The Starlight Children’s Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving quality of life for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. The organisation was founded in 1983 by Dynasty star, Emma Samms, and producer Peter Samuelson after Samms lost her 9-year-old brother to aplastic anemia. The foundation’s programs serve to distract children from their pain, help them to better understand and manage their illness, and put families in touch with other families going through similar challenges to create a sense of community so that no one is alone.
Starlight’s Programs include:
Fun Centres: bed side mobile entertainment units provided to hospitalised patients. Fun Centres come equipped with video game consoles, lap tops, DVD players, and other multimedia equipment to help kids stay entertained, in touch with friends, and caught up on their school work during long hospital stays.
Great Escapes: family days out that include, picnics, spa days, cruises, sports events, and movie premiers, giving families a chance to spend time together, relaxing and regrouping, so that they can return home with a renewed sense of strength and hope.
Hospital Happenings: parties and entertainers are brought to the hospital to offer kids comfort and a break from medical treatment.
Day Brighteners: a chance for families to relax and have fun with donated tickets to an array of events.
Starbright World: a social networking site created just for sick teens and their siblings. Teens can connect to similarly chronically or terminally ill teenagers at home or in the hospital, chat, post pictures, bulletins, and blogs. (http://www.starbrightworld.org/)
Starlight Sites: specially designed hospital environments were patients can play, relax, and interact with other children during their stay.
PC Pals: laptop computers for pediatric patients that come with a variety of entertainment and educational software.
Starlight Pantomimes (UK): twice a year, the Starlight Panto troupe visits hospitals throughout the UK, performing traditional fairy tale pantomimes for thousands of sick children.
Starlight Distraction Boxes: donated boxes filled with toys, games, and puzzles, to help children cope with medical procedures such as giving blood.
Wish Granting: the greatest wish of a seriously or terminally ill child is granted, restoring the magic and fun of childhood that is so often lost when battling with their illness, and creating memories for the whole family to share.
The measure of the work that Starlight does can not be quantified. Even now, as a charity fundraiser, and a past wish-granter, seeing the outline of their mission lying in print before me makes my eyes water. More than making wishes come true, they give families the hope and strength and support they need to carry on in what must be their darkest, most painful days, and they make children feel comfortable and happy hospital visit, after painful hospital visit.
You can learn more about Starlight UK and how to donate at their official website: http://www.starlight.org.uk
Donate to my WDW Marathon in aid of Starlight and Make-a-Wish UK here: http://virginmoneygiving.com/whenyouwishuponastar
And PLEASE CLICK HERE to sign up to donate to Starlight for Give As You Live. Thousands of UK shops will donate to Starlight when you shop online at NO ADDITIONAL COST to you! Just do your normal, day-to-day online shopping and every time a percentage of your bill will be given to Starlight. (UK only.): http://www.starlight.org.uk/give-as-you-live-for-starlight