Starlight Children’s Foundation was founded in 1982 (and incorporated in 1983) in Los Angeles by fourth generation filmmaker Peter Samuelson and his cousin, actress Emma Samms after they had worked together to bring a terminally ill young boy from London to Los Angeles to fulfill his lifelong dream – to go to Disneyland. Since its inception, Starlight has provided programming to improve the life and health of kids and families in hospitals and communities around the globe . In 1992, Peter invited filmmaker Steven Spielberg to join him and co-found Starbright (the technology arm of Starlight) in order to harness the power of technology and entertainment in service of the mission.
Serving more than 60 million children and their families since inception, Starlight is a global children’s charity that improves the life and health of kids and families. Through a continuum of support for children and their families—from the moment of diagnosis through the course of treatment, we offer educational programs that help sick children understand medical procedures, manage their illnesses and develop coping strategies; entertainment programs that boost spirits, reduce the need for pain medication, and provide distraction therapy; technology- and community-based programs that connect isolated, sick youth with their peers; and family events that allow sick children and their families to relax, have fun, and reconnect outside the hospital environment.
Starlight brings together experts from pediatric health care, technology and entertainment to create programs that help brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families. Unlike any other charity, Starlight offers a comprehensive menu of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings that enable us to provide ongoing support for children and families — from diagnosis through the entire course of medical treatment. Whether it’s helping to pass long hours in a hospital, learning more about a disease or just having the chance to make special memories together as a family, Starlight’s programs help children and families cope with the challenges they face daily.