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October 28, 2011 / charityprofiles

The Original Wish Granting Organization

Everyone has dreams, but not everyone has the means and the capability to fulfill their wishes. The chronically ill, seriously sick, physically challenged and abused children are among them. Their condition poses limitations that can’t be overcome; their families, too, cannot fulfill their requests because of financial strain.

To help these disadvantaged children fulfill their wishes, the Sunshine Foundation was formed. Bill Sample, a Philadelphia police officer, founded the organization in 1976. He was stationed at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, where he met and understood the pain that these chronically ill children and their families endured. It was this realization that inspired Sample to form the Sunshine Foundation.

Sample took out a personal loan, gathered a small group of volunteers and began answering the dreams and wishes of these kids. The first child to ever receive the help of the Sunshine Organization was a four-year-old named Bobby. Stricken with leukemia, his dream was to play in the snow in the Pocono’s. He got his wish and four months later passed away knowing that his dream came true.

From Bobby, the Sunshine Organization has helped over 35,000 kids fulfill their wishes. Roughly 83% of all donations go directly to funding children’s programs, as well as the Dream Village, a 22-hectare property where children and their families can stay in fairytale themed cottages.

Many of these children’s wishes come true through various fundraising programs. With the Adopt a Dream benefit, you can grant the wish of one out of 100 children who are on the waiting list by sponsoring $5,000. If that’s a little over your budget, you can always give donations ranging from $25 to $2,500, or send actual gifts instead.

Last month, an eight-year-old child with Down syndrome and his family were selected by the Sunshine Foundation for a trip to Disney World, all expenses paid.  As long as people keep supporting Sample’s advocacy, more children will have a chance of seeing their wish granted through the original wish foundation.

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