Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance

Because no family has to face childhood cancer alone.

aka Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance   |   Stafford, TX   |  https://candle.org

Mission

Founded by families of children with cancer to light the way for families who came after, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance provides emotional, educational and practical support to children with cancer and their families.

Ruling year info

1993

Executive Director

Mrs. Lynn Wheeler

Main address

12919 Southwest Freeway Ste 100

Stafford, TX 77477 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

76-0367440

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Cancer (G30)

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Each day, 8 children in Houston will be diagnosed with cancer, and childhood cancer diagnoses numbers are on the rise. The absolute best way to support families of children with cancer is to provide a knowledge from someone who has been in those shoes so these families don't have to ask for help - we already know what they need.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Parent Consultants

Candlelighters would not be successful in our main objectives of providing emotional, educational, and practical support to families coping with childhood cancer if we did not have the Parent Consultant Program.
This unique program consists of five Parent Consultants serving childhood cancer families at the Children's Hospital at MD Anderson Cancer Center and at the Texas Children's Cancer Center. Each Parent Consultant had or has a child with cancer and knows what it is like to be the custodial parent of a child with cancer. This program was developed to directly meet the needs of families affected by cancer and to inform them of the resources Candlelighters offers, including: Peer-Peer Emotional Support from someone who has been where you are, Hospital Parking Assistance, Hospital Meal Passes (for additional family members other than the patient), Toiletry Bags, Grocery Gift Cards, Gas Gift Cards, Funeral Assistance and one of the most important resources our Parent Consultants offer, our weekly Candlelighters Parent Support Group Meetings.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

Hospital Parking Assistance is the number one practical support request Candlelighters receives from families who are patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Children's Cancer Center in The Texas Medical Center. The cost per day to park at these hospitals increased in 2019 to $13 if you are there for more than four hours, which most families are. The average a family will spend on parking over the course of their first year (of three on average) on cancer treatment is $3,250. To cover parking for our families over the course of a year would cost approximately $912,405 - and that would only cover one car per family, no mom and dad driving separately or grandparents coming to visit.   There is a HUGE gap between the amount we are currently providing and what we would like to provide.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

Camp CLIFF - a weekend away for the whole family.
Candlelighters focuses on the entire family; because childhood impacts the whole family. A family dealing with cancer instantly faces a tremendous financial burden and things such as family outings go by the wayside. Many camps offer the child with cancer a getaway, but we feel that it is very important for the whole family to come together away from the treatment facilities and their everyday hectic lives. Quality time as a family is essential in their struggle to beat the disease.
For some families, Camp CLIFF will be the last vacation they share as a family; for others, a fresh start and celebration for conquering cancer. Camp CLIFF also recognizes that each journey through cancer is different so we invite on and off-treatment children and their families, as well as bereaved families. They each have a story worth honoring and sharing and we are grateful to be able to provide this for them.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

Adopt-A-Family provides hope, support, and practical help to approximately 330 families during the holiday season every year. Our Adopt-A-Family program pairs organizations, companies, and community members with Candlelighters families, spreading holiday cheer to childhood cancer families. This heartwarming program offers sponsors the opportunity to personally interact with families.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Infants and toddlers, Preteens

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of campers enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Adolescent parents, Foster and adoptive parents, Single parents

Related Program

Camp CLIFF

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We took our camping experience VIRTUAL in 2020 and sent at-home camp-in-a-box activities for the entire family!

Number of families who report that service and support staff/providers are available and capable of meeting family needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Parents

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

According to our 2020 Family Survey, 93% of our families found our emotional, educational, and practical services helpful for their family.

Number of death caused by cancer

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Young adults

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We provide funding to help childhood cancer families hold a memorial and/or funeral service for their loved one.

Number of families served in cancer treatment

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Parents

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of meal cards given to families while a child is staying in the hospital.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Parents

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Average online donation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average number of dollars given by new donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of first-time donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of programing delivered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Parents

Related Program

Parent Consultants

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of camps offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, Parents

Related Program

Camp CLIFF

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

A childhood cancer diagnosis is devastating to families. Treatment requires months and sometimes years of therapy with many children who relapse facing five or more years of treatment. Even with insurance coverage, unexpected non-medical expenses add additional stress and hardship to the family budget. This is why Candlelighters focuses on practical, emotional, and educational needs of children with cancer and their families. Houston-area Candlelighters families are eligible for our services, with priority given to families in need.

Candlelighters aims to open the doors of access and opportunity, for all families of children with cancer, regardless of their background, heritage, race, financial status; we support every childhood cancer family receiving treatment in Houston, no matter what. 28 years ago, Candlelighters was founded by families of children with cancer – their vision was how to help fellow families through childhood cancer – they wanted to make sure their road was a little smoother. All of our programs and services are the direct result of this vision.

Every program and service Candlelighters offers focuses on our goal - to help families through one of life’s toughest battles: childhood cancer. Candlelighters partners with families and shares their journey as they battle the disease and the tremendous financial and emotional burdens they inherit immediately upon diagnosis. A childhood cancer diagnosis is devastating to families. Treatment requires months and oftentimes years of therapy with many children who relapse facing five or more years of treatment. Even with adequate insurance coverage, non-medical expenses add additional stress and hardship to the family budget. Candlelighters staff, board members, and volunteers know firsthand what childhood cancer families need to make it through their walk with cancer and work strategically to provide them with emotional, educational and practical support.

Over the years, we have learned how critically valuable it is for our Parent Consultants to be able to personally hand parents of children with cancer practical assistance. The incredible relief and emotional support in this small act of practical help is priceless to the childhood cancer family in need during their most difficult and darkest hour. It is our greatest honor and privilege to bring this type of comfort to childhood cancer families when stress is so high and they feel so helpless. Candlelighters offers practical support to families of children in many ways on a daily basis including hospital parking expenses (4,450 parking validations provided in 2020), in-hospital meal passes (230 meal passes provided in 2020), groceries and toiletries for families of inpatient children (200 grocery gift cards provided and more than 300 toiletry bags provided in 2020), gas cards for families traveling at length for treatment (57 gas cards provided in 2020) and when necessary funeral assistance for families whose children have lost their battle (16 families assisted in 2020).

The Parent Consultant Program was developed to directly meet the needs of families at the treatment centers and to inform them of potential resources and help through Candlelighters. Our programs and services extend beyond the hospital walls with our Family Camp, Adopt-A-Family, Fall Festival, quarterly newsletter, and other special events.

We have been able to increase the support we provide for patient parking, increase the number fo campers who attend our annual family camp, introduce a gas card program, provide meal passes that allow families to purchase food at the hospital cafeteria/food court, and memorial funds to help offset the costs of funeral services.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Candlelighters serves all children with cancer and their families at every stage of their journey. Our support extends to families of children on-treatment, long term survivors, adult survivors, and those whose child lost their battle with cancer. Cancer does not discriminate and neither does Candlelighters. All our programs and services are offered at no cost to families of children with cancer; once a Candlelighters family = always a Candlelighters family.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance

Board of directors
as of 10/13/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Katie Stanton

Linda Evans

Alex Newton

Siteworks Cast Stone

Aron Will

CBRE

Scott Newell

Wortham Insurance

Jay Beasley

Shell

ZoAnn Dreyer

Texas Children's Hospital

Sam Governale

Emmaline

Jenna Jackson

P+R Productions

Dave Mally

Frontier Utilities

Ben Pisklak

Slate Real Estate Partners

Cindi Ditta-Priebe

Ditta Customized Premium Meats

Joellen Snow

Katie Stanton

Stephanie Deverka

Christopher Joseph

Clovis Point Capital

Lisa O'Leary

Brad Chin

Bracewell LLP

Douglas Harrison

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Kenneth Matula

Gexa Energy

Tricia Solberg

Kris Vallee

Andrew Snyder

Northwestern Mutual

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/13/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.