The mission of The Rainbow Connection is to grant wishes
to Michigan children with life threatening illnesses.
On May 9, 1980, Ron Dobson, his wife Janet, and their two children, Tim and Jennifer, were traveling on Ron’s private airplane to a wedding in Canada when tragedy struck. Ron’s oil pump froze up, and the plane crashed.
Tragically, Ron and the children were killed and Janet was critically injured. In August of 1980 L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, and other dear friends held a memorial Golf Outing to raise scholarship funds in the children’s names, raising around $2300 that first year.
From that humble beginning has evolved what is now today The Rainbow Connection, a Michigan based 501 © (3) charity dedicated to making dreams come true for Michigan children who are literally fighting for their lives. Janet Dobson, wife of Ron and mother of Tim and Jennifer sits on the community based Board of Directors.
Since 1985 thousands of Michigan children with life threatening illnesses have experienced their most special dream come true. Today the Rainbow Connection’s annual budget is 2.3 million. From something as simple as a computer, going to the Super Bowl, or a glorious trip to Disney World, we make dreams come true throughout the year.
Mission, Values and Vision
The mission of The Rainbow Connection is to make dreams come true for Michigan children with life threatening illnesses and provide support services to the wish families.
The Board of Directors governs The Rainbow Connection and sets policy. The Executive Director is hired by the Board of Directors and is responsible for carrying out board policies and overall operation of the organization.
We believe all people should be treated with compassion and respect in a confidential manner.
We believe that quality and striving for best practices is essential in all that we do.
We believe that creativity, openness, and flexibility are crucial to providing relevant and effective services to our clients.
We believe in the value of integrity and accountability in service delivery, management, and stewardship of the organization in a fiscally responsible manner.
We believe in collaboration and partnering with other groups.
We believe change is a constant as well as an opportunity for growth and development.
To be recognized by the community at large as the leading wish granting organization in Michigan.
To be recognized as a model of best practices programs.
To achieve long-term financial stability through endowments, grants, and donations.
Criteria for Eligibility:
- A child must be between the ages of 2 ½ & 18 years old.
- The child must have a life threatening medical condition.
- A licensed physician must verify the illness and refer the child for a wish.
- A wish must be affordable, achievable and attainable.
- The child must not have received a wish from any other wish-granting organization.
- The child must live in the state of Michigan.
When Criteria for Eligibility have been met, the “wish” child and their family are eligible for all Rainbow Connection services:
A Wish Come True
Our trained staff Wish Coordinators meet each and every wish child following written verification of the illness from the child’s physician. The visit may occur at the hospital, the child’s home, at our office, or wherever is most convenient for the family. The wish child is asked what they wish for and the Wish Coordinator makes the wish come true.
Special Response Services
Assists families with financial difficulties brought on by expenses of having a child with a catastrophic illness, such as rent, utilities, and even funeral expenses.
The Enhancement Program
Provides fun times for these children and their families through summer picnics, a holiday party, and tickets to attend area theatres, concerts and sporting events.
The Rainbow Connection Scholarship Program
Offers $1,000 scholarships each year for wish children going on to college. Scholarships may be received for four years.
The Rainbow Connection has never turned away an eligible child for service.
There is no waiting list at The Rainbow Connection.
The Rainbow Connection funding is provided by generous donations from the community. Corporations and individual donors support The Rainbow Connection through direct gifts, in kind donations, sponsorships and fundraisers.
An audit of the financial statements of The Rainbow Connection is conducted annually by an independent Certified Public Accounting firm in conformity with United States generally accepted accounting principles and presented to the Board of Directors of The Rainbow Connection.
Over 85% of every dollar donated goes directly to programs and services for children with life threatening illnesses.
Rainbow Connection 990