Sunshine Foundation answers the dreams of chronically ill, physically challenged and abused children ages three to eighteen, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to the financial strain that their child’s illness may cause.
The disadvantaged children we serve from income-limited families suffer from chronic, life-long illnesses and conditions including: spina bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down syndrome, profound low-functioning autism, brain and spinal injuries, Type 1 diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, injury from abuse, and many others.
Sunshine Foundation is the only national wish granting organization that answers the dreams of children that have a chronic, life-long medical condition. The children we serve are the ones turned away from all other national wish granting organizations because they do not have a life-threatening or critical diagnosis.
Most of the children we serve wish to visit the Central Florida theme parks and attractions when asked the simple question: “If you could have one dream, what would it be?” Since this has been the #1 dream request every year, the Sunshine Foundation Dream Village was built 1988-1989 just a few minutes from Disney World, and officially opened in January 1990. The Dream Village is a 22-acre resort nestled in a fairy tale setting and offers amenities and activities, all specially designed to be accessible for wheelchairs and other special needs. Each cottage has a unique and magical theme designed especially for children.
Sunshine Foundation provides everything for the entire family, including airfare, transportation, lodging, tickets to the attractions and spending money. These once-in-a-lifetime, Dreams Come True, have a lasting impact on the children and their family members. The parents or guardians of the children share with us that these moments of joy are their happiest memories. The memories of laughter and fun made at the Dream Village and theme parks have helped their child during current struggles, and will help them during future struggles. They discovered that they can do more as a family, traveling and exploring, and that their child is not limited to home and/or a wheelchair. These week-long trips provide a bright spot in their childhood that has been filled with on-going hospital treatments, surgeries and therapies.
Sunshine Foundation is the original wish granting organization, and over the past 43 years, more than 41,000 children have benefited from our programs and services.