Everyone Should Feel Special on their Birthday

by Diane Smith

You could say that Spreading Sunshine all started with a birthday. Or rather, a birth day. When David (nicknamed Sunshine) was born with Down syndrome and faced serious health issues, his mom Abigail was blessed by the support of family and friends. But she soon saw that many other families were facing these types of challenges alone. She sent the first Sunshine Box to another child in the hospital, and Spreading Sunshine was born. 

Celebrating Children Facing Illness

Today, we still send Sunshine Boxes, and  we also minister to families in other ways. An ongoing part of our ministry is helping children and families celebrate birthdays. For our Year of Sunshine families, we send birthday cards to children, siblings and parents. In Memphis social workers from local hospitals reach out with special requests for birthday cakes or gifts to a child in the hospital or helping to plan an entire dream birthday party for a child who is on hospice. We always hope to be able to say “yes” to  these requests.

Birthday party for hospice patient

A Carnival Birthday Spreads Sunshine

Social workers from a local hospital told us about precious Jamie and her hope to have a carnival-themed birthday party. Who doesn’t love a carnival!?!

With the help of our amazing volunteers,donors and our community partner Chick-Fil-A at the Shoppes of Bartlett, we provided a special birthday for Jamie and her family complete with a bounce  house, cotton candy, popcorn and carnival-themed party favors.To top it all off, we were able to fulfill her birthday gift request: a car she can drive. 

birthday party for hospice patient

It’s David Sacran’s Birthday. Let’s celebrate!

Happy Birthday to the very first Sunshine Child, David. He’s the one who started it all, and he’s turning eight this year on May 4. 

In honor of his eighth birthday, please consider giving a gift to Spreading Sunshine. David inspired our ministry, and it’s amazing to think of all of the families who have been served since his birth. Your gift can help make birthdays special and spread some sunshine to families who may be celebrate their child’s last birthday.

What a joy to be able to help an overwhelmed family celebrate their child and build cherished memories.