Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Self-Care Kit

Self-Care Kit
When you’re going through a stressful time, it can be helpful to have care and comfort items at the ready, so you don’t have to go far to find some relief. Here are some suggestions for what might go into a self-care kit for yourself or someone you love:

Mop up some tears or keep your germs to yourself – it’s the worst to need a tissue and not have one handy. Bonus: sharing with someone else who really needs one.

Hand Sanitizer
Especially during cold-and-flu season, it’s a must to have hand sanitizer available. If you’re immune-compromised, the last thing you need is to be exposed to other people’s germs. And if you’re sick, you don’t want to spread them around.

Lots of hand washing, wintry weather, and even many medicines can leave your skin dry. Keep a small bottle of lotion handy (get it? Handy?) for when you need it.

Sometimes things feel overwhelming when you really just need a little food. Keep healthy, non-perishable snacks close by, such as almonds, crackers, or a peanut butter packet. Maybe keep a tea bag or some instant hot chocolate, too, for when you need something warm and soothing.

Inspirational Quotes
Keep some wise words handy, or ask your friends to write you some love notes to read when you’re feeling down.

Stuffed Animal or Comfort Item
It doesn’t matter how old you are, sometimes something soft and cuddly can make a world of difference. Whether it’s a stuffed animal, a soft blanket, or your favorite hoodie – reaching for a familiar comfort can help you get through a tough moment.

Music is one of the most therapeutic things out there, because you can find the groove that best fits your mood. Keep a pair of headphones handy for when you need to tune out the outside world.

A Notebook
Expressing your thoughts and feelings on paper can be a huge relief! Or, it can be very helpful to write things down so you don’t forget – what the doctor said, your next appointment, or even your shopping list.

Coloring Book
Adult coloring books are all the rage, and we remember why we loved to color as kids! If you haven’t tried it lately, we highly recommend it.

Manicure Kit
Need some down time? Take a few minutes to paint your finger or toenails. Not only will you feel a little prettier, but it’ll be a good distraction and excuse to chill out while you wait for the polish to dry.

Fuzzy Socks
Pick up some cute socks to wear instead of the ugly ones they give you at the hospital. Why not add some fun flair to your outfit?

Favorite Movies
If you don’t know where to start for some good pick-me-up screen time, ask around. Chances are, your friends can recommend a movie or TV series that will get you smiling.

Keep your favorite people and places close at hand with some of your favorite photos! Tip: If you can keep them in your phone’s photo library, you won’t have to worry about a wifi connection to see your favorite faces.

What's in your comfort kit?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Family House 2017 Yearbook

2017 was a banner year, thanks to our incredible community! More than 270 volunteer groups and 3,000 volunteers helped us provide services to over 3,000 families! We had lots of special guest visitors from San Francisco and beyond, helping to make Family House more than just a place to stay. Sharing our heartfelt thanks to all of the donors, volunteers, and community members who help make Family House a home away from home!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Family Stories: Shasta's Girls

Family House Family Stories: Sharing the brave and inspiring stories of families of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. This story features Shasta, mom to Ireland, a cancer survivor, and Mia, a transplant recipient. Shasta and her family have stayed at Family House while both girls have undergone treatment at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Hear from Shasta what Family House means to them, and how they get through the challenges of having two children with life-threatening illnesses.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Giving Tuesday Success

Thank you to the many caring individuals whose generous #GivingTuesday gift to Family House helped us exceed our fundraising goal by 76% - we raised over $17,500 in just one day! And thanks to our Matching Gift Challenge, those dollars will be doubled, and even tripled in some cases (for gifts made by Family House volunteers).

We know that there are many great organizations you could choose to support, but as our founder, Dr. Art Ablin, always said: We believe there are none better. Your gift will make a huge impact for all the kids and families who stay under our roof, and help to provide a safe, comfortable, supportive home away from home for nearly 150 families.

Thanks again for being a partner in our efforts, and best wishes from our family to yours for a very happy and healthy holiday season.

With Gratitude,

Joanne Gold
Chief Development Officer

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Giving Tuesday 2017
What is Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday giving season on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday) - encouraging people to give back through gifts of your time, donations, goods, or your voice.

Celebrate Giving Tuesday this year on November 28, 2017 by giving to Family House. Here are some ways you can help:

Donate! We rely on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to make sure that our services are always free to every family. We receive no government funding, and need you to help us meet our Giving Tuesday goal!

Volunteer! There are so many ways to volunteer at Family House - click here for inspiration, and fill out the Volunteer Application today to get started.

In-Kind Gifts! From gas cards to gift cards to canned goods for our pantry and toys for Fozzy’s Toy Room, your in-kind gifts round out the support we give our families. Visit our wish list on Amazon Smile for ideas.

Spread the Word! If you tell just 5 of your friends about the Family House mission to provide free, temporary housing for families of sick children undergoing medical treatment at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, we will dramatically increase our reach.

Thank you for all you do for Family House families for Giving Tuesday and year round!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Holiday Volunteering Opportunities at Family House

Are you feeling festive this holiday season and looking for a way to give back? Family House has several ongoing volunteer opportunities, and we need your help to make our Home Away from Home merry and bright, especially for those families who are separated from their own families and community this season.

Host a Family Dinner
This is a great opportunity for groups of 10 to 15 people. Cook a meal or have it catered, and make the evening complete with fun holiday activities like arts and crafts, games, or music. The big holidays are already booked, but we would welcome your talents on another weeknight in November, December, and beyond! Sign up at

Host a Family Breakfast
Monday through Friday year round, we offer breakfast to all of our families. Help serve the meal and get to know our families! Perfect for volunteer groups of 15 to 20 people. Sign up at

Host an Afternoon Holiday Party
Any day can be a holiday at Family House! Bring arts and crafts, a baking activity, board games, or a fun holiday movie to Family House. Your positive spirit will make our families smile! Perfect for groups of 4 to 8 volunteers.

Host a Toy or Gift Card Drive
Support our Secret Santa program by volunteering in your community! Collect gift cards, toys for children of all ages, and fun stocking stuffers that we can give to our families staying with us at Christmas. Learn more at

Host a Canned Food Drive
Help us keep our communal pantries stocked by organizing a canned food drive. We always need pantry staples like pasta, soup, beans, baby formula, granola bars, and more. Visit our Pantry Wish List for ideas or to send directly to Family House:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Anniversary CFO Jessica Creager!

Everyone at Family House is delighted to celebrate our CFO, Jessica Creager, on the occasion of her 20th anniversary at Family House. Jessica is the hub of our wheel, making sure that our business/administrative office runs smoothly and efficiently. Far more importantly, Jessica’s sweet spirit of kindness and inclusion toward ALL who she encounters is the embodiment of our wish to make everyone feel welcome at Family House. 
Her professional achievements from HR to finance and management all things related to our business office have only increased over the past 20 years, and we look forward to the next 20 years of her leadership and guidance in many ways. Jessica, thank you for your stellar work (it hasn’t been easy!), and for making us all better people by your example of calm, warm, and professional demeanor.  You mean so much to everyone at Family House that we couldn’t be successful without your experience and expertise. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the families, volunteers and especially the staff, we mark this anniversary with gratitude and joy for our amazingly wonderful colleague.