Talking Points:

Who we are

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance provides emotional, educational and practical support to families of children with cancer.

Candlelighters began in 1989 with two parent support groups from the Texas Medical Center: one at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and one at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Children’s Cancer Hospital. The Texas Children’s Hospital group sought formal incorporation, and in 1992 Candlelighters was legally formed.  In the fall of 1992, they invited the MD Anderson Parent Group to join them and the two organizations merged into one.

Why get involved?

In the United States, cancer is the number 1 killer of children by disease. On average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer, and the average high school has two students who have or have had cancer.  Each day 43 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. Currently, one in every 330 Americans develops cancer during childhood or adolescence before the age of 20. Childhood cancer occurs randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class or geographic region. Candlelighters helps those families who face the devastating diagnosis of childhood cancer.

What does my donation support?

All of our programs and services are the direct result of the vision that our founding families shared – we have faced childhood cancer and we want to make the journey easier for those who come after us.  Our families don't have to ask because we already know the need. Funds raised provide daily support for childhood cancer families spanning from emotional support through support groups and peer-to-peer mentors as well as practical support like hospital parking assistance, meal passes, and gas cards.

Our Top 5 Ways to Fundraise in Schools:

  1. Sell Something!
    • Candlelighters Mobiles – line the hallways as a visual
    • Candygrams or Bake Sale
    • Tickets – school dance, talent show, or carnival
  2. Empty Your Pockets!
    • Collect spare change in pre-made Candlelighters boxes
    • Fill mini-M&M containers, did you know quarters fit perfectly?
  3. Show Your Spirit!
    • Incorporate Candlelighters into your Spirit-Week! Caps for Candlelighters, Candlelighters Crazy Hair you name it! To participate, make a donation to Candlelighters!
    • Turn the school Gold throughout September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – pep rallies, sporting events, morning announcements and more
  4. Get Competitive!
    • Penny Wars – contest between classrooms or grades where you want your jar to only have pennies in it. Place silver coins or dollar bills in the jars you want to lose! The lowest amount “raised” wins!
    • Staff vs. Student sporting or academic events
    • Incentive from the Principal – from shaving their head or dying their hair to kissing a pig, we’ve seen it all!
  5. Make it Your Own!
    • Remember, there’s no one model that fits all, so make it unique to your school for optimal success! 

Questions? Email or call (713) 270-4700 for help setting up a personal fundraising page, joining a team or managing your account.

© 2015 Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. All rights reserved. Candlelighters is a registered trademark of
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation in the U. S. and is used under license.
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