About Us

behind the scenes at Stars of HOPE

our mission

Stars of HOPE empowers people of all ages to transform individuals and communities in need of hope through the power of art and messages of healing.

Who we are

Stars of HOPE is the world’s largest and fastest-growing healing arts program. Started by New York Says Thank You Foundation in 2007, we are pioneering a paradigm at the intersection of mental health and therapeutic art.


Helped Creators feel more optimistic about the future


made participants feel supported and hopeful


Participants felt comforted and connected to others


Agree that stars of hope positively impacts people to recover emotionally from disaster and tragedy

Together we heal

We Believe In Kindness and Compassion

Every act of kindness and compassion, no matter how small, makes an impact. We strive to make a positive impact with hope, and we have seen that impact ripple through communities, schools, survivors, and their families.

We initiated a study with the Florida State University (FSU) College of Criminology and Criminal Justice to measure the direct impact on individuals that have participated in, received, or witnessed Stars of HOPE in various settings after a natural or human-caused tragedy.

A survey was taken by individuals who have participated in, received, or witnessed a Stars of HOPE. The questionnaire elicited information about how receiving, seeing, or creating a Star of HOPE made them feel and their overall assessment of the program’s impact. The results were overwhelmingly positive.

meet our amazing team

The Faces Behind stars of HOPE

Jeff Parness

Founder & Executive Director

Josh Garcia

Director of Operations

Carolyn Deters

Director of Finance & Administration

Fran Sheff-Mauer

Marketing & Communications Consultant

Kelly Burns, MA, LMHC, ATR

Program Manager & Art Therapist

Stephanie Wray, ATR-P, RMHCI

Art Therapist Consultant

Matt Deighton

Community Response Vehicle Coordinator

Elsie Citron-Rosado

HOPE Bank Coordinator

create HOPE.

Stars of HOPE Box of HOPE comes with all the tools you need to create hope for others