Nearly 50 Fun Centers have found their homes in hospitals in what is Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada’s largest placement of gaming stations in over 30 years. Thanks to an impressive list of 20 different Canadian sponsors and donors, including the Air Canada Foundation and the Ardene Foundation, 48 Starlight Fun Centers have now been delivered to children’s hospitals across the country to help relieve the mental strains of hospitalization.
The Starlight Fun Center is a mobile entertainment unit featuring a flat-screen television and a Nintendo Switch gaming system preloaded with more than 25 games for every kid and is updated annually with new content. Internet-ready, the units allow children to stay in touch with their friends and family; while also giving them a bit of normal downtime to watch their favourite movies, check their social media and more.
Specifically manufactured to meet strict infection safety protocols, Starlight Fun Centers can roll anywhere in the hospital and keep kids entertained and distracted, which is especially important with many playrooms closed due to COVID-19.
Done in perfect timing to help brighten the holiday season for kids and teens stuck in the hospital, these gaming stations will provide much-needed time for play and relief to help paediatric patients cope with their anxieties and ease interactions with hospital staff.
“I love being able to grab a Fun Center and roll it into a patient’s room, their eyes always light up, shared Brandi Emes, Child Life Specialist at Chinook Regional Hospital. “Whether I am playing one on one with a patient, an entire family gets to play together, or the patient is playing by themselves, the Fun Center is always giving patients and family’s permission to take a little break from whatever is going on. It’s a great tool to have in my tool belt to make the hospital a little less scary of a place.”
“The Fun Center Unit represents some normalcy and opportunities to escape into something fun,” Alison, mom of 16-year-old Carter who lives with Dysautonomia, shared about their experience in hospital. “We are incredibly grateful to both Starlight and the corporate sponsors to help meet the diverse needs of these kids who are just trying to get through treatment days. Carter’s favourite thing is to play Mario Kart and compete against any Child Life Worker!”
A single Starlight Fun Center reaches an estimated 2,190 patients per year.
Thank you to our incredible Starlight Fun Center sponsors for the impact their donation will have in-hospital for years to come: the Air Canada Foundation, the Ardene Foundation, Aviva Canada, Chamandy Foundation, Crystal Steak & Stogie Golf Tournament, Fondation Charles Cusson, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fondation Famille Godin, Fondation J.A. DeSève, HSB Canada, Intact Insurance, Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Saul Sacks, Sofina Foundation, Sutton Special Risk, The Harold E. Ballard Foundation, Travelers Canada, Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company, Wawanesa Insurance and Zurich Insurance Canada.