Saturday, May 25, 2013

Family House Volunteer Spotlight: Cari Cronquist

 The Family House June Volunteer Spotlight shines on Cari Cronquist, "the girl with the smile!" We are so lucky to have such kind, generous volunteers!  Even something as simple as a great attitude can go a long way.  Thank you, Cari, for volunteering with Family House!  You rock!

"Cari Cronquist volunteered as the Operations Volunteer Leader in the Spring 2013 semester at 50 Irving St. However she has become so much more in her role at Family House.

Cari has become an important part of maintaining the 50 Irving Street facility. Throughout the semester, she has been supporting Paul Goold, Director of Operations, in tasks such as disinfecting, organizing,  and deep-cleaning common spaces, bedrooms, and the garage. Cari was also no stranger to managing other volunteers as she helped lead corporate groups and weekly volunteers perform various house functions.

Besides volunteering with Family House, Cari used to tutor and work with underprivileged kids in an after school program at two different elementary schools in San Jose. She has also done a lot of volunteer work with kids as a soccer coach for summer camps; she currently volunteers as a Research Assistant at UCSF  in the Langley Porter Institute.

In her spare time, she loves to play soccer and work out. Cari is known for her smile because you'll never see her without her signature ear-to-ear grin. Cari, we love your smiling face every day you are at Family House. Thank you!"

Get involved with Family House! Learn more at

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jessica Schroeder: How I Got Involved as a Volunteer with Family House

Triage Consulting Group Volunteers at Family House
 In September 2009, Jessica Schroeder was hired at Triage Consulting Group, one of the companies that frequently participates in group volunteer projects at Family House.  With Triage, she participated in "done in a day" volunteer projects that included painting and deep-cleaning bedrooms and common areas.

"I fell in love with the organization and the mission immediately," says Jessica, and she contacted our volunteer coordinators to find out how she could get involved outside of work.  That's when she started as an Event Volunteer in her free time, helping out with various fundraising events such as Cabernet for Connoisseurs and San Francisco Magazine's Best of the Bay party.

Jessica Schroeder Volunteering at the Family House Annual Gala
Jessica wanted to be a bigger part of Family House, so she joined the Young Professionals Advisory Council in January 2011. As a YPAC member, Jessica was able to take on the role of Volunteer Captain at events, organizing as many as 70 volunteers for a single event.  As Senior Associate Consultant at Triage, she is now also the liaison between Family House and Triage, and is one of the leads for bigger volunteer projects like Triage Founders Day, where a group takes the lead on renovations of bedrooms by painting, installing closet organizers, and adding wall art "to make the rooms feel more like home."

When she's not at Family House, you can find Jessica running, cooking, reading, or traveling.  She'll be starting at Darden School of Business (University of Virginia) this fall.

To learn more about YPAC or volunteering with Family House, please visit our website:

Monday, May 13, 2013

Family House: Over Three Decades of Serving Young Patient Families

by Gail Berkley
Sun-Reporter Volume 67 Number 16, Thursday April 18, 2013

Imagine if you have a seriously ill child who is hospitalized miles away from home. As a parent, you would want to spend almost every moment possible at the child's bedside and commuting to and from the hospital daily would only add to your stress. For over 30 years Family House in San Francisco has fulfilled a vital need for parents facing such challenges.

Family House provides a caring home away from home for parents of seriously ill children who are patients at University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's hospital.

As UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital prepares to move to a new location in the city's Mission Bay area, Family House also plans to relocate to serve families in brand new facilities.

In order to make the move, Family House must acquire land and construct a new building in the vicinity of the hospital. Plans are under way to ensure that families will receive the same care, comfort, and compassionate housing completely free of charge while their child receives care at the new hospital. The agency hopes to open the new facility by 2016.

"We are grateful to Mayor Lee and City Administrator Naomi Kelly for their strong support of our move to Mission Bay," said Executive Director Alexandra Morgan. "Their ongoing support, along with their staff, has been critical to helping us relocate with the new children's hospital and continue serving the most vulnerable members of the Bay Area community."

Founded in 1981, Family House provides temporary housing free of charge at two locations to the young patients' families. To qualify for the housing families must live more than 50 miles from UCSF. Families are referred by pediatric social workers and many of them live at or below the low-income status as determined by UCSF.

With a $1.5 million annual budget, the non-profit organization serves an average of 34 families per night. The two current locations sustain a nearly 100% occupancy rate and can accommodate 107 people per night. Over the course of a year more than 2,000 families are served, according to agency statistics.

Working in conjunction with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, the agency strives to provide family-centered care for patient families.

One family that has made repeat visits to Family House is that of a young girl named Sharita. Now 9, Sharita has had a kidney transplant. Her aunt and guardian, Suprena Dickson of Clovis, first stayed at Family House in September, 2011 for about 2 months. After that, she has come to Family House for short visits a few times a year.

The families of children undergoing bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy, and radiation are the agency's most common guests. Family House also accommodates those facing other life-threatening childhood illnesses such as fetal surgery, transplants, and cardiac patients when space is available.

For more information on Family House log onto

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

UCSF Ice Cream Social

Thanks to the doctors, nurses, and hospital support staff at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital for attending our ice cream social earlier this week! It was so great for the staff to meet all of you, and have a chance to get to know you. So many of you we've heard of, and even talked to on the phone for years, and can now put a face to the name! And thank you to Three Twins Ice Cream for sponsoring treats for the event. We love and support the same families, and we appreciate all you do for the sick kids at the hospital. Much love! 

Read the latest about the Nancy & Stephen Grand Family House at Mission Bay:

View all of the photos!