Frequently Asked Questions
Sunshine Foundation is the original wish granting organization founded in 1976 by former Philadelphia police officer Bill Sample. While on protective duty at a Philadelphia area children's hospital, Bill witnessed firsthand the financial and emotional burden placed on the families of children with illnesses. He saw that so many families could not afford to give their sick child one last wish, Bill, with the help of a handful of other dedicated people, got together to answer Sunshine Foundation's first dream- a trip to the Poconos for Bobby, who wanted to see the mountains and play in the snow. Bobby passed away a short while after that, but not before his only wish was realized.
2. Who does Sunshine Foundation help?
Sunshine Foundation answers the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children, ages 3-18 from all over the country.
3. How much of Sunshine's donations are used for program services?
Sunshine Foundation uses over 80% of all donations to go directly towards granting the dreams of those children. We have answered 36,000 dreams for children since 1976.
4. What is the Dream Village?
The Dream Village is 9 fairytale themed cottages set on 22 acres in Central Florida. This is where most of our families stay when they visit Central Florida locations. The village offers for the family a quiet and relaxing atmosphere where they can enjoy a handicapped equipped playground, wheelchair accessible pool, a miniature golf course and many other amenities to make their stay truly a dream vacation!
5. How do I refer a child?
Those with internet capabilities must visit our refer a child page, fill out and submit the form that appears on that page. If a family is without the internet, please direct them to send a letter via U.S. mail to our PA office that states the child's full name, age, and diagnosis, along with the parent or guardian's full name, mailing address, and phone number. Once we receive this information we will then send out an application to the family if the child's diagnosis is eligible.
6. How long will it take before my child receives their dream?
Sunshine Foundation works very hard to answer dreams as quickly as possible for these very deserving children. Currently there will be a one to three month wait for your application to be reviewed and accepted by the Board of Directors. Once you receive an approval letter, there is a one to one and half year wait to receive the dream (children whose medical condition is severe/terminal will be considered as immediately as possible). Because of a decrease in funding due to the current economy, our waiting list has grown to over 300 children, please be patient and be assured that we are working as quickly as possible to answer your child's dream.
7. How can I help the Sunshine Foundation?
You can help by making a donation online or by regular mail in memory or in honor of a loved one, or by contributing through other options available here. Sunshine Foundation has been listed as a top-rated charity on the American Institute of Philanthropy's website, www.charitywatch.org.
You may also join in the efforts of one of our volunteer chapters.
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