Monday, October 20, 2014

UCSF Mission Bay Day in the Life Simulation

I don’t think anyone has ever had this much fun in a hospital!

To help the doctors, nurses, and support staff get ready for the opening of the new UCSF Hospitals at Mission Bay, last week was the first of several “Day in the Life” simulations, where volunteers came together as patients and family members in real-life scenarios.  Family House staffers (and about 30 other volunteers) got to check out the new hospital, be pretend patients and parents, work with our partners at Child Life, and even got to see the helicopter (Bear Force One) take off from the helipad. We’re so excited about all the ways that this new facility is going to be able to serve thousands of Family House families every year!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Staff Spotlight: Susan Neff

How did you come to be at Family House?
In 2006, I was introduced to Family House by a Kathleen Toney, who was Board Chair at the time. I knew her as a friend and from community relations at our church in San Rafael - St. Raphael’s Church. Alexandra, the Family House CEO, had expressed desire to hire a development person for Family House. Kathleen directed Alexandra to my work at St. Raphael’s, where I was their Development Director. Alexandra and I met each other at Kathleen’s home and hit it off perfectly! We have a lot in common which then led to my working at Family House starting in July of 2006.
How has Family House changed since you first started?
Family House has grown—exponentially. In 2006, we only had one Volunteer Coordinator - part-time - and we didn’t have much of a database. We started with Donor Perfect (our old database program) soon after I joined the Family House team. We had no website, no Facebook following, and we just had the one small room for the three of us in the business office. We had about five people on staff and now we have more than doubled in size. Our database, donors, and families served has quadrupled in numbers; our general operating budget has expanded from under one million to [when we get to Mission Bay] 2.5 million. Our endowment has developed from 1.3 million to now over 5 million dollars.
What are some of your favorite Family House memories?
One of my favorite memories is when we used to all be in the small office, and one of the families staying here had a set of twin girls and a boy, and the kids would get so bored they would come down to the office and help us file. We were so behind on our filing that the kids would come help us, but in order to file, you have to know the alphabet! Since that was a little difficult for them, I made a poster for the kids to use as a reference, and it was so adorable. This particular family was here for months and it was just precious that the kids came down to the office to help us. My favorite administration memories come from kids who are staying with us coming down and hanging out with us in the office. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Architects Meeting

As the structure of the new Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House is now finalized, the architects are up to the interior design, including colors, materials, and furniture. Family House staff were able to meet with Richard Stacy of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects for input on design elements and to talk through some materials decisions (which flooring is better in kitchens versus bathrooms, etc.) which have already been made. So exciting that it’s all coming together!

Read the latest on the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House at

Monday, September 29, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Joey Jordan

Family House has a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the University of San Francisco. We have had a number of volunteers come to volunteer each semester through Service-Learning classes, as well as community clubs on campus.     For the first time, Family House has its own ACE student for the 2014-2015 school year. ACE stands for Advocates for Community Engagement, and is focused on “developing socially responsible, civically-engaged student leaders who facilitate quality service-learning experiences for all stakeholders and advocate for the common good of the community” per the USF ACE website. During the 2012-2013 school year, ACEs managed and led reflective activities for over 200 service-learning students.

Family House’s amazing ACE student, Joey Jordan, will be working with 14 USF students this semester, as well as providing his own service hours to help Family House at events, manage volunteers, and even TEACH Zumba lessons to the families. Joey is very inspired by Family House and is excited to support in any way he can.

He was drawn to Family House as he can understand how hard it is for a family going through treatments when they are so far from their own families.
When Joey is not volunteering or working on school work, he enjoys running in Golden Gate Park, spending time admiring the scenery, as well as volunteering at various non-profits including Project Open Hand, St. Vincent de Paul, and Raphael House.

Thank you Joey for all of your help this year at Family House!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Groundbreaking of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House

What an auspicious day! Thank you to everyone who helped make the Groundbreaking of the Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House possible!

Thank you to Nancy and Stephen Grand and all of the donors who have contributed to the Capital Campaign! Thank you to our Board Members for your endless support! Thank you to all of the families in attendance and those who we have served, and will continue to serve! Thank you to the Mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim, and everyone from the city who led us to this important day! Thank you to Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and Chief of Police Greg Suhr for being present and for all of your support! Thank you to the Archbishop Riordan High School Marching Band and the San Francisco Police Mounted Unit for setting the wonderful celebratory atmosphere! Thank you to all of the volunteers, to everyone from our building team (Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, Nibbi Brothers General Contractors, Cambridge Construction Management, Mission Bay Development Group, Goldfarb and Lipman, Susan Diamond, Platinum Advisors, Northern Trust, Equity Community Builders, Capital One Commercial Banking, Northern California Community Loan Fund, Marshall Lamm, Novogradac, Building Blox), and to everyone from the community who could come to Mission Bay and help us celebrate this momentous occasion!

You can still contribute to the Capital Campaign:

View all of the photos of the Groundbreaking: