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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Starlight Children's Foundation - Global Office

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Starlight Children's Foundation partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world.

Target demographics: improve the life and health of kids and families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: millions of children and their families

Geographic areas served: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Israel

Programs: Starbright World® online community (SBW) - The first-ever social network for teens with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, and their siblings. Members connect globally with others experiencing similar medical journeys to create a vibrant, supportive community. Starlight Wish Lists - The world’s first technology platform of its kind links donors to healthcare facilities to fund unmet needs and improve pediatric care. Hospitals, clinics and hospices publish their Wish Lists on starlight.org and donors grant wishes for their facility of choice. Starlight Fun Center® mobile entertainment units - Equipped with the latest gaming system that rolls bedside in hospitals, Fun Center units provide distractive entertainment and the healing power of play to pediatric patients. Starlight Tablets - A critical resource for healthcare professionals to support the ongoing needs of kids while in the hospital, Starlight Tablets connect directly to the Starbright World community.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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!

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.

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!

rleighr

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined Starlight Children's Foundation through their program, Starbright World. Through Starbright World, I made an incredible network of friends, who could always relate to my everyday health issues and be there to support me. Even though I was only a member of Starbright World for a year or so, I gained so much confidence in learned that I was not alone in my everyday struggles. When I turned 21, and Starbright World asked me to be a volunteer, I felt so honored because I feel like I owe so much to the program for what they have done for me in the short time I was a member. As a volunteer, I love being able to give back to the organization that has literally changed my life, and helped form me into the woman I am today. Starlight and Starbright World give so much effort to caring personally for each child who reaches out to them, and I feel like that is what makes this foundation so special and amazing.

Ashley64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Starlight Children's Foundation has done more for me than I ever thought possible. They have helped me become the person I am today by accepting me openly even with my disease. It has been very challenging ,yet, heart warming to be part of such a community in such a difficult point in my life. I am so fortunate to have them and the opportunity to give back to them, after all they did for me.

Christopher33

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity is absolutely amazing! I have done sponsorships for you and am currently doing one again! You are a true team who are willing to do anything and i applaud you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of the starlight foundation for nearly 4 years. My brother became a member of Livewire and then asked me to join as a ‘sibling.’ Since then he has been granted a wish where he got a brand new TV and other technological goods that any 17 year old boy would love. Last year Livewire joined the Starbright World chat room and now we talk to people from America and Canada. Such a great organisation bringing so many smiles to so many faces.

Roberta12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Starlight for many years. I think their programs both in the hospital and through Great Escapes are amazing. The in-hospital programs with the Fun Centers bring hours of joy to kids who are suffering from serious illnesses - it really helps to take their minds off of the struggles even if only for a little while. The Starbright World network is also amazing as it helps kids find other kids who are going through the same illnesses as they are - really helps them to not feel alone in their struggles. And the Great Escapes are truly wonderful opportunities for the whole family to enjoy really great entertainment together and feel "normal" for the day. It's also a great opportunity for the families and kids to meet other families and kids going through similar things. And it's fantastic that it's for all the siblings too who tend to get overlooked sometimes as the parents have to spend so much time taking care of their sick sibling. This organization is all around fantastic.

Cee K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Starlight is an amazing organization, they help so many children around the world and the family's who struggle having to deal with life threatening illness , they bring smiles to so many, over the last 25 years I have been so proud to be a volunteer for such a wonderful non profit, and all the people and major companies who donate to help all of these family's no matter what language is spoken, no dream or wish at the time wasn't fulfilled.I wish to say Thank you to all the people who have helped Starlight achieve the goal of giving to those who are so in need.I feel very blessed to continue to support Starlight when ever I can Winter-wonderland at CBS studios is next

Adam26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so happy and proud to be apart of and volunteering for the Starlight Children's Foundation. I started out as a member of this organization benefiting through their online Social Network known as "Starbright World." Now, I am more than grateful to be giving back to them. Through Starbright World, Teenagers come on and escape the realities of the constant pains of their serious illnesses and conditions. This wonderful place is an virtual world that Teens can log onto, find, talk to, & relate both with their Serious Illnesses & Conditions and common interests that hold them together and the pains of what they go through daily thanks to the likes & vision of Steven Spielberg. I have met so many people, I am proud to have journey along with and see how they have held their own through their illnesses to reach their dreams, but yet be close by them to encourage them to look through the challenges and see all the positives that are within their reach if they keep their head held high while in the Hospital Bed, just like I have.

As I said Earlier, once as a user myself and now a volunteer, Starbright World has everyday given me a place to share who I am, what I have done, and what I can do through all the surgeries I have faced with my Hydrocephalus. Today, I am proud to be giving back to this wonderful program and organization as a Volunteer Chat Host, encouraging Starbrighters to keep their head held high and keep battling through all the challenges of their Illnesses, as once did the many Hosts and Best Friends I have now did for me way back then. It is thanks to Starbright World & Starlight Children's Foundation that I a place to know that I am not alone when it comes to having the difficulties I face with my Condition and yet feeling a sense of satisfaction because they taught me that I am not alone and I am happy to be sharing that same feeling as a volunteer with new members coming on through this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Starlight Florida, I have experienced the joy and enthusiasm among the children with my company, Broward Sheriff's Office, Great Escape. Starlight is a great organization, and I look forward in continuing our partnership with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year I expounded on my personal most favorite thing about Starlight which was the inclusion of the Starlight Child's siblings and family in events. The events then become a family affair rather than all about the "sick kid". It brings families together to help each other, everyone gets a fun outing and all the children get to share in the fun.

This was never more important than this year when one of our Starlight Children lost her battle with a very aggressive cancer. She made it to our event the previous month, weak but glad to be there. When she passed, her family specifically scheduled her Celebration of Life so it wouldn't conflict with any Starlight events. Starlight had meant so much to them while their daughter was alive and they didn't want to create a tough choice for the other families ie: her service or a Starlight event to help their own kids. That's how important Starlight was to the family. I couldn't say it any better than thru their sacrifice.

Starlight Children's Foundation like so many other non-profits in this tough economy, really needs the support of America to continue to provide the programs that bring something so special to our kids. Joy. We can't live without that can we?

Thank you for your support!

Christy Hertsch

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about Starlight from a co-worker. When I asked to volunteer, I was welcomed as an asset and provided all the training and support I needed to be as effective and understanding as I could be. I quickly found that even though I was the volunteer helping our families enjoy a fun outing during very difficult times, I was the one who was receiving the greatest gift. Humility, grace and the joy of service. At an event one of our kids grandfather took me aside and told me that he so appreciated my volunteering time and effort. He was able to be with his grandson while he was laughing, playing, and socializing. Most of the time he was with his grandson during grueling therapy, hospitalizations, difficult doctors appointments and being left behind while his siblings and classmates were able to run and play. His gift was joy and he was grateful to Starlight Children's Foundation for all the fundraising work, volunteers, special events, and FUN! Starlight has made me a better person. Starlight has made me so much more appreciative of life in general. Thank you

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think everyone wants to see their children happy whether they have an illness or not. Too often, the burden of caring for a sick child can break up a family unit. I love volunteering for the monthly "Great Escape" outings with the Starlight Children's Foundation, because it just lets the whole family be happy together AND...that makes me happy too! The recent CPK sponsored Kids Camp for Starlight families did not disapoint. From the moment the families entered you could see the excitement on their smiling faces. Everyone bonded from 3 year olds to 60 year olds - family members and volunteers alike. I can't tell you how many family members came up to me to say thank-you! The genuine caring that the Starlight Children's Foundation staff and volunteers project is a wonder to behold. Just makes you want to keep volunteering.