How a Dream Comes True
A dream experience is often more than just a dream come true. It’s the means to which restores joy to a child and their family, giving them memories that will last a lifetime.
There are several steps to making a dream come true. The experience of a dream is often a source of inspiration for many children who are undergoing difficult medical treatments and it frequently enables them to overcome any obstacles they may be facing.
We determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. Referrals are received from seven area hospitals, including Shands (Gainesville), Tampa Children’s Hospital at St. Joseph’s, University Community Hospital (Tampa), Tampa General Hospital and All Children’s (St. Petersburg). These referrals are received from doctors, nurses, Child Life and Social Workers, friends, families and other patients. Following the receipt of an application and verification of diagnosis, the children are interviewed by a Dream Fund staff member.
The types of dreams vary as much as the personalities of the children we serve. They may involve meeting a celebrity, a trip, or a gift such as a computer or playground, or our most-requested dream, a week at the Give Kids the World Village, which enables a child to visit all of the Disney-area theme parks. No dream has been refused, except those involving motorized vehicles and firearms.
The compassionate staff of the Children's Dream Fund works closely with the children and their families to create the perfect dream. Once the child has decided on his or her dream, our dream coordinators begin creating an unforgettable experience, sparked by the child’s creativity and imagination. The dream coordinators then deliver the dream to the child and their family through a “Celebration of Life Party”, where small gifts relating to their dream, balloons and a cake are presented to the dream child.
The fulfillment of a child’s dream is an unbelievable experience that enhances not only the lives of the children and their families, but often an entire community and any donors who may have been involved.