WorldPix is honored to be able to contribute to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home. It is a real privilege to be to donate to such a worthy cause.
Will they give?
“Will they give?” Ryan, co-founder of WorldPix, asked me as we left Sunshine Acres.
As we toured the property, where WorldPix had made a donation, I kept thinking this place is amazing. I couldn’t have even imagined the resources available to these children. What they had available to them was more than any middle class family child had when I was growing up.
Sunshine Acres is a picture perfect neighborhood of beautiful houses. Mountains rise in the distance and solar panels line the outskirts to provide power for the community. Throughout the neighborhood are parks and play areas: a water park, a basketball court, a skateboard park, and a petting zoo, to name a few. A large modern barn and acres of fencing define a 4-H program offered to those who are interested. Children are given the opportunity to learn about horses, ponies, donkeys and cattle. They can ride and they can compete in 4-H competitions. Beautiful houses provide homes for these children. A set of parents in each home care for these children as if they were their own.
Each house has 5 bedrooms that provide a home for 10 children and a set of parents. No two bedrooms are alike. Professionally decorated, one may have super heros on the wall (a life size Spiderman is ready to spring into action). In another room, two wooden ship masts with sails serve as the headboards. In another room the theme is gigantic flowers or hearts. There is even a military room with camaflouge décor and a large model helicopter suspended from the ceiling.
Large common areas provide recreational opportunities that may include video games, doll houses or a pool table. Desks and computers are set up in a study area and there is centralized dining area. Each child also has their own bulletin board capturing photos of friends and family – momentos that bring a smile or trigger a good memory.
As we walked about, we observed happy children, playing well together, with older kids looking after younger ones. Children are well provided for in clothing, shelter, food and most importantly, LOVE.
The need is hidden.
From Broken Homes
The children of Sunshine Acres are here because the home they have is broken. They may be orphans or abandoned, having shuffled from one foster home to another. Perhaps, they live with one parent who cannot manage because they may be alcoholic or a drug addict. They may have been physically, verbally or sexually abused.
We are not walking in their footsteps. We can only imagine what they may have experienced in their real home. Often school is a secondary thought, many are a year or two behind. They’ve been hurt deeply and need help understanding and processing their feelings. They need to be safe, cared for and loved.
This is what Sunshine Acres offers, an opportunity to experience a healthy family environment, an opportunity to be a child and developed relationships with siblings and loving parents. They offer a second home and a second chance.
Parents to be Admired
The parents at Sunshine Acres invest their lives and hearts into each child. Although these children may have other parents and another home, these children become like their own. Whether these children stay a year or many years, whether they have another parent or home, it doesn’t matter. They are loved the same. Photos of their children decorate the walls of every house.
What inspires giving?
I believe that there are three things that inspire us to give: 1) a cause with which we can connect, 2) an area where we see a need and 3) an opportunity where we feel we can make a difference.
Do you need to see the need to give? That is, do we give because the need is visually evident (e.g., children with no shoes)?
This was Ryan’s concern. The children are well provided for and have so many opportunities. They are not living in shacks or running around without shoes.
Or do we give because we can see how well the cause is meeting the need (e.g., healthy, active children)? Do we give to a cause because we know it is making a difference? This is Sunshine Acres. They are making a diffence in the lives of the children in their care. But their reach goes beyond the immediate community to parents, relatives and friends through the activities and events on their campus and through their church.
It was appropriate that the sun was shining when we drove into Sunshine Acres. The children had just returned from school and their joy and laughter filled the homes and the parks. It is as if God’s is providing the sunshine:
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Will you give?
During a recent visit by the Word Pix Board, we gave a donation as well as donated two large photography prints.
Consider a donation to WorldPix for Sunshine Acres’ new dining hall or to support the building of an additional house and receive one of these prints as our thank you for your support.