- Ronald McDonald House
Alongside the valuable practical assistance they offer for families with sick children, Ronald McDonald House Charities understand how important a dose of fun is for children who are forced to battle illness daily. To boost kids’ spirits, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Indiana brought the Chicago Bulls in for a St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with games, a party feast and face painting. As part of a partnership spanning over a decade, the Bulls regularly visit kids and their families, donate autographed items for fundraising and assist in a recycling program. Ronald McDonald continues to care for sick children and their families across the country with fun and enjoyment as well as practical support.
It all started with 7-year-old leukemia sufferer Christopher, whose dream was to be a policeman. U.S. Customs Officer Tommy Austin worked with Arizona Department of Public Safety to allow Chris to ride in a police helicopter, receive a tailored police uniform and be sworn in as an honorary DPS patrolman before he sadly passed away. Now Make-A-Wish is the largest wish-granting charity in the U.S. and makes a dream come true for a sick child every 38 seconds.
- Give Kids the World Village
A 70-acre storybook resort, the Village offers weeklong, cost free trips to allow families with sick children to be transported into a magical experience world away from their everyday lives. It was founded by Henri Landwirth, who fled to the U.S. having spent his childhood trapped in Nazi concentration camps. After a successful career as a hotelier, he started the Village when a sick little girl named Amy passed away before her family could enjoy their planned break at his hotel. This affected him so deeply that the Village has never turned away a child, 135,000 families later.
- Dream Factory Inc.
With 38 chapters and 5000 volunteers to fulfill kids’ dreams, Dream Factory Inc. believes that all children with chronic illnesses will reap the benefits of an experience of a lifetime, whether their condition is terminal or not. Their Dream Screeners meet with kids to discover the activities that mean the most to them and then do everything they can to make their dreams come true. Trips to meet their favorite heroes or to a special place to them such as American Girl World give them hope for the future. The charity also organizes fantasy dreams, so children can try out what they want to do when they grow up, and shopping dreams to give kids the playhouse or hot tub they’ve been wishing for.
- Camp Boggy Creek
This 232-acre camp near Orlando, Florida, allows sick kids to have all the inspirational experiences of camp: fun, friends, fresh air and plenty of activities. With unobtrusive medical support, kids and their families are free to enjoy horseback riding, miniature golf, swimming, canoeing, kart racing, social events and much more. With a team dedicated to creating memorable experiences and add magical touches, kids and their families make memories and friends for life.