Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Family Stories: Tauriel’s Family

Family House Family Stories: Sharing the brave and inspiring stories of families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This story features Tauriel G and her family, from Whiteriver, Arizona - they  have been staying at Family House in San Francisco for over a year while Tauriel undergoes treatment at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Hear how Family House helped keep their family together in a time of crisis.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Anna Lark

Name: Anna Lark   

Where did you grow up?
Ceres, CA

Position at Family House:

Hospitality Services Coordinator

Reason for working at Family House:
My family stayed at Family House while my brother went through treatment for AML. I loved Family House and always wanted to give back. I feel really happy working in an environment with people from all over the world who all have amazing stories to tell.

Favorite thing to do in San Francisco: 
I love to draw random people on public transportation.  I love spending days walking through Golden Gate park and stopping at the botanical gardens, the Academy of Sciences and the DeYoung Museum all in one day.

What makes you special?

I often make art for the families who stay at Family House.
What’s the story behind the photo?
This is me with one of our clients, Joseph. He put the fire truck on my nose, of course.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Volunteer Spotlight: 7-Eleven Bay Area

It’s clear that the 7-Eleven Golden Gate Market team is a family, and they really work together to make a difference in the Bay Area. Market Manager Robert Young encourages the hard work of Community Relations Leader Mindy Layon, and together, they work magic for Family House. They champion Family House at every turn, and do their best to rally the support of approximately 100 Bay Area 7-Eleven stores.

Robert’s team of Field Consultants (Mark Kwasigroch, Tim Lankford, Jamaal Brown, Khae Alvarado-Poblete, Nicole Wyatt, Don Hayden, Janae Dominguez, Trina Metoyer, Jim Rasmussen and Mindy Layon) are all very involved, and there is a core group of Franchisees (Harry Brar, Destiny Nguyen, Jasama Patel, Raj Uppal, Amar and Raman Johal, Sindy Singh, Basel Aldabyani, Kuljit Matharu, Phyllis Shideler, and Neil Khoury, just to name a few!) that help with donations and volunteering, as well.  “Its important that our stores are involved with the communities they serve, and it’s a lot of fun”, says Layon.

It all began four years ago when Young, Layon, and a group of 7-Eleven franchisees volunteered at the Family House on 10th Avenue. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s a good partnership for us, it gets us involved with the community, and it gives us a way to give back to the less fortunate,” recalls Mark Kwasigroch. The group helped by disinfecting toys and organizing donated items - when they saw the impact they were having, they were hooked.  “There is a certain amount of reward to giving back. In some ways it’s kind of selfish because it makes you feel good. It’s really rewarding,” admits Tim Lankford.

Since 2013, they have contributed to Family House in a huge variety of ways: they’ve donated product (coffee and pizza are the biggest hits); set up kiosks in stores to collect cash donations and pantry food items; hosted fundraising drives to purchase gifts for the Family House Secret Santa Program (10 families so far!); volunteered doing projects around the house; hosted parties for Halloween and the Super Bowl; and made surprise visits to drop off all kinds of goodies for our families. Harry Brar says, “We love spending time with the kids and the families - letting them know that there are people out there who care about them. It’s just about caring, and sharing, you know?”

When the team heard about the Capital Campaign to build the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House, they upped their game, and just had to see the progress for themselves. Jamaal Brown points out, “It’s not just the sick kids who go to the hospital - it’s the families, the parents, too - they need the support system - and Family House provides it all for no charge. These families come from all over, and it helps out tremendously. Even giving two hours of your time is a huge help - it makes the kids feel better and have a better day.”

Jasama Patel remembers the first time she volunteered at Family House: “It was a humbling experience for me, because it could be my kids [who are sick]. Don’t take things for granted; you never know when it could be taken away. I’m looking forward to bringing my kids here to volunteer. You see how everyone here cares.”

As we approached the one year anniversary of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House, Robert’s team couldn’t wait to help. They donated a ton of food for the party (200 hot dogs, sides, beverages, and more!), and even took turns manning the grill so everyone could have fresh dogs!

We appreciate all that the Bay Area 7-Eleven team does for our families, and we’re so glad they’re part of the family!

Watch the video we put together featuring 7-Eleven volunteers:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Alexandra Morgan

Alexandra Morgan

Where did you grow up?
San Francisco      

Position at Family House:

Reason for working at Family House:

Favorite thing to do in San Francisco:
Go to Golden Gate Park

What makes you special?
Family House does!

What’s the story behind the photo?
Photo taken by Kate Nagle, a very talented photographer and Family House mom!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Allyse Culcasi

Name: Allyse Culcasi

Where did you grow up?
Half Moon Bay

Position at Family House:
Hospitality Services Coordinator

Reason for working at Family House:
Having the opportunity to help out in any way possible and being there for families (whether it is providing a smile or a shoulder to lean on!) is the reason why I work at Family House.

Favorite thing to do in San Francisco: 
My favorite thing to do in San Francisco is to spend a day at Ocean Beach with a good book, some yummy food, and great company.

What makes you special?
We are all special in our own special way!   (And I can juggle….Is that special enough??)

What's the story behind the photo?
The photo is of me and Suzy, who is like a second mom to me. I spent a year and a half living with Suzy and her two children in Sydney, Australia. This photo is when she came to visit me in San Francisco and we took a ferry and spent the day in Sausalito. It was a day filled with sunshine, love, and laughter!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rockstar Volunteers: WorkLink California

WorkLink volunteers shine at Family House - due to their incredible work-ethic and dedication to serving our families.  Volunteers from WorkLink have aided Family House for nearly a decade, helping us 
to keep our house clean, tidy, and orderly.  WorkLink volunteers are contagiously positive and kind to each person they encounter, 
especially to our families. 

WorkLink is a transition and direct service provider that helps adults with disabilities find employment and other means of service.  Since 2008, WorkLink has contributed over 7,000 hours of service to Family House at both our original Inner Sunset locations, and now in Mission Bay.

WorkLink volunteers are devoted to making every visit count! They are always professional, encouraging, and committed to the work they perform. From disinfecting our play areas to tidying the kitchens, we can continually depend on the amazing volunteers from WorkLink.  We thank each volunteer for the many years serving Family House families.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Family Stories: Joseph's Family

It's been a month since Joseph and his family got to go home, after 3 years at Family House in San Francisco.

Learn more about the families we serve at