Monday, October 27, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Tricia Redor

Tricia Redor first heard about Family House through the Psychology Practicum class at the University of San Francisco, as do many of our USF volunteers. She was moved to help families and their children going through serious illness.

Tricia started helping Family House through managing group projects for the Volunteer Program, such as showing new volunteers where all the supplies are kept, and training them on setting up donations during our monthly give-away days. She has been instrumental in helping the Operations staff with house projects that include laundry, painting, cleaning carpets in bedrooms, and other necessary tasks to make sure the house is a clean and safe environment for immune-compromised children and their families.

Tricia has also given her time to working as a tutor, mentor, kitchen helper, office aide, and research assistant. She has experience working with children and homeless populations: she has volunteered at Glide and Project Open Hand, where she helped prepare and serve meals to those in need.

She spends her free time drawing, painting, running outdoors, listening to music, and going on adventures with her family and friends.

Thank you Tricia for caring for the families of Family House all semester!

Learn more about volunteering at Family House at

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!

Click here to read about the new Nancy & Stephen Grand Family House that is currently under construction, just blocks from the new UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay:

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