting them both in hospital and at home. At the time, this program was joined in a chat room with Starlight Global's similar program, Starbright World.

I loved Starbright World right from day one. It was incredible. The impact it had on my life was even more incredible. When I joined Starbright World, I was not in a great place. Stuck in a hospital, far from home, after having had my life as I had known it, turned upside down and torn apart, I was incredibly withdrawn and isolated and felt misunderstood by those around me and felt I had little purpose in life.

Starbright World changed that. It was like a chosen family right from the first time I logged on. For the first time ever, I felt as though someone understood what I was going through. I realised I was not alone in the challenges I faced. I could log in at any time and chat to people who had faced similar challenges and experiences, people I could relate to and gain invaluable advice and support from. But it was so much more than that as well, it was not all about the medical challenges we were facing, it was just like we were actual friends, talking about everything else that was happening in people's lives. How school or sport or art classes were going, the latest and greatest TV show, movie or music, celebrity gossip and whatever else came to mind. We played games, we watched movies together, we did everything. The distance between us was irrelevant!

There was even more than this too though. During my years on Starbright World, I grew so much as an individual. Members and moderators shared their experiences of how they did not let their diagnoses and prognosis define what they achieved in life. It was the first time I realised, 'well, yes I have been told I will not be able to do much anymore, such as returning to education and sport, but why should that stop me at least trying?'. It made me realise that the world was still my oyster, anything was possible if I wanted it and put my mind to it. The support I received from everyone was incredible. They were there to help navigate and support me through the tough times, and celebrate with me during the great times. I was given incredible opportunities within the community, both in leadership and general skills that helped me gain and build on skills. I became a lot of confident and self motivated, and this helped build up my life outside of Starbright World too.

I can safely say, that there is absolutely no way I would be where I am in life today, achieving what I am, without Starbright World. Because of Starbright World, I am living my life to the fullest. I am at university, studying medical research, I am heavily involved within my community, mentoring youth with disabilities, running seminars, am part of a youth disability advisory and advocacy board, am president of Sailability, an organisation aimed at getting people of all abilities on the water sailing and so much more. Because of Starbright World, I know that my diagnoses or prognosis's do not have to and now will not ever define what I can not do.

Recently, Starlight Global made the incredibly sad decision to end this program, a program that was having an incredible impact of many people's lives. Now, I understand that there comes a time for all things to come to an end, and I also understand there sometimes comes a time when things are not longer viable, but Starlight Global tore this community apart in the worst possible way. They used foolish statistics, that showed how out of reach with the program they were, to notify the members of the community that there was no longer a need for the program and it would close in 72 hours. They had little care for this incredible community. They tore the communities home or landing place away from us without even notifying all of the members, some of whom had been members for years on end. To this day, they have still failed to notify all of the members. They just removed the site and all proof of its existence, which as a member of the site for years, find truly disappointing.

Once again, Starlight Global claims to strengthen communities by supporting the physical and emotional health of children and their families where they live, work and play. They did everything but this.

Very disappointed with Starlight Global, and I definitely think people should think twice about supporting this foundation in the future.


Although the names may be misleading, Starlight Australia, and other Starlight counterparts, who are not part of the running of Starlight Global, around the world continue to have incredible impact on the lives of those living with chronic and serious illnesses and disabilities, through their amazing programs. Support should definitely continue of these organisations.

5

Client Served

Rating: 1

A great organization however I believe they care to much about statistics. I was apart of a website the organization hosted called starbright world. This was a very useful website that I loved and would be on whenever I had spare time. But then when I logged on one time I saw they were closing the website down. They took everything I loved away in just three days. They did this because they said the need wasn't being fulfilled anymore. but they were wrong the need was definitely there I am sure lots of people would agree. we became a family. we needed each other to help cope with everything that was going on in our lives and a lot of us went through a lot and the people in charge of starbright just stopped it dead in its tracks fortunately we were able to stay connected through other means of social media but it just isn't the same. I wish we still had that outlet to just talk with other people that understood what we were going through...

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I think that Starlight has a very good idea and foundation. They are trying to bring teens with chronic illnesses together --like me-- they gave us a chat room and a "pulse" (looks a little like Facebook.) and it was the first time in all my life that I had friends that understood me and what I'm going though. It was the first time I've ever met someone with my medical condition.
Starlight decided to take that all away from us. They notified us that Starbright world was closing. The pulse and the chat room, our connections and support systems. They told us all but three or four days before the website was to go dark. We scrambled to get each others face books and phone numbers. But there was nothing like Starbright world. It was my safe space to vent and be scared about hospital stays and health tests.
Starlight took that away, with no notice, took it away with no consideration about what it was going to do to the community they were pulling apart.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight Children's Foundation is the epitome of a "mission driven" organization. Each employee whom I have interfaced with has shown how passionate they are to "improve the life and health of kids and families around the world". The campaigns they run, the partnerships they foster and the inspiring messages they share have created this community that pulls you in whether you are a patient, a family member or just a member of the general public. They raise awareness and it inspires you to help. My organization participated in the Play in May event and you could see the surge of light that the Starlight team gave our employees by making them feel they could be a part of this mission. They are energetic, inclusive, supportive and hands down our favorite non-profit!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight is a breath of fresh air- it heartwarming to see an organization who truly cares. Their work is inspiring and they are literally changing lives, one child at a time. The compassion and dedication they show to these children and their families is commendable. It is comforting to know that organizations such as theirs still exist. Great job Starlight, keep up the exceptional work!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Starlight is a champion for kids. They get it. They have an incredible vision and understand how to successfully serve those in need of their help. I am a very proud to be a supporter for Starlight Children s Foundation and will remain so.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The leadership and compassion coming from the CEO, Jacqueline Hart-Ibrahim, can be seen throughout the entire organization which continues to far exceed my expectations. It is very clear to me that Starlight is continuing on an extraordinary path of growth to partner "with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world." By uniting Starlight chapters under the global office, creating a revolutionary platform for hospitals to speak to donors directly, and much more, the Starlight Global Office is leading the charge in making sure children and families will always be the number one priority.

1 Christina90

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight has shown to be an exceptional organization with every interaction that I have... the staff is passionate, the dedication to the mission is evident and the work they do is inspirational. When I look at the nonprofit's I support, Starlight is my favorite:-)

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Starlight is awesome! Their mission, vision, staff, volunteers, execution, and the children/families they serve are incredible!

They deserve every dollar they receive, and more!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Starlight has been a great supporter of kids and families for many years. The great work they do is an inspiration to us all and I hope that they are here for many years to come. Keep up the great work!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ever since I became acquainted with Starlight, I've been touched by their mission and impressed by their focus to help kids as they navigate through difficult and often scary times. The Starlight staff and volunteers have been nothing but wonderful in their pursuit of this admirable goal.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In highschool I volunteered with the Starlight Foundation at various events. Not only was it a fun and enriching way to pass the time, but it also helped teach me compassion and open-mindedness towards others. The joy in the children's faces was unforgettable!

3 Peter55

Board Member

Rating: 5

I co-founded Starlight thirty years ago by helping one seriously ill little boy live his dream. Here we are three decades later and Starlight is a fully professionalized, multi-national non-profit that has lifted up the lives of over 60 million kids, and their Moms and Dads and siblings. I could not be more proud. The incredible efficiency of our professional team, coupled with the same relentless drive to always put the children first, are humbling and give me great pride at every meeting (and there are a lot!) Go Team!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first experience with Starlight was working for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was because of the Starlight Fun Center. Our kids LOVED the Fun Center and we could never have enough of them. Recently, Starlight has expanding their program offerings and now also supports pediatric facilities through their Wish List program. This organization has a huge impact on the lives of kids and families!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Starlight is an incredible supporter of kids and their families. Thank you for the millions you serve and the impact you make every day on kids like mine.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Kids Wish Network is a great source of support and coping in the field of Child Life. Within White Memorial Medical Center, KWN helps give our little patients a valuable referrence of what it means to be brave and resiliant during difficult times. KWN provides hours of fun and lifelong lessons for our patients. I could not perform my job as well without their constant support; it is truly a resource I have within my bag of tools!! Thank you Kids Wish Network!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first lurned about sbw when thay was linked with Livewire sbw has been there to help me in the toughest time off need thay are allway there to listen to you and us and. Always give us helpfull tips

Amber44

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started using Starbright World as a sick teen in the hospital and then at home as a way to reach out to others like me. It is a wonderful program for teens and young adults up to age 21, who need help relating to others like themselves, knowing that their not alone. It helped me feel that way, and showed me that even though that we may be far apart spread across the country we are all together as one, the same. Starbright World/Starlight is truly amazing. The friends I have made here, we have laughed, cried, and been angry, sad and happy together. And we show no judgement. I am so glad I found it.

Liz_24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I used SBW from the ages of 13 to 21 and for the entire time it has helped me so much. SBW hasn't only helped me feel welcome and feel like I was around people who understand me, SBW helped me find a friend.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

i've been part of Starbright World since I was thirteen. I'm twenty now. It's a great, great organization and helps so many people through their struggle with illness or watching someone struggle with an illness. It serves not only in the US, but also Canada, and other places. It helps children and teens feel less alone during times they are struggling and helps them smile, even if they are in the hospital.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a kid I spent a lot of time in the hospital. Starlight and especially their Starbright World program an online chat room for seriously ill teens. Starbright World helped me connect to others going through a similar experience. It helped me socialize and helped me make the transition from home to hospital more easily.

1 Nikki14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can’t even begin to express how deeply my life has been touched and deeply enriched by the Starlight Children's Foundation from first being a member on Starbright World and now being a volunteer and mentor. I have had the honor and privilege of working closely with the staff members and volunteers and therefore I have gotten to see how dedicated staff is at Starlight and the way that they interact with the families that are involved in the foundation. Each and everyone of them give 110% to make Starlight the very best that it can be and it is felt be everyone. The Starlight Children's Foundation allows kids, teens, and their families to participate in activities and be involved in a community where they feel safe and are surrounded by kindness, love, and compassion.

While I could easily speak for myself about how this foundation has changed my life, I think speaking on behalf of my late husband, Spencer, gives an even better testament of the life changing benefits that Starlight has on kids and teens. Spencer was diagnosed with a terminal lung disease called cystic fibrosis when he was 13 years old. His health declined so quickly after his diagnosis in part of not understanding what it took to stay healthy and partly of not having enough hope or reason to live. He became incredibly isolated in the hospital and at home and had no one to connect with. Spencer was able to utilize fun centers from the Foundation while in the hospital to keep his mind off of his medical treatments and when Starbright World was introduced to him he felt a since of belonging again. He was able to relate with other teenagers who were sick and fighting for their lives his like he was. By talking with others in his situation he understood how important his treatments were and he was given invaluable mentorship by staff and volunteers that made him strive be be his best even though he was handed a really crummy deck of cards in life. Starbright World gave Spencer hope and reason to keep pushing forward despite all adversities. SBW gave him life long friendships that he continues to have even after he passed away. Starbright World and the Starlight Children's Foundation gave Spencer a family that made his life so much better and worth living.

This is only a small part of what Starlight is able to give, how Starlight affects thousands of kids and families, and how Starlight changes lives.

Habiba K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

when i was diagnosed with crohns at age 12 no one in my family understood, i was led to starbright world through the uc and crohns teens website when i turned 13 , i love chatting to everyone and i have like 9 friends with ibd , i love going on and chatting with the hosts , i spread the word of my project to raise awareness of ibd through sbw and everyone helped , especially host rasarella

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Starlight Children's Foundation for over five years. During this time I have been positively impacted in a way that has forever changed my life. Without Starlight I don't think I would be the positive, compassionate and bubbly person I am today. Starlight brings out the best in people who have "bad" circumstances by showing them that they are never alone. I know others, like myself, will definitely support Starlight in changing the world, one person at a time; as I hope you will too!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Alisha and I found Starbright world when I was 13. I was already battling one illness, and undiagnosed with others. During my time here I've been diagnosed with 2 other illnesses. These diagnosis processes were long and exhausting, and there were many days spent in doctor's offices and many nights spent in the hospital, and there were many many tests. Starlight has meant so much to me, back when I was very ill and fighting for my life, and now as I am fighting towards remission. The people I've met on Starbright world, hosts, volunteers and others with illnesses like mine, have been so supportive and encouraging, and I don't know how I would have gotten through this without them. The fun bags starlight provided when I was in the hospital was a source of fun and a way to ease my mind as I faced upcoming tests, and the super cool teen room and the people was a way to let me just be a kid, even when I felt like I'd had to grow up too fast. I guess I'm trying to say that Starlight has meant the world to me. It's given me the courage to dream, it gave me the courage to fight for my life and now it continues to give me the courage to walk every day in remission, and to adjust to this new way of life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Bri! I have been a member of Starlight and Starbright World for 2 years now. Starlight has helped me in so many different ways! Their online social network Starbright World for teens with illnesses has helped me make so many close friends who also have illnesses! I would recommend Starlight and Starbright World to any teen who has an illness so they can get support from so many awesome people!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have lived with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis for nearly my entire life. The complications from this disease and the medications that I take for it are many and painful. I also live with asthma and other conditions. Early last year I was sitting at home unable to do much of anything because I was so sick. It occurred to me to wonder if there was any way for me to connect with peers who also were sick. I was lonely, sad, and had no way to discuss my pain with anyone. After a simple Google search Starbright World came up at the top of the list. I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of SBW before. I applied to join that day.
SBW has been an amazing influence in my life. Ever since joining I have felt so much less isolated. When I'm too sick to leave the house I still have someone that I can talk to. The people on SBW are friendly and welcoming. It's hard to be sick, but with SBW it gets a little bit easier. You can talk freely about your illness without fear of being judged. People can share their experiences with different procedures and medications and help others through their journey.

Carole14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi! My name is Carole and I am a member of Starlight Children's Foundation's online community, Starbright World! As a child, I was diagnosed with a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I became involved with Starlight at a young age and was introduced to Starbright World by the time I was twelve. As I transitioned into my adolescent years, I found myself connecting with other members who empathized with the struggles of being a teenager with a disability. Through this mutual understanding and tight knit community, I was able to grow and assume a leadership position among my peers online. Almost a decade later, I am still involved with Starbright World. I enjoy mentoring and engaging with the younger members, encouraging them to seek education, adventure, and independence. I am currently studying The University of Arizona and I am majoring in English, Creative Writing, and Psychology. I attribute many of my leadership skills and ability to empathize with others as a result of Starbright World! I love this community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Srarlight and Starbightworld has been a huge blessing in my life. When i joined, I was in a deep depression due to my health problems. And they helped me overcome and find purpose in life again. They continue to encourage me to keep up with my treatments and give support in my weird situations. Thank you all!!