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Volunteers hit streets to fundraise for Starlight Day and bring joy to sick kids

Cassie Zervos, May 4, 2017 5:50PM Herald Sun

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THE Starlight Children’s Foundation are set brighten the lives of sick kids on Friday May 5 as part of their biggest fundraising event of the year.

More than 2000 purple and yellow Starlight volunteers* will hit busy streets and train stations across the country on Starlight Day to raise money by selling merchandise and collecting donations.

The Starlight Children’s Foundation is a charity with a focus on helping sick kids and their families. It runs various initiatives* including a wishgranting program and an online portal where sick kids can connect.

Starlight Day aims to raise money for its programs that serve more than 33,000 seriously ill children and their families across Australia.

For 10-year-old Georgia Langon-Plunkett and her family, the foundation has helped bring laughter and brightness during some difficult times.

A Starlight Captain and patient Ruby Atkinson. Picture: supplied media_cameraA Starlight Captain and patient Ruby Atkinson. Picture: supplied

When Georgia was seven-years-old she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease after suffering serious abdominal* pains.

Georgia’s mother, Ngaire, said the Starlight Foundation has been an “incredible part” of her family’s life.

“As soon as Georgia walks in to the hospital, the Starlight team make her feel incredibly welcome and she absolutely adores the Starlight Captains,” she said.

“Georgia trusts them, idolising them and as a parent it’s such a special feeling.”

Ngaire said the foundation has become a huge part of her support network as a mother.

“They take away some of the pressure that families feel at stressful times,” she said.

The brave 10-year-old said her favourite part of the foundation was the Starlight Captains.

“They make me laugh and feel happy,” she said.

Starlight chief executive Louise Baxter said: “we are encouraging all Australians to dig deep this

Starlight Day to help us improve hospitalisation for seriously ill children and their

families.”

Georgia Plunkett with two Starlight Captains at the Starlight Foundation. Picture: Jake Nowakowski media_cameraGeorgia Plunkett with two Starlight Captains at the Starlight Foundation. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

“Starlight’s hospital programs provide more than just a fleeting* smile, replacing pain,

fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter and giving seriously ill children the opportunity

to simply be kids again,” she said.

“Every donation is vital in helping us reach our goal of powering happiness and making a lasting difference to the wellbeing of sick kids.”

For more information visit their website: www.starlight.org.au.

GLOSSARY

volunteers: someone doing something for free

initiatives: projects

abdominal: around the ab muscles on the stomach area

fleeting: short amount of time

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. Radio interview

With a partner, pretend you are the host of a radio news segment who is interviewing a representative from Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Ask them what the charity does and what Starlight Day is about.

Read the article carefully and visit their website for information about the programs they run and details of the day.

Make sure that the host asks questions that give the Starlight representative a chance to talk about why the work they do is important and about how they are going to be raising money.

Extension:

Record your interview or perform it to your class ‘live’.

Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English and Personal and Social Capability

Activity 2. Thank you

Everyone feels miserable when they are sick. But for many young people being sick is something they have to put up with every day.

Starlight Children’s Foundation has a mission to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families.

Using Information from the article and their website, write a thankyou letter to the Starlight Children’s Foundation on behalf of sick kids.

Thank them for the work they do (be specific) and wish them well in their fundraising efforts.

Extension: Starlight express rooms

What would make you feel better if you were sick in hospital?

Write a list of activities that could be included in the Starlight express rooms for kids to do.

Time: allow 40 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English and Personal and Social Capability

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)

“Put Said to Bed”

Write as many different words for said that you can think of. Look at the article and circle all the times the word said is used. Can you Up-Level it by replacing the word said with one of the words from your list?

(Approx. 15 minutes)

Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP

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