Monday, August 31, 2015

One Stitch at a Time

Nona Walton lives in Novato, but her heart is in San Francisco.

“My sister stayed at Family House in the late 1980’s when her daughter was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor at UCSF. I saw how well-cared-for they were, and wanted to find my own way to give back to those less fortunate.” In honor of her niece, Nona has sewn countless beautiful quilts for 18 years and donated them to children’s cancer organizations, including Family House, the San Francisco Ronald McDonald House, and The Doll Project at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

“It takes about 15-20 hours to make each quilt, and I just love it. I have been sewing since I was nine years old - my sister and I got a $10 a month clothing allowance (mind you that was in the late 50's!) but my mom said if we made our clothes, she would pay for everything. That's when my passion began. I have done many other crafts (beading, crochet, knitting, weaving), but my main hobby is sewing. It’s what I like to do to relax when I come home from work.”

During the day, Nona works in the finance department of a retirement community in Marin County. She loves to spend time her son and his family in San Francisco; she is part of a hiking group; volunteers at the Marin Food Bank; gardens; does yoga; and of course, loves to play with her dog. She’s donated nearly 70 quilts to Family House families, and each one represents comfort and caring in the special way that only a blanket made with love can. “It’s so important so share with families in need, and I just want to ‘give back’ to kids who are not as fortunate as my two sons were.”

Thank you, Nona, for sharing your talents and love with our families!

Learn more about how you can get involved with Family House:

Monday, August 24, 2015

4Paws Therapy Dogs at Family House

4Paws Therapy Dogs at Family House by Misty Moonlight

“I’m Misty Moonlight, one of four 4PAWS therapy dogs that visit Family House. The others are Jonny Jusice, Ollie, and Fozzy.

“We dogs meet a wide range of Family House residents, from 4 year olds to young adults, and all seem very upbeat. I don’t know if it’s the result of the atmosphere at Family House, or the presence of us cheerful dogs - probably some of each! During a recent visit, I met a boy about 7 years old and his younger sister. They didn’t have pets at home, so I was a novelty for them. The boy liked me right away, but his little sister was afraid and wouldn’t even touch me! After a while, James (my person) showed the girl how to use the brush so that she could join her brother, without touching me. Soon, she was petting me just like her brother. When we were getting ready to leave, she gave me a hug! James asked her if she would like to have a dog of her own at home. She thought about it, and said, ‘No, a cat.’ Maybe I should learn to purr!

“Another one of my favorite activities is visiting the campers at Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind. A young lady who was a member of the staff pointed at the Family House patch on my 4PAWS vest and asked about it. She said that she had spent so much time there during treatments that she felt like that’s where she grew up. She is now a ‘Guardian Angel,’ helping the blind campers safely enjoy all of the activities available to them. Another successful alumni with fond memories of Family House.

“Enjoy the sunshine, but pray for rain,

-Misty Moonlight”

Learn more about 4PAWS Therapy Dogs (, or about volunteering at Family House (

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nickels for Non-Profits

Family House is the beneficiary of the Nickels for Non-Profits program at the Haight Street Whole Foods! Bring your reusable shopping bag and a donation will be made to Family House! Runs through September 27th, so there’s lots of time to make a big impact!

Click here to learn about other ways to make a donation to Family House at no cost to you:

Monday, August 3, 2015

International Assistance Dog Week

In honor of International Assistance Dog Week (August 2-8, 2015), we’d like to give a shout out to all of our fuzzy four-footed friends who bring joy to Family House. All together now - WOOF!

Learn more about volunteering at Family House at