Our Mission

Sharing laughter, rest, and togetherness with families who have a seriously ill child. 



Every day, right here in Seattle, children from across the region are receiving world-class medical treatment for serious illness at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Many of these families are supported by Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House for housing and basic needs. Together with our screened, trained, and supported volunteers, we hope to fill the gaps in between by providing relational support for families.


Our Programs

Family Support

Families who have relocated to Seattle for months or years of treatment are matched with volunteer teams of two "experts at play" who provide weekly adventures and fun diversion for patients and siblings. 

Families are referred to us by social workers and staff from Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the Hutch School, Ronald McDonald House, and other families who have received our support. We welcome self-referrals too!




SIDE-BY-SIDE WINTER WEEKEND is an annual weekend of rest and delight for families who have a child on treatment or within one year of treatment for a cancer diagnosis.

WHEN:  Friday, February 21 - Sunday February 23

WHERE:  IslandWood on Bainbridge Island


CAMP SIDE-BY-SIDE is a week-long summer camp experience tailored for families who have a child with cancer (on treatment or within three years of finishing active treatment).

WHEN: Sunday, August 9 - Friday, August 14, 2020

WHERE: Lake Retreat in Ravensdale, WA

Want to be on our Early Bird list so you can be among the first to know when application details are available for Camp? 



Ronald McDonald House Teams:

Enthusiastic volunteer teams regularly provide dinners, crafts and fun activities (like BINGO!) for the 80 families living at the Ronald McDonald House. Look for our teams on the first, second, and fourth Monday nights at RMH!



Our Story


Our Staff

JJ Kissinger  ::  Director  ::  jjkissinger@upc.org  ::  206.524.7301 x534

Marla Malone  ::  Associate Director, Family Support and RMH Teams  ::  marlam@upc.org  ::  206-524.7301 x273

Kelly Hampton  ::  Associate Director, Preschool Programs  ::  kellyh@upc.org  ::  206.524.7301 x538

Lisa Kissinger  ::  Camp & Winter Weekend Family Coordinator  ::  lisak@upc.org

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Serious illness does not discriminate—we are privileged to serve children and families without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or cultural background.