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the starlight children's foundation

The Starlight Children's Foundation is an international charity with offices in the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Starlight Children's Foundation of Australia was initiated by prominent business and sporting personalities in 1988.

Starlight aims to brighten the lives of as many seriously ill children and their families by the granting of wishes and providing entertainment both in and out of hospitals throughout Australia.

Starlight touches the lives of over 200,000 seriously ill children and their families each year.

Starlight Children's Foundation Australia is entirely funded within Australia for Australian children.

Starlight grants the wish of any child between the ages of four and eighteen who suffers from a serious illness.

Starlight will not discriminate in endeavouring to help all seriously ill children in Australia and will resist undue religious, ethnic or political persuasion.

Starlight will not exploit the children, their families or their circumstances.

The most common illnesses of Starlight wish recipients are leukaemia, other cancers, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida and cerebral palsy.

Starlight encourages the entire family to be part of the wish and includes the special needs of the family to enhance the wish experience.

Starlight in Australia has completed over 2,800 wishes to date.

There are five Starlight Express Rooms currently operating around Australia. (International visitors, please scroll down to other links.) These are located at:

- The Children's Hospital at Westmead;

- The Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick;

- The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne;

- The Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane; and

- The Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth.

The Starlight Express Rooms are separately funded entertainment and recreation facilities in major children's hospitals. Each room is run by its own Captain Starlight and Starbright and is open up to seven days a week.

Starlight's innovative Fun Centre program, fondly known as "Squeals on Wheels" assist over 120 hospitals throughout Australia.

These mobile entertainment units can be wheeled from bed to bed. The Fun Centres contain a colour monitor, VCR and Nintendo 64 Games System that entertains hospitalised children for hours.

In 1999 the Starlight Express Outreach Van program commenced taking Captain Starlight on the road to put smiles on the faces of children in the smaller regional and metropolitan areas.

Starlight has over 700 volunteers who specialise in wish granting, fundraising, administration or the Starlight Express Rooms.

Both wish granting and Starlight Express Room volunteers undergo extensive training.

Starlight does not receive any government funding and is funded entirely by; individuals, corporations, special events, cause related marketing promotions and in kind support of both goods and services.

Starlight ensures the maximum percentage of funds raised flows directly to the children by minimising overheads and soliciting donations of time, goods and services in everything it does.

Starlight does not aspire to be the biggest but always to be the best. Our aim is to help as many seriously ill children as possible but to do so in a personal and quality manner that embodies the Starlight family.

volunteering for the starlight foundation

Everyday, in big and small ways, right around the country, our band of volunteers make the Starlight magic happen. Here are some of the ways you can help make the dreams of Starlight a reality:

- Granting the wish of a seriously ill child;

- Helping initiate and implement activities in these state-of-the-art playrooms with audio-visual equipment that becomes a high-tech sanctuary for hospitalised children (currently in Sydney, Melbourne & Perth);

- Helping to set up Starlight fundraising functions and working on events e.g. Star Day, Compaq Starlight Cup Tennis Tournament and special one-off events;

- Assisting during working hours in the office doing Word Processing, data entry, Reception work, mail-outs and photocopying;

- Attending fundraising events;

- Visiting schools and community groups; and

- Accepting contributions on Starlight's behalf.

Volunteers are integral to our programs. They are carefully screened and provided with training.

Our volunteers are part of a team networking with one another, sharing ideas and resources.

They frequently respond beyond the call of duty and are truly Starlight fairy godmothers and godfathers! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like more information please fill out the form below and we will email you further information:

* VOLUNTEER! VOLUNTEER! *

granting a wish

Having a wish granted is an exciting experience for a seriously ill child and his or her family. It is a chance for the sick child to give something back to the family.

It gives them the chance to be together outside the often scary and stressful treatment procedures.

Thanks to the dedication of trained volunteers who work closely with families and health care professionals, the granting of children's wishes is always a shining success.

Wishes usually fall into four main categories:

- A travel or destination experience;

- Meeting a famous person;

- A material gift (eg: computer); and

- An event or experience.

No matter what the wish may be, the experience is a magical one that uplifts the family and child as they cope with the stress of a serious illness.

Starlight has granted in excess of 2,800 wishes through the support of people like you! With your sponsorship and a little Starlight magic you can grant a wish and create the dreams of a very special child.

By joining Starlight's family you will receive brief profiles on the child and descriptions of the wish you have made possible.

an inspiring wish story: hog heaven

Eleven-year-old Ben of Victoria was expecting the arrival of a brand new Compaq computer. But he was hardly prepared for his wish to be delivered by seven big-hearted bikies riding seven roaring Harley Davidson motorcycles.

The bikies from the Eastern Riders in Gippsland, who arrived in convoy with Ben's teacherís aid, friend and other family members, then treated the lucky boy to a Harley ride into Sale where the festivities continued at his favourite restaurant, McDonalds.

Ben was still wearing a grin when his favourite Harley dropped him off home after the party, according to wishing granting volunteer, Rosa.

Thanks to Compaq, Eastern Riders Gippsland, Ozemail, Microsoft and McDonalds.

an inspiring volunteer's story

Deborah Speakman has been a Starlight volunteer since 1997 and has contributed to the Starlight Childrenís Foundation through wish granting and fundraising.

Deborah has granted three wishes including a trip to Disneyland, a trip to Queensland, and a computer. She also volunteers her time to raise funds on Star Day and other Starlight fundraising drives.

"I just love being able to help these kids by bringing some joy into their lives. Seeing their faces light up when you can grant them a wish is fantastic."

"Parents and siblings are often just as appreciative as the child receiving the wish. It can be very therapeutic for them to see happiness in the face of their loved one who has been unwell. Being able to facilitate this is so rewarding ..."

"I canít wait to grant my next one!"

© 2007 Starlight Foundation


There's no reason why after reading this, you don't start making plans to manifest the dearest wish of one you love - don't wait until they're sick, start now ...

LINKS ON THIS SITE
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Learn more about Antonella Gambotto-Burke ...
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LINKS (GENERAL)
Donations to the Starlight Foundation
Volunteer for the Starlight Foundation
Starlight Foundation USA
Starlight Foundation Canada
Starlight Foundation UK
Starlight Foundation Australia