F2: Family to Family Provides a Fresh Approach to Philanthropy
F2 enables philanthropic families to have a meaningful experience as a sponsor of a Great Escape family activity for those in their community who are struggling with serious childhood illness. Working closely with Starlight, sponsoring families help identify, name, plan, implement, host and finance an event that will bring respite and support to a group of families facing tremendous challenges, while allowing the host family to experience first-hand the joy of helping others.
- Step 1: Family determines they would like to sponsor a Great Escape for a group of families.
- Step 2: Sponsoring family and Starlight brainstorm the type of event and establish a timeline (lead time is usually four to six months, depending on the event).
- Step 3: Sponsoring family and Starlight determine and coordinate details such as location, food, entertainment, decorations and gift bags.
- Step 4: The Event! Sponsoring family serves as volunteer hosts and may engage in greeting, check in, decorating, giving out goodie bags, manning an entertainment station, etc.
- Step 5: Debrief. Starlight debriefs with the sponsoring family and provides the opportunity for family members to reflect upon their experiences.
Longtime Starlight supporter Roberta Koz and her family recently hosted an “It’s My Party” Great Escape where 125 Starlight children, family members and StarPower Ambassadors enjoyed arcade games, bowling, crafts, face painting, amazing raffle prizes and a special musical performance to celebrate their special day.
“I’ve been involved with Starlight for years, but was most familiar with the in-hospital programs like Fun Centers and PC Pals,” said F2 host Roberta. “Seeing the impact of Great Escapes activities on families outside the hospital was amazing — Starlight is really there for these families every day, both in and out of the hospital. Giving to support Starlight’s programs has always been rewarding, but the fact that our family had a hand in creating this very special experience for families in our community and had the chance to share it with them meant even more.”
When Glen and Debbie Bickerstaff and their children decided to host a F2 Great Escape, they chose a 70s Disco Party theme. One hundred fifty Starlight children and family members decked out in bell bottoms, tie-dyed shirts and peace symbols for an afternoon of bowling, pizza, ice cream, raffle prizes, disco dancing and guest appearances from John Stamos, Corbin Bleu, Kay Panabaker and Rob Pinkston.
Afterward, Debbie said, “F2 helped my children experience first-hand the time, resources and planning that go into helping those less fortunate. We spent quality time together as a family, while my children deepened their commitment to philanthropic work. My family loved it and had a wonderful time!”
Other examples of F2 Great Escapes include:
• Providing a group of families with an evening out at a movie, ballgame or other activity
• Sponsoring a holiday event for a group of families (e.g., Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, winter holidays, etc.)
• Hosting a special party, such as a luau or ice cream social for a group of families
• Sponsoring a day of pampering and spa treatments for a group of mothers and daughters
Starlight needs your help to continue to offer Great Escapes to New England families! We are seeking caring, compassionate families, individuals and organizations interested in “adopting” a Great Escapes family activity.
To learn more about how you can be part of the F2 program and help sponsor a Great Escape event please contact
Jonelle Prill-Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org.