Cancer sucks. Childhood shouldn’t. 

For parents, caregivers, siblings, and medical teams alike, protecting a child’s spirit in the face of a childhood cancer diagnosis is a challenging, often heart-wrenching art—perhaps as challenging as finding a cure for cancer itself is. Not to mention the financial strain a childhood cancer diagnosis can place on a family…

But these childhood cancer charities are working around the clock to bring courage to the frightened, resources to the stretched-too-thin, joy to the tired, and fun to the weary. 

If you’ve been looking for a new (or another) cause to support and are considering giving to a childhood cancer charity, here are a few you might like to know about.

7 Childhood Cancer Charities Helping to Make A Difference

1. Alex’s Lemonade Stand 

Alex's Lemonade Sand childhood cancer

Alex’s Lemonade Stand is a childhood cancer nonprofit providing everything from grants and funding to research institutions, to financial and therapeutic support to families with a child battling cancer. The organization was founded in 2000 by a four-year-old named Alexandra, who, in the midst of her own battle with cancer, raised $2,000 towards the fight just by setting up a simple outdoor lemonade stand. By 2004—when she passed away at just 8 years old—she’d raise $1 million for childhood cancer research and support.

Learn more about this amazing childhood cancer foundation here.

For donors who care about…

  • Childhood cancer research funding
  • Finding better treatments for cancer
  • Financial and therapeutic support for families 
  • Helping kids meet their heroes
  • Supporting Alex’s legacy 

How to Support Alex’s Lemonade Stand

2. Room to Dream Foundation

Room to Dream Foundation transform kids bedrooms for free

The Room to Dream Foundation transforms kids’ bedrooms for free, designing for them a comfortable, happy place to fight and recover from serious illnesses like cancer. For anyone who’s ever been sick and cooped up in their bedrooms for days on end, you know how tiring it can be to be surrounded by the same four walls.

Room to Dream runs on the idea that healing comes easier when kids feel relaxed and uplifted by a beautiful space—and while that might be true, families in the midst of a child’s cancer battle can rarely afford the time or money to renovate their child’s room. Thanks to this nonprofit though, a safe, healing space is within reach. 

For donors who care about…

  • Helping families at home
  • Emotional support for children
  • Helping children heal at home
  • Funding dreams and creativity
  • Bridging art and cancer treatments

How to Support The Room to Dream Foundation

3. Kids of Courage 

Kids of Courage kids living with chronic and terminal illnesses

Kids of Courage is a nonprofit that helps kids living with chronic and terminal illnesses, physical disabilities, and cancer continue to find joy and friendship through their battle. In addition to providing them with camps and special activities, Kids of Courage has even been known to help kids meet their favorite celebrities.

On top of all that, the nonprofit also helps fund public education and advocacy initiatives, research institutions and hospitals, and works to promote diversity and inclusion efforts in communities nationwide.

For donors who care about…

  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Public education and advocacy
  • Camps, activities, and dreams-come-true
  • Support communities
  • Providing medical transport
  • Supporting hospitals and research teams

How to Support Kids of Courage

4. Starlight Children’s Foundation 

Starlight Children's Foundation deliver happiness to seriously ill kids

Starlight Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit whose mission is simply to “deliver happiness to seriously ill kids.” They go beyond the expected, always looking for new and creative ways to empower kids as they fight chronic illness like cancer. To date, they’ve engaged with over 16 million children at over 800 hospitals, arranging everything from celebrity meetings, to projects as small as just installing video game consoles in kids’ hospital rooms and providing kids with fun and comfy hospital wear.

Currently, they’re leading a “stream for starlight” initiative, bringing live, interactive entertainment to sick and hospitalized kids, and making it possible for them to continue delivering happiness in the midst of a pandemic. 

For donors who care about…

  • Emotional support for kids
  • Delivering happiness
  • Games and entertainment
  • Making dreams come true
  • Protecting and nurturing childhood

How to Support The Starlight Children’s Foundation

5. Make-a-Wish Foundation

Make-a-wish Foundation with Mariah Carey

The Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. committed to providing support to seriously ill children, including those battling cancer. It’s mission is in its name: Whatever a kid dreams of—whether that’s accomplishing a specific goal, meeting a certain celebrity or role model, or having a certain adventure—the Make-a-Wish foundation does everything it can to grant that wish.

And for anyone wondering, yes: Even if that wish is to meet a real unicorn.

For donors who care about…

  • Bringing joy to sick kids
  • Emotional support for kids and families
  • Supporting a historic children’s nonprofit

How to Support The Make-a-Wish Foundation

  • Donate directly
  • Shop, earn and donate cash back with Giving Assistant: (Once signed in, go to your account settings and search for “Make a Wish” in the nonprofit search box, then choose the U.S. region you’d like to support.)

6. Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation cure childhood cancer

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is a nonprofit leading the way in finding a cure for childhood cancer. The foundation provides a number of grants to researchers at many different levels, from basic research grants, to grants specifically intended to help accelerate the development of new therapies.

They also help to disseminate that information through conferences and symposiums intended to help scientists learn from one another, educate doctors and families, and to inform the public of new innovations in childhood cancer research.

For donors who care about…

  • Curing childhood cancer—fast
  • Innovating new treatments
  • Funding new studies and grants
  • Supporting scientists
  • Public education

How to Support The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

7. The Dragonfly Foundation

The Dragonfly Foundation with pediatric cancer patients

The Dragonfly Foundation is a nonprofit holistically serving the families of pediatric cancer patients in Illinois and Ohio by providing emotional and community support throughout, and even post-diagnosis. Whatever you can think of that might help make a child and their family a little more comfortable—and a little more joyful—in the midst of a battle with cancer, the Dragonfly Foundation strives to provide it, whether as simple as care kits in the hospital, fun family getaways, or just funding improvements in overall treatment and quality of life.

For donors who care about…

  • Community support for pediatric cancer patients
  • Supporting cancer patients in Illinois and Ohio
  • Providing families with emotional and medical resources
  • Delivering happiness and granting wishes
  • Providing technology (laptops, etc) to cancer patients

How to Support The Dragonfly Foundation

What is Giving Assistant? 

Giving Assistant helps online shoppers turn their everyday shopping into donations for any nonprofit. 

Members get exclusive coupons and savings at over 3,000 top online brands, plus earn cash back they can donate easily to any nonprofit organization in the U.S. 

Our browser extension makes the whole thing even easier: just download it for free, then shop, save, and automate your cash back donations.