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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Results: Starlight Midwest provides support to more than 330,000 kids and family members each year.

Target demographics: Children who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses or life-altering injuries and their family members.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 330,000

Geographic areas served: Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan

Programs: Great Escape, Day Brighteners, Starlight Fun Centers, Hospital Happenings and Starlight Sites

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Without Starlight's support of pediatric hospitals throughout the DC area and surrounding states - and the country - and overseas - I can't imagine how we could afford all the important programs they provide for hospitalized kids. Thank you Starlight.

Lillian D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight is beautiful & special in our family's hearts. They provide possibilities to children that wouldn't have opportunities otherwise.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Starlight Children's Foundation is a wonderful non-profit organization that brings joy, and happiness to very sick children and their families. I started interning at Starlight Midwest in June 2012, but had experienced Starlight's impact prior to arriving here. A seriously ill friend of mine got to use a fun centre while being in the hospital. It's so nice to be able to have a distraction, and just spend time with family and friends to forget about the hospital atmosphere. Starlight also does "Great Escapes" which allow for kids and families to experience normalcy and have fun being an average kid. These events are free for the starlight child and their family to attend, which allows for a stress free day. I'm very proud and grateful to say I was able to work with such an amazing foundation, helpful team, generous donors, and all around caring, good-hearted people that do such great things for sick kids and their families. I will continue to be heavily involved with this foundation and have had a truly rewarding experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is passionate about creating exciting and fun activities for children who critically and chronically ill. It's so great to see families go out and have a good time without having to worry about what others will think. The activies help families bond with others and allows them to have something to look forward to. Everyone in the organization was so sweet and you could tell that they were passionate about the work that they were doing. I would definitely recommend this organization to other people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Starlight Midwest is one of the greatest nonprofits I have ever been involved with. Their mission to help chronically ill children and their familes cope with the pain of illnesses is reflected in everything that they do.

Susan J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has alot of medical problems. We have been with this program for almost 2 years. It is so nice to go some where where you don't worry about allergies etc. I know it is safe for her. I like it that we can meet other families. She went to the Glee Prom and that was memories to last a life time.Also she met some wonderful friends. When you have a child with medical problems you don't get to do many outtings because they may be unsafe for the child or money. Medical bills are expensive. It is so nice to have a day to laugh. Best of all to see your child smile is priceless. Thank you Starlight for being there for us..

Tommi S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family has been involved with The Starlight Children's Foundation for almost 10 years now. We enjoy many events as well as making many friends. We have several that we have been friends with the entire 10 years. It is awesome to be able to do things we normally would not be able to afford to do, thankfully Starlight give us opportunities to do things we would not be able to partake in.
Having a daughter who has spent MANY days inpatient in the hospital, the fun centers have been a true help. Not only for my daughter who is in the hospital, but for her sister's who also get the chance to play with the fun centers. They have a blast and the Wii definitely makes time pass faster for us all!!
The hospital magicians are sure to bring a smile to everyone's face and are truly enjoyed by my family. We have seen them in outpatient waiting areas as well as in house.

The girls over the years have made friendships with not only other Starlight families, but with volunteers and employees as well.

A Child's smile is life's greatest blessings... Starlight has give my family many!! And, for that we are forever grateful...

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coming into my internship here at Starlight I wasn't sure what to expect. But now, after being here for 2 months, I have learned why Starlight is so special- Its staff is made of truly genuine and caring employees who give everything to execute the foundation's mission and help families and children in need. I have seen how much work is necessary in order to run all of the events and fundraisers as smoothly as Starlight does and am happy to contribute 120% to such an astounding cause. This is not an organization that I will be assisting with for 2 months and leave- It has made a special place in my heart and look forward to be a part of this organzation for many years to come! When you hear the touching stories of the children and families postively affected by our organzation, nothing brings more joy!

Hannah C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to be an intern with Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest over the last month, and am continuing throughout the summer. This organization is very special in a variety of ways. The work place is extremely efficient, supportive, encouraging and fun. There is a sense of passion and commitment within every member of the organization, and it is empowering to work with an organization where the different members are absolutely on the same page with one another. While there is a lot of work that goes on in the office, I leave each day feeling like I am giving back to the community, in particular to the children and families that we serve. While attending the various events I have had the pleasure to help plan and execute, I leave feeling extremely happy and proud because of the differences we make in the lives of these families. On top of that, it is great to hear such positive feedback from our families and kids - like Starlight helps them to just feel like the kids they are and forget about being sick! Overall, I believe Starlight to be an absolutely unique and outstanding NonProfit organization that is truly irreplacable - it is remarkable to talk to families pre-Starlight and post-Starlight and see the difference in morale and attitude.

Esso

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently, we held our ‘Father’s Day at the Lincoln Park Zoo’ Great Escape event for over 20 Starlight Families. During one activity, a zoo-wide scavenger hunt, volunteers were stationed at eight different checkpoints for families to find. At each station, families had to complete a physical challenge (e.g. Waddle like a penguin, bark like a seal, give your dad a bear hug) and answer a trivia question (e.g. Q: What color is a polar bear’s fur? A: Trick question--the fur is transparent!), before receiving a clue to the next station. Both Starlight families and volunteers had a blast—one participant even climbed into a tree to earn extra points for the ‘act like a monkey’ challenge! At this event, Starlight Families had the opportunity to spend time with one another and return home with a renewed sense of strength.

Jordyn F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a person who is involved in the planning and execution of programming, I've been given the opportunity to see first hand what an incredible difference this organization makes in the lives of the children and families involved. The stories I hear from these families everyday are truly inspirational and I feel so grateful to be able to play a tiny part in relieving the stress and isolation so many families with sick children face in their everyday lives.

Linda W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starlight has been a Godsend to my family. They've enabled us to enjoy going to places and doing things we'd never be able to afford on our own. Starlight helps us to remember what's really important in life: sharing time with the ones you love. Everyone I've ever dealt with at Starlight has been wonderful, too. I'd give them 2 thumbs up!! :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After volunteering at a recent event at the Lincoln Park Zoo I had a chance to see firsthand how important Starlight is in many families that are coping with the illness of a child. Starlight's dedication to ensuring all the families had a wonderful time and were taken care of was amazing and I look forward to future opportunities to work with them!

Christy L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Starlight is an excellent advocate and resource for children and families coping with chronic illness and hospitalization. Their Wii Fun Centers allow children to experience a piece of "normal life" even when hospitalized and bring an instant smile to the children's (and often times, other family member's) faces. The Great Escapes program is an excellent way to provide families activities that unite them as a family and social support from other families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for my experience at Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest. Before becoming an intern, I had not heard of Starlight. I am glad that I was able to have an internship with Starlight. Not only have I been able to help touch the life of the children and their families, but Starlight has touched me as well. I have been able to gain experience in an office setting. One of the best experiences I have had with Starlight was being able to pass out boxes of Christmas gifts to our families. They were so thankful and touched by the generosity of strangers. I learned that even the littlest things can make a big difference. I know that I will always be connected to Starlight Midwest.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before I moved to Chicago, I didn’t know anything about Starlight Children’s Foundation. After interning with this organization for a semester, I know I will always be involved in Starlight Children’s Foundation. Working with this non profit organization in particular has allowed me to gain so much and see how Starlight touches kid’s lives. When I get a chance to go to the great escapes, the enthusiasm and energy the kids have could light up a room, because of what Starlight does. This past Saturday I got the chance to attend a cosmic bowling great escape. I painted children’s faces, helped them write thank you cards, and got to capture the moments on camera. Every child had a smile on their face. I was also thanked every five minutes for what I do. The mission of Starlight describes it all, they brighten children’s lives. Without Starlight many children who are suffering would not have the opportunity to escape the pain and fear of their illness. I am thankful for the chance to work with Starlight Children’s Foundation Midwest and help in brightening kid’s lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so grateful for my experience with Starlight Midwest. As a volunteer intern, I am able to help improve the quality of life for critically ill children and their families by planning family outings and hospital celebrations. I sent a St. Patrick’s Day “Party in a Box” that included party and craft supplies to several hospitals throughout Midwest so that the children could still enjoy this holiday even if confined to pediatric care units. I felt so much joy receiving emails and letters from the hospitals expressing their appreciation for the gifts, and I am thankful that my service helped distract the children from the pain and stress of their everyday lives. I am now planning a Mothers’ Day Great Escape in which young girls and their mothers can enjoy a “princess party,” getting makeovers, playing dress-up, and riding in a Hummer Limo. I can’t wait to witness the fun and excitement! Not only has Starlight given me the opportunity to provide these wonderful services, but through my internship I have learned great project-planning skills that will transfer into my future career.