• Starlight Children's Foundation Starlight Children's Foundation


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Mission Statement

We help seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.


Starlight Children's Foundation is a national nonprofit organziation. For more than two decades, Starlight has provided programs that offer children ways to cope with the social, emotional, and medical aspects of serious illness and has provided families with a community of support and understanding. Starlight strives to foster, provide, and encourage essential and normal life experiences for children and families facing serious illness; to educate and help sick children better manage their illnesses; to minimize the negative and destructive emotional impact of life-threatening disease on the family; and to provide pediatric care facilities with ongoing support in the areas of play, coping, self-expression, creativity, achievement, and learning, which are vital to a child's growth and development.

Starlight offers a variety of innovative programs and products that empower, educate, entertain, and inspire seriously ill children. Our unique model combines innovative medical education and disease-management programs with community-based programs and services, creating a comprehensive menu of both "high-tech" and "high touch" programs. We offer hospital-based programs and services, web-based programs that can be viewed wherever computer access permits, and outpatient community-based programs for children and their families. All programs are provided free of charge.

Starlight serves children and teens with chronic, serious, or life-threatening illnesses and injuries, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, and burn injuries. Through dynamic partnerships with local, regional, and national organizations, schools, clinics, camps, faith-based organizations, and other community groups, our programs touch the lives of more than 2 million seriously ill children and their families each year.

When a child is seriously ill, everyone in the family is affected. Sometimes the daily struggles of caring for a sick child are so oppressive, the thought of leaving the house for a family event seems impossible.

Starlight understands what families go through when a child is sick, and the importance of breaking the cycle of depression and loneliness. The Great Escapes program was created to provide families with a chance to spend recreational time together to relax, regroup and return home with a renewed sense of strength and hope.

The variety of activities offered through Great Escapes is endless: movie screenings, circus trips, harbor cruises, mother-daughter makeovers, sporting events, picnics and more. Starlight and our corporate partners and donors underwrite all event costs to make every Great Escape an "all inclusive" affair, allowing families to relax and enjoy themselves while someone else worries about the details.

In addition to needing to reconnect as a family, seriously ill children, parents and siblings have an incredible need to interact and bond with other families. Time and time again, families who participate in our focus groups convey the importance of having a social support network. At Great Escapes, family members are able to meet others who are facing similar challenges and who can relate to their circumstances, reducing their feelings of isolation. This community-building bolsters spirits, provides outlets for buried emotions and creates a vital support system during the most difficult times in a family's life. Starlight families make lasting connections through Great Escapes - connections that endure through medical treatments, the hope and despair of serious illness, and even the tragic loss of a child.

The way we see it, while doctors work to restore a child's health, Starlight works to restore their spirit.



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