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What We Do

Changing the Way People See Healthcare

Project Sunshine brings volunteer-led programming to pediatric patients and their families in a variety of medical settings. We recognize the tremendous weight of managing a child’s illness or injury, whether it requires short-term or long-term care. Every child with a medical challenge is unique, and our programs seek to adapt to the individual needs of each child. Our two types of programming, In-Hospital Programs and ‘Sending Sunshine’ corporate programs are tailored for patients’ developmental and psycho-social needs during treatment. We provide family-centered opportunities for joy, connection, socialization, and memory-making.

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Corporate Programs

Sending Sunshine is a unique program that positively impacts pediatric patients while providing volunteering opportunities outside of the hospital. Typical programs include activity kits and sugi dolls.

Activity Kits help pediatric patients play while they are facing medical challenges. These kits include developmentally appropriate materials that encourage children’s creativity and provide a sense of fun.

Surgi Dolls are plain, body-shaped dolls that young patients decorate, personalize, and use as a means of comfort. Sewn by volunteers, these stuffed buddies are distributed in hospitals, where they may be used by medical staff to demonstrate what will happen during an upcoming procedure. By allowing children to claim ownership of their treatment, Surgi Dolls can decrease a patient’s anxiety, while also serving as surrogates and friends.

In-Hospital Programs

Our programs bring patients and community volunteers together in hospitals through creative arts activities and other opportunities for social interaction and learning. Volunteers act as companions, or as we say, ‘Sunshine Sidekicks,’ to superhero patients battling the isolation of the hospital setting.

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    Arts and Crafts Delivery

    Our Arts and Crafts Delivery program offers patients the opportunity to be creative, giving children a sense of normalcy in what could be an unfamiliar world of a hospital. Craft kits are assembled then distributed by our volunteers to the inpatient units. Patients are encouraged to tune into the closed circuit tv, where they can watch safely from their room if they are in isolation, or with permission, they can come to the studio where the show is being taped before a live audience. The delivered craft gets assembled step by step by a Project Sunshine volunteer and Child Life Specialist so everyone can follow along.

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    Pre-Op Arts and Crafts

    Our weekly arts and crafts programs bring comfort, creativity, and cheerfulness to patients prior to a medical procedure. Some crafts and activities can be used to help express a patients feelings about being in the hospital, while other crafts are fun seasonal/holiday items allowing children creative and artistic flexibility. Volunteers craft with patients as they wait to be called for their medical procedure and offer a warm distraction from the worry and anxiety a patient may have upon arrival in the playroom.

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    Teen Programming

    Our monthly Teen Program addresses the needs, concerns and sensitivities of teenaged patients with age appropriate crafts, activities, and games. Working closely with the hospital Child and Youth Counsellors, this program offers the day patient an opportunity to engage in crafts and activities designed for self esteem building, mindfulness, and creativity.

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    Caregiver Wellness

    Hospital units are transformed into soothing environments for parents and caregivers through relaxation activities, crafting, healthy snacks, massage, and self care. Our Caregiver Wellness programs, allows caregivers the opportunity to talk with other caregivers who are going through similar situations. By providing support to family members, the overall physical, social, and emotional health of the hospitalized child/ren often improves.

Other Project Sunshine Programs

  • Young Patrons Circle (YPC)

    Project Sunshine Canada’s Young Patron Circle (YPC) is a diverse group of young professionals dedicated to raising awareness and funds for Project Sunshine Canada. YPC members jointly organize an annual fundraising event, Shine On! As well as commit to a set number of hours throughout the year volunteering with Project Sunshine Canada’s regular programming and special events.

  • Sunshine Sewers

    Our Sunshine Sewers help sew Surgi Dolls, and sew mini masks,gowns, t-shirts and crochet mini sweater for our Surgi Dolls.

  • Kids for Kids

    Youth volunteers help Project Sunshine Canada by fundraising and organizing toothpaste, band-aid, craft, and other collection drives. Kids for Kids volunteers may also host Sunshine Giving celebrations in honor of a special event such as a birthday, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or a graduation.

Please join us and become a project sunshine volunteer

Learn How to Volunteer

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