Sunshine Foundation’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Sunshine Foundation is the original wish granting organization established 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 a 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 Pocono Mountains 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.

Sunshine Foundation answers the dreams of children that are chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged or have been abused, ages 3-18, from income-limited families in the United States.

Over 80% of all expenses of the Sunshine Foundation go directly towards granting the dreams of children served by our programs. We have answered more than 41,500 dreams for children since 1976.

The Sunshine Foundation Dream Village is an enchanted village with 9 fairytale themed cottages set on 22 acres in Central Florida. This is where most of our families stay when they visit Central Florida theme parks and attractions. The village offers, for the dreamer and their immediate family, a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere where they can enjoy a specially equipped playground, wheelchair accessible pool, and a miniature golf course, all designed to be accessible for children at any ability level.

Visit our refer a child page, fill out and click the Refer A Child Form button that appears on that page.

Once we receive all required paperwork (application, financials, medical authorization, etc.) it will take 1 to 3 months for the application to be processed. Once the application has been processed, you will receive an email informing you if your child has been approved.

The most popular dream requested is the Central Florida Theme Parks. Sunshine Foundation may arrange for your child and their immediate family living in the home (siblings 18 years old and under at the time of approval) to stay at our very own Dream Village. Other dream requests include funding towards a special gift or item of interest, or, funding towards adaptive equipment that their insurances may not cover. Please note, a requested item must first be approved before estimates are required. The maximum amount Sunshine Foundation will provide towards an approved item or gift is up to $2,000.00 towards the parent/guardian’s private purchase. If the child’s dream is for a shopping spree Sunshine Foundation will provide a check for the maximum amount of $1,000.00. Once a child is approved you may discuss your child’s dream with the Program Services Department.

Sunshine Foundation is unable to assist with doctor/medical bills or living expenses. We must also work within certain financial limitations and permissible requests. Your child’s medical and/or travel restrictions or other related or unrelated circumstances may also affect the dream we are able to provide.

Once you receive an approval letter, your child will be placed on our waiting list. Please be aware Sunshine Foundation does have a waiting list that may possibly be several years depending on our funding sources. Please be patient and be assured that we are working as quickly as possible to answer your child’s dream.

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. You may also join in the efforts of one of our all-volunteer chapters.

Yes!  You may visit our Adopt a Dream page and choose a specific child to donate to or start a group fundraising effort to raise funds for that child. You can also donate online or send a check to Sunshine Foundation 101 Lakeside Park, Southampton, PA 18966. Just indicate the child’s name in the memo section on the check, or in comments of the online donation.