The TN Alliance for Kids Sunshine Club was brought to life as a response to the pain we saw in the foster community. We wanted to bring a little sunshine into the lives of those affected by turmoil and everyday hurt. It's a program that we do once a month to bring some extraordinary magical moments into these young lives. Much like "Ellen" or "Make a Wish" we develop extraordinary days and reveal surprises that bring joy and hope into situations.
For Father’s Day, the Sunshine Club came around a man well known by DCS in Nashville, Mr. Wellbeck. Originally from Ghana (in West Africa), Mr. Wellbeck has long called Nashville home. He and his wife have opened their home to more than 300 teenage boys in DCS foster care! These placements are generally hard to make, however Mr. Wellbeck’s home is always open and he runs a tight ship. TAK was able to surprise him with a new flat screen TV, grilling equipment and gift cards to make this Father’s Day a little more special.
Ms Ruby is a precious little lady that is raising her great grandchildren through the Mid-Cumberland Foster Program. These sweet kiddos, 7, 4, and 20 months are a handful but she is taking life a day at a time and when you meet her, you know that she feels blessed beyond measure. On a Saturday in June, we showed up with over 30 volunteers to do some work around the house that she has been unable to finish. Teaming up with Both Hands was a privilege to make Ms Ruby "Queen for a Day!"
Our Mother's Day TAK’s Sunshine Club recipient said "Love is the most priceless gift you can give." We couldn't agree more. Bridgett gave up retirement to become a foster mother to some very special boys. When Cross Point Church heard about this family, they knew they had to be a part of helping us return the priceless gift of love to this special family.
Together, TAK and Cross Point worked to surprise Mrs. Bridgett with a bushel of love. She also received a generous check to help pay her bills while she was off of work to take care of her new foster son while he was having a complicated surgery in Atlanta.
TAK’s Sunshine Club believes in making dreams come true. So, when a young person in foster care graduates high school and makes plans to continue their education, we can't help but celebrate them! The Sunshine Club was delighted to come around each of the 27 graduating seniors from Davidson County who were going on to continue their education and provided them with gift bags which included gift cards, electronics, journals and more!
In a little corner of Memphis, a young lady named Crystal had dreams of overcoming her odds and opening her own restaurant. The Memphis Culinary School and Olive Garden wanted Crystal to know they believed in her dreams, too, so they joined together with TAK’s Sunshine Club to give this rising chef culinary classes and a kitchen internship at the restaurant! TAK also gave Crystal a new laptop and gift cards to her favorite stores so that she will be set for her first day in college!
Auja, a Belmont freshman, is a known leader--just ask anybody in her Young Life group. With dreams of going on her first international mission trip, Auja was approaching the trip departure date and lacked the funds needed. Some DCS social workers appealed to TAK’s Sunshine Club on Auja's behalf. We learned it was also her birthday and put together a surprise birthday party where she was showered with cakes, balloons, presents...and a check to pay for her international mission trip with Young Life!
In December, Tulip Grove Baptist Church joined TAK in providing for a Metro special needs teacher and mom of four, with a double stroller and two high chairs for two young grandchildren in her foster care guardianship.
Tulip Grove gave enough surprises to fill a sleigh...or in this case, the newly donated Honda Odyssey they gave the family to drive away in!
When Grace tragically lost her twin sisters just before her birthday, TAK stepped in to create a special day for this science and animal- loving young woman. The Nashville Zoo provided a VIP golf cart tour of the zoo that included feeding the giraffes, anteaters, and other animals. Maggiano's, and Lipscomb University also joined TAK in making its first ever Sunshine Club a day Grace and her foster family will not soon forget!
"This is better than Christmas!" Grace
The Sunshine Club is powered, in part, by our partners, Philanthrophy Ministries! We are grateful and blessed to be working side by side making an impact in our world.