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depicting our Virtual Reality program, hospital wear gowns, and gaming in the hospital

Our Impact

We deliver happiness because happy kids heal faster


The Need

30 seconds

How often a child is diagnosed with a serious illness or injury

Just $10 delivers happiness to 10 seriously ill children

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Since 1982, Starlight’s programs have positively impacted more than 16 million seriously ill or injured children across the US. 

A hospitalized child is scared, confused, and often in hospital for a long period of time. Everything that makes being a kid is out of reach.

But innovative and inspiring programs like Starlight Virtual Reality, Starlight Hospital Wear, and Starlight Gaming bring the very best in gaming, play, and other fun experiences to our partner hospitals’ youngest patients. Because regardless of the sophistication of the illness or injury, a sick kid is still a kid.

Our Impact

16 million

smiles have been delivered to seriously ill kids and their families

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“Starlight goes above and beyond to meet the needs of kids and families. Each child is left to feel like the center of attention with the use of the programs. They forget they are in a hospital and instead feel catered to and spoiled.”

- Dorinda Hock, Director of Maternal Child Health, Anaheim Global Medical Center


How we deliver happiness to hospitals across the US

  1. Virtual Reality

    Over 1,300 Starlight Virtual Reality headsets have transformed the hospital experience for more than 18,000 children.
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  2. Hospital Wear

    Over 250,000 Starlight Gowns have been distributed to seriously ill children.
  3. Gaming

    7,200 Starlight Gaming consoles have delivered happiness to over 11.6 million children.
  4. Deliveries

    Starlight has shipped almost $10 million in books, toys, games, arts & crafts, and other items that have been distributed to over 1.2 million children.
  5. Spaces

    Over 100 Starlight Spaces have transformed the hospital experience for more than 2.9 million children.

How we measure program impact

We constantly evaluate our programs on 10 criteria to make sure we're delivering as much happiness and healing as possible

  1. Play

    Engages children through activities to help them learn, grow, express themselves, and feel safe in an unfamiliar environment

  2. Entertainment

    Provides children relief and distraction from stressful situations with enjoyable, amusing, educational, and stimulating content

  3. Comfort

    Offers physical, mental, or emotional relief to help alleviate feelings of distress and anxiety

  4. Socialization

    Helps provides a sense of community and belonging while reducing boredom and isolation

  5. Normalization

    Provides activities kids enjoy in their everyday life to help make an unfamiliar, scary place, feel safe and even fun

  6. Procedural Support

    Helps reduce stress and anxiety, resulting in greater compliance and less challenging medical procedures

  7. Emotional Support

    Ensures children have an outlet for their emotions to help ease fear and anxiety around treatments, conditions, stressors, and grief

  8. Pain Management

    Helps to prevent, reduce, or stop pain sensations associated with medical procedures

  9. Education

    Provides information about a patient’s diagnosis, procedures, or medication

  10. Physical Therapy

    Supports a planned program of activities often prescribed by physicians to help improve a child’s movement or manage their pain

Want the full definitions of how we measure program impact?

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Starlight’s Virtual Reality, Hospital Wear, and Gaming programs support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3