Over the past 30 years, The Sunshine Foundation of Canada has fulfilled more than 8,000 dream experiences and co-ordinated over 60 Sunshine DreamLifts from coast to coast for children living with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses.
With the foundation’s story beginning around a kitchen table in London, Ontario back in 1987, Sunshine has since grown to become a national organization that makes dreams come true for kids across Canada.
But 30 years is more than a birthday – it’s a celebration of young lives being changed by the tremendous impact of having their most cherished dreams come true. This realization ignites new possibilities, optimism and confidence that helps kids break barriers and write a brighter future story for themselves.
Sunshine Dreams and Sunshine DreamLift
Two programs, Sunshine Dreams and Sunshine DreamLift, have made it possible for kids to meet their heroes, discover new friendships, explore their neighbourhood in a customized bicycle, uncover the magic of Disney, and develop a deeper bond with their family.
“A Sunshine Dream gives a child the opportunity to experience the world without needing to worry about the stress of medical challenges,” explains, Trisha, whose son Joel dreamed of a Disneyland experience. “They help kids make memories and experience life to the fullest – even for just for that moment.”
Since the organization’s inception, the mission has been to provide a launching pad for a more hopeful future for the inspiring children they serve. On Oct. 27, 1987, a plane full of children living with complex medical conditions flew on the first Sunshine DreamLift from London, Ontario to Walt Disney World® in Florida and back in just one day. Accompanied by a caring network of medical and community volunteers and support staff, a Sunshine DreamLift is often a child’s first time away from their parents, a first plane ride and a day of growing their independence and confidence. Since then, thousands of children have felt the power of those “firsts.”
Thanks to the generosity and strength of the Sunshine community – volunteers, young dreamers, donors and supporters – they continue to create unique and customized experiences for kids that last a lifetime.
“We’re excited to be celebrating our 30th birthday and to continue in our mission to ensure that every child can learn the vital lesson that dreams CAN come true and that life is filled with possibility,” says Nancy Sutherland, CEO of Sunshine.