5 Sunshine Birthday Gifts for You

written by Diane Smith, Executive Director, Spreading Sunshine

As a community we are celebrating Mr. Sunshine’s birthday. Maybe you are new here and don’t know the back story behind Spreading Sunshine. Here’s a quick recap. Five years ago David (Mr. Sunshine) was born and his birth turned out very differently than his mom and dad expected. David was born with a heart defect, Down Syndrome and Hirschprungs Disease. (You can read the full story here and here.).

Through spending many months in the hospital with her son, Abigail’s eyes were opened to the many needs of families whose children face medical challenges. She wanted to do something to give back to others to show them the same kindness she had been shown. Inspired by an idea she saw on Pinterest, she sent a Sunshine Box (a care package filled with yellow and orange items) to a little girl who was having heart surgery in another state. The idea caught on and a movement of kindness and compassion began that would touch thousands of lives. This movement has grown into a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving families impacted by pediatric illness. 

As we celebrate the past five years, we reflect on the many people who are a part of the Spreading Sunshine community. We think about many brave children who face difficulties daily. Strong parents who care for their children with resilience. Parents who have experienced the excruciating loss of their child. Medical professionals who serve families. Students who have become ambassadors and fundraisers on their campuses. Volunteers who use their time and talents to serve others. Donors who invest through financial gifts. Business owners who use their resources for good. The list could go on. 

As our gift to you, we share these five truths. 

You are special. There’s only one of you in the whole wide world. Only one. You are uniquely created by God, and He has plans and purposes for you. 

You are loved. The same God who made you loves you with a perfect love. Even if you don’t feel loved or lovable, you are loved. You are loved!!

You have purpose. Wherever you are today and whatever work you have to do, do it with all of your heart. Your work matters. 

You need community. Sometimes in life you may feel alone. Look for ways to connect with other people. You were made to be in relationship with others. You are not alone.

You are a difference maker. Yes YOU! You can impact someone’s life today. Smile at a stranger. Write a note to encourage someone. Hold the door open for someone else. Look for ways to help someone else. You can make a difference today.

We are thankful for you and glad you stopped by to celebrate with us. We invite you to join in our birthday project to celebrate Mr. Sunshine. We are celebrating by serving others and YOU CAN HELP.