Starlight Celebrates 40 Years of Delivering Happiness

Since 1982, Starlight has delivered happiness to seriously ill children and their families.  

It all began with a moment of happiness when co-founders Peter Samuelson and Emma Samms fulfilled a sick child’s wish to visit Disneyland. At that moment, Starlight’s mission became clear — to channel the transformative power of a smile and bring emotional healing to children experiencing illness.

40 years later, Starlight programs continue to bring smiles to millions of kids across the country. As our understanding of technology, children’s health, and the power of play has evolved, our offerings have expanded to address the diverse challenges of hospitalized kids. Through our signature programs — Gaming, Virtual Reality, Hospital Wear, and Deliveries — Starlight has brought comfort to more than 21 million kids in over 800 hospitals through the healing power of play, directly in the hospital setting.

While we have continued to grow and evolve the way we offer support to hospitalized children, our purpose has remained the same. We know that happy kids heal faster, and that’s why we will always be here to ensure that every child experiencing illness has a reason to smile.  

Whether through video games, toys, a comfortable hospital gown, or just a simple moment of peace, Starlight will continue to be a light for sick kids during their darkest moments. And with your support, we know we can deliver so much happiness in the next 40 years and beyond.  

Join us in celebrating 40 years of delivering happiness — give $40 to transform the lives of hospitalized kids and receive a limited-edition anniversary pin! 

Add a little happiness to your inbox

Sign up to receive periodic updates on Starlight kids, hospital stories, and resources.

More Stories