The Rainbow Connection (TRC) has been making dreams come true for Michigan children with life threatening illnesses since 1985.
Check out these 9 facts you might not know about TRC and the magic of making a dream come true.
1.) It’s more than a wish. In addition to making dreams come true, TRC provides an umbrella of support services for all families served. People forget that when a child becomes seriously ill, life is suddenly turned upside down for all family members. The Special Response and Enhancement Program provide families with support and fun activities as they continue to experience hardships. College Scholarships are available for wish kids who go to college too!
2.) We grant wishes throughout the state of Michigan. TRC provides services to children throughout the 83 counties in the state of Michigan. In 2016, 39% of wishes were granted for Wayne County children, but wish families come from Traverse City, Marquette and cities all over Michigan
3.) The Rainbow Connection does not make a child wait. When the child is ready for their wish and their physician has given their approval, TRC is ready to make it happen. Our Wish Coordinators work hard to maintain the quality of care and service while we maintain our no wait policy
4.) Wish Kids receive surprise Happy Packs in the mail! Whether a child is going through a tough time in treatment, or just needs a pick me up, TRC sends a Happy Pack in the mail to cheer the child up. The surprise packages include coloring books, nail polish, card games and more!
5.) The first wish was to meet Muhammed Ali on July 24th, 1985. 16 year old John Bowden wished to meet heavy weight champion Muhammed Ali. He came to visit John at Children’s Hospital in Detroit and while the visit was set up specifically to meet John, Ali stayed to visit many sick kids throughout the hospital. The gesture by Ali brought joy to John during a difficult time and the impact remains with his family to this day.
6.) Wish Kids love to give back to other Wish Kids. Many of our wish kids raise funds to support other wish families. 11 year old wish child Natalie, created Team Natalie Go Fight Win, a team dedicated to Walk for Kids and raising money for The Rainbow Connection. In 2017, her team raised $10,000 to make dreams come true.
7.) We grant all kinds of wishes! Since 1985, over 3,309 wishes have been granted to Michigan children. In 2016, we granted 79 trips to Disney World, 31 shopping sprees and 6 meet and greets with celebrities just to name a few.
8.) When a wish is received, the wish child and their family are joining The Rainbow Connection Family for life! With our Holiday Party, Summer Picnic and year round Enhancements, we love to visit with wish families throughout the year. 14 year old Autumn, received her wish to meet Kenny Chesney in 2009. 8 years later, Autumn and family still attend TRC events and share the impact of her wish
9.) Hundreds of TRC supporters and volunteers make wish granting possible. The average cost of a family’s wish is $6,500. We have over 600 volunteers that work throughout the year in the office and at fundraising events. Community groups, corporations and schools put on benefits to raise funds for Michigan children. With wish referrals increasing by 34% over the past three years, this support is crucial to continuing our mission of making dreams come true.
Follow us on Facebook for even more wish stories at www.facebook.com/rainbowconnectionmichigan. For more information on events and volunteer opportunities visit www.rainbowconnection.org