2010-02-05 / Community

Foundation Gives To Seriously Ill Child

Andrew Wudowsky, 11, and his family are preparing for a trip of a lifetime to the Sunshine Foundation’s Dream Village in Davenport, FL. The family will depart from their home in Rockaway to arrive in Florida for an exciting five day stay. Because Andrew suffers from Cerebral Palsy, taking a family trip has been difficult due to the physical and financial stress that comes along with an illness. Looking for a way to bring happiness into their son’s life that is so often filled with doctors and hospitals, the family applied for a dream come true through the Sunshine Foundation. Sunshine Foundation, founded in 1976, in the very first wish-granting organization to grant the wishes of seriously ill, physically challenged, and abused children ages 3-18. The family will receive lodging, theme park tickets, expense money, and a rental vehicle to use for the duration of their stay. Sunshine will host the family at the foundation’s Dream Village, a 22-acre retreat created specifically for special children that boasts nine uniquely themed cottages, a wheelchair accessible pool, handicapped friendly playground, and even its own citrus grove where families can pick oranges!

In the 1960’s, Philadelphia police officer Bill Sample was assigned to a local children’s hospital. He encountered critically ill children and saw first hand how these children’s families were burdened not only by mounting medical bills, but also by the frustration of not being able to provide their child’s special dream. In 1976, Bill took out a personal loan and with the help of others, started the Sunshine Foundation and began making dreams come true for seriously ill, physically challenged, abused and truly deserving children nationwide. Today, the Sunshine Foundation utilizes $0.85 of every dollar to help a child’s dream come true.

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