Our story goes back about 25+ years, to when our founder, Andy Standish, was working in the United States as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). Though her work kept her busy, she often made an effort to volunteer overseas in hospitals and clinics in low and middle income countries when she could. She would find ways to create play opportunities for children in low resource hospitals, she would help children and families understand an upcoming procedure, she would provide emotional and procedure support to cultivate positive coping techniques, she would teach healthcare providers how to engage patients in a child-friendly way, and so much more.
With each new journey and experience providing support in several different countries and the USA, Andy quickly recognized and concluded that regardless of the country, the culture, or the situation, there are commonalities:
- pain is universal
- children were suffering all over the world
- every parent wants what is best for their child
- healthcare workers want to help make it better for children, but they do not always know how or have the resources to do so
We want children and families to be comforted by aspects of the healthcare they receive. We want healthcare workers worldwide to have the education and resources to deliver child- and family-centered care. And so, in 2010, Standish Foundation for Children was established.
The illustration of OUR WHY can be seen with Clifford. Clifford was an 8-year-old patient who struggled with the life changing challenges of kidney disease. After diagnosis he and his family’s life started to revolve around regular dialysis, several hospitalizations, surgeries, procedures and never ending injections. Throughout his many hospitalizations and regular dialysis treatments, Clifford loved to engage in fun and creative activities to help him cope. He loved painting, playing games and taking part in hospital holiday activities. Clifford’s medical team provided pain management, age-appropriate psychosocial preparation and emotional support to help him cope with scary procedures. Clifford and his family were comforted by the child and family-centered care interventions he received until his death on May 27, 2007.
We want children and families from around the globe to receive the exceptional child- and family-centered care Clifford and his family received.
WE ARE SMALL AND MIGHTY
We are volunteer led and live and work in 12 countries. In addition to patients and parents, our volunteers work in: nursing, psychology, medicine, child life, music, art and play therapies and academia. We are innovative, collaborative, loyal, transparent and good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
We strive for a world full of happy, healthy, resilient kids who haven’t been traumatized by healthcare experiences. When children experience healthcare in a positive way it contributes to their physical and emotional well-being. This helps build healthy communities with children and families reaching their full potential.
We work both locally and globally to serve where there is the greatest need. Our programs include training & education for healthcare professionals to reduce pain and suffering for children, surgical missions, global fellowships and SF4C 4 Milkids: programs for military children & families. We are grateful for all donations to support these programs, as they each uniquely assist in building healthy communities around the world.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT STANDISH FOUNDATION:
Global Impact on Children
The Standish Foundation is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization with multi-disciplinary global health volunteers in more than 20 countries. Our programs help more than 600,000 children each year. That’s more than half a million children in 20+ countries, and counting!
Global Impact on Healthcare Professionals
Each year, we reach 175+ healthcare providers, who in turn support more than 4,032 patients EACH. Thus far, we have impacted over 3000+ healthcare providers around the world. We help both hospitals and healthcare providers transform the healthcare system into a friendlier place to create more positive experiences for individuals.
We meet or exceed non-profit standards for best practices in governance, accountability and ethical practices. Our services are offered low/no charge to healthcare providers so that families have the best access possible.
We have provided more than 3,000 play kits for children who are forced to seek shelter during disasters. These horrible events can happen in any place at any time. We ensure that children get the help and comfort they need in every situation.
During the COVID pandemic, we’ve supported over 100 hospitals in 29 states with PPE and care packages for the frontline workers.