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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Rainbow Connection

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: The Rainbow Connection makes dreams come true for Michigan children with life threatening illnesses and provides support services to the families.

Results: We have made dreams come true for over 3.300 Michigan families since 1985.

Target demographics: children with a verified life threatening illness through a medical professional.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year on average we support over 200 Michigan families.

Geographic areas served: Michigan

Programs: The Rainbow Connection works to make dreams come true for Michigan children diagnosed with life threatening illnesses and provides support to the family. From something as simple as a computer, a bedroom makeover or as unique as meeting the President of the United States at the White House or a glorious trip to Disney World, we have fulfilled the dreams of over 3,300 Michigan children since 1985.

Additional support to our families include the Enhancement Program which provides fun times for these children and their families through summer picnics, a holiday party, and tickets to attend area theatres, concerts and sporting events.

Our Special Response Program assists families with financial difficulties brought on by having a child with a catastrophic illness including but not limited to transportation, utilities, special medical needs in the home such as wheelchair ramps. The rainbow connection will link the family directly to resources and agencies providing the needed assistance. If there is no resource in the community, The Rainbow Connection will provide the needed assistance directly.

The Scholarship program provides $1,000 scholarships each year for wish children taking college classes.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Rainbow Connection is ONE OF A KIND! They fulfilled my wish as a 19 year old cancer survivor. Every detail was taken care of and all with a smile. The best part is that years down the line we are still invited to events and offered free tickets to many fun attractions many times throughout the year. Charity dollars that are given to The Rainbow Connection go very far and touch children and families in ways that cannot be measured. Thank you for all your hard work!

Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection was there to pick us up from our worst nightmare. No one cares for sick kids like the folks at Rainbow. We are forever grateful!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection is a wonderful nonprofit organization that granted a wish for my terminally ill child and continues to support him now that he is well and in college. They have even provided scholarship money to attend classes. The Rainbow Connection works tirelessly to keep cheering him on even six years after his illness! Our family is so fortunate and grateful to receive this support!

Leanne A.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow connection is so great. They made my daughters trip so special. She felt like for once there was no pokes or doctors but lots of fun.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow made my daughter's dream come true!! Her wish was to see One Direction in concert on her birthday. Dreams do come true. My daughter was going through chemo treatment for lymphoma cancer but her dreams came true. Thank you so much Rainbow Connection!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son, Samuel, was granted a wish trip through Rainbow Connection. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was 1 year old. By the time he was granted his wish trip at 7, he had been in and out of the hospital several times every year. That particular year he was really struggling to recover and spent over 200 days in the hospital. His trip was an amazing getaway for our entire family. It was a time to laugh, relax, and enjoy life in the midst of this very difficult disease. Samuel loved Legoland and all the special places we went to. In fact, he still looks forward to the yearly summer picnic Rainbow Connection does for the wish kids and families. We can’t say enough amazing things about this organization. We are so grateful!!

Najah F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What Rainbow Connection did for us was help put life back in our lives. My son's wish was to go to Disney World, it was a trip of the lifetime,. After we came back they continued to help for years. They gave my son and the family memories that will last forever. Words can't describe how much we appreciated all that Rainbow Connection did for us. They are truly amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They have exceeded our expectations for our son who was diagnosed with a Mixed Germ Cell Tumor stage 3. The staff is very kind and friendly. The staff makes sure to encourage the children and the parents at a time when it is really needed.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection came into our family in March of 2016. Our son was home bound so there was not a trip planned in our future.We tried to decide what our ill child's favorite thing is. He loved water and loved it hot. We tried to get a pool but unfortunately it was a bigger idea and the expense was too costly. So, Ingrid was able to get us a hot tub. We received the first hot tub damaged along with the second one damaged. Finally, Ingrid, who is wonderful, went to a hot tub store and purchased one for us from another company. Unfortunately, Dominic passed in the process of getting this hot tub and now we enjoy the hot tub as a family and know that our son is watching over us.
Rainbow Connection gave us a gift we will cherish for years to come and make memories and know that every time we look at the hot tub or are in the hot tub our son Dominic will always be with us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection fulfilled my daughter's dream of building a play cottage/retreat in our backyard when she was struggling through treatment for metastatic cancer. They were professional and compassionate.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow connection reminds kids and families to smile again when they have forgotten to do so!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection reached out to our family in such a special way and granted our warrior son Eli the wish of a lifetime. Just weeks before his 8th birthday- in the midst of battling Leukemia diagnosed when he was 5- we boarded a plane headed to Give Kids The World. The trip was amazing! The memories we made are still hanging on his bedroom walls now that he is cancer free and 12 years old. That trip gave us joy and laughter, time to breathe and not worry about the beast of cancer that invaded our world. It blessed us with being able to make new memories in the time of our new normal. It brought us closer to eachother and allowed us the opportunity to celebrate life and not have to worry about the financial burdens that weighed us down. Eli felt special- not because of a diagnosis- but because he was able to be treated to the fun and excitement that the wish he was granted brought to him. We continue to be so grateful to our wish coordinators, donors and all the volunteers who do so much to give children and families a glimmer of hope through this amazing organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great nonprofit organization providing great experiences to families when times aren't so great .

Earl F.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter was granted a wish 3 years ago, it was a huge part of our entire family's healing process. My daughter still talks about being treated like royalty when we were at Disney. The trip was what my wife and I needed as well, we were able to go and just be parents not worry about the hospital bills that were piled up and the short checks from not working full weeks, honestly money wasn't talked about at all. We were able to enjoy our children and not talk about Dr's or procedures. We truly enjoyed the smiles from when we were picked up in the limo until it brought us back home. We have done multiple fundraisers for this charity and our family has raised 20k back to help other families heal or spend a week forgetting about what is around the corner. I personally know parents that this was the last trip with their sick child, and the memories are therapeutic for them as well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has CYSTIC Fibrosis. He had a wish trip and it was amazing!!! But even after, with each birthday, hospital stay, they still send him care packages and it keeps us talking and reminiscing about the week we were free from CF...thank you Rainbow connection

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best wish foundation ever. We had a wonderful wish trip for our son!!! Every to grateful to Ingrid and the Rainbow Connection

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at 18 months old when he was 3 the Rainbow Connection paid for his trip to disney world . It was the best thing that he ever experienced. The Rainbow Connection is a very great organization & I am so glad that I was able to work with them during this tough time in my child's life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection provided our daughter, Emily, a magical trip to Disney. Our daughter had a rare disease called Mitochondrial. She has gone through so much through out her young life. Ingrid, Wish Director, was so compassionate and so helpful to Emily’s needs and made the trip such a wonderful memory for our family as a whole. Ingrid and the team made sure Emily had all the necessary equipment on site and helped us ship all the rest of her medical supplies to where we were staying. It can be stressful to make sure our daughter has all the necessary equipment and not forget anything. The team made it easy for me to make sure she was taken care of.
Our daughter loved all the experiences that Rainbow Connection offered. The Michigan State Fair, Christmas Family Party, and the Summer Family Picnic was her favorites. The team is an extended family to our family. They helped us make memories with our daughter that I will cherish forever.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Roberto received a wish from rainbow connection in 2016 he went to legoland and the other disney parks un Florida. We needed that break from treatment. The rainbow connection organization is a god send for families who would not itherwise be able to take their children on a family vacation because of their child's illness.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Approximately 4 years ago my then 8 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. This is a very aggressive cancer that starts in your muscles. Three months earlier my husband was diagnosed with throat cancer. I was at my wits end. On top of the uncertainty of both diagnoses-it put us in a terrible financial strain. In talking with another parent in the oncology ward-she recommended Rainbow Connection. It is an organization that grants wish trips to children with life threatening illnesses. I contacted Rainbow and spoke with Nancy-who came out to our home and interviewed our family. The organization-along with their sponsors sent us on an all expense paid trip to Disneyworld. We were put up in a fully furnished condo in a village with other children that were ill. The village had a full service kitchen that was like a restaurant that prepared all our meals-free of charge. We even had an ice cream parlor on premises. We were given tkts to all 3 Disney parks as well as Universal Studios. We were even given spending money. For the children too sick to visit the parks or wheelchair bound children-there were numerous activities throughout the day such as beach parties at the pool.They had a splashpad specifically designed for wheelchairs. They designated certain days as xmas day etc. They had a snow machine and Santa and gave out gifts. Unbelievably friendly courteous staff. The smiles on the childrens faces were wonderful to see. No hassles-no worries. One week away from all the hospitals treatments crying worry and dread. Rainbow Connection also hosts events throughout the year for the children recovering and in remission. My granddaighter is currently in remission. I cannot thabk Rainbow Connection enough.
Cindy Wallace

Cynthia Stahl B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When our son was sick they granted a fantastic wish trip to Disney World and the other theme parks that included 4 days at Give Kids The World and 4 nights at the Polynesian in Disney World where he could watch the fireworks every night. He was given money to spend on whatever he wanted and theme park tickets to multiple theme parks to see everything he wanted to see! We received complimentary pictures from the photographers at every park too. He was treated like a king for a week. They even came to take to the airport in a limo! He had a wonderful time during a very sad and stressful time of his life young life. While he was in treatment they even sent him a box of goodies during the roughest times to make it easier for him and give him something positive to look forward to. Now that he is well again and heading to college he will get a scholarship just for having been one of the wish kids. I can't recommend this organization any more highly, it is one of the best of the best. We are so grateful to them for everything they did to make his trip memorable for all of us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

RC granted my son a wish when he wasn't even expecting it! He was diagnosed with a rare tumor in the summer of 2015, underwent two surgeries to remove them and then found out that although they were benign due to their aggressive nature to return chemotherapy was his best option. As a student athlete he didn't want to miss school or participation in his sports (track and football). He found out that he was a wish candidate near the end of his junior year of high school. In 2016 he wanted to attend the worlds largest gaming expo aka E3 in Los Angeles but after visiting the site saw that it was for trade/industry people only and that you had to be 18 and older neither of which he was. After some communication from RC however, my son Justin and his brother were on their way to an experience a lifetime. They received VIP Treatment from beginning to end. Justin met industry people, gaming developers, Microsoft execs and even had photos taken with the CEO of xBox. It was absolutely incredible. An opportunity that my family and I will never forget.

Today Justin is healthy and looking forward to attending college in the fall.

Laura P.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't think our experience with The Rainbow Connection could have been better! Our daughter, who has two life threatening conditions plus other issues, chose to go to Orlando and the parks for her wish. Ingrid, our wonderful Rainbow Connection coordinator, took care of everything. We had one issue (not with Rainbow Connection) that Ingrid worked very hard to resolve. It really was the trip of a lifetime and I cherish the memories of that week!
Also, The Rainbow Connection gives families the opportunity to attend events (theater, pro sporting events, parties, etc.) for free, which has also been wonderful for my daughter and our family! Last year they even arranged for us to ride on Santa's float for our town's Christmas parade! This is an outstanding organization and I have no reservations in recommending and supporting them!

Koly U.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow connection is a wonderful attribute to the community. They make it there best interest to fulfill, each child's wish. I am proud to have been a part of this experience with them. I am thankful to them, for everything they do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The rainbow connection is our family. From day 1 they’ve done everything they told us they would do. My son James stage 3 brain cancer which is not only hard on him but it has been hard for me also. The Rainbow Connections has entered our life and literally turned it around. From helping with bills to sending us to Disney world last summer. Which James really loved. We made so many memories. Last by but not least Christmas last year was a surprise as well as a blessing. The Rainbow connection partnered with a local business and gave us the most special and most beautiful and heart felt Christmas ever. I literally felt like a big kid. We were showered with lots of beautiful gifts. The rainbow connection is an organization of ANGELS their hearts are so big and warm. We love them so much. Thank you again
Lauren

Anne D.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Rainbow Connection was a way for us to have hope and something to look forward too as our son was going through his treatments. They often cheered him up with notes, gifts, surprise invites to special events and SO much more!

Their staff is caring, comforting and truly makes each child feel special. They brought sunshine and smiles to so many cloudy days!

This is a great organization that truly cares for kids and their families!

Client Served

Rating: 5

They made our family feel loved. They made our special needs daughter wish truly amazing all the people involved were kind beyond levels of kindness. They continue to be very sweet to us. There just Amazing !!! That why we volunteer for there events because we could never repay them for there kindness.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow Connection is simply amazing. I was diagnosed with cancer at age 18, so I didn't even think I qualified for a wish. My case manager Ingrid was so incredibly nice and accommodating. Not only did my family and I get to go to Hawaii for free, we were able to stay at the exact hotel I wanted, and they gave us cash to spend on food, excursions, and paddle boarding lessons! They also arranged all transportation, and even had gift bags waiting in our room along with a welcome fruit and cheese platter. Easily the best family vacation ever, all thanks to Rainbow Connection.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow connection provided my son the trip on a lifetime on a Disney cruise ! The are the kindest people and have the biggest hearts :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rainbow connection staff are kind, they listen, they help explore every possible opportunity to help families do the impossible for their children. My child was honored with a long overdue shopping spree in which I would not have been otherwise able to afford, for my growing warrior prince. I'm so grateful for this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Rainbow Connection really made our journey a little bit better! When my brother was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma our world seemed as if it had fell apart before our very eyes. However, when being connected with the Rainbow Connection they were able to cheer my brother up a little along the way. They gave him something to look forward to with all of the things going on around him, they gave ALL of us something to look forward to. Our trip to Disney in Orlando was one to remember! And the fun did not stop there, we were always invited to other events held within the state. All of them great and fun events! We will FOREVER be thankful for The Rainbow Connection. Even after my brother flew away to heaven we are still considered a part of the Rainbow Connection; THANK YOU FOR THE BRIGHT SMILES, THE GREAT TIMES, AND THE GOOD YOU DO FOR EVERY FAMILY IN TIME OF DARKNESS!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Rainbow Connection is a wonderful organization. When my son was diagnosed at age 15 of Hodgkins Lymphoma The Rainbow Connection went above and beyond in making sure he was cared about, he was not alone and fulfilled his wish. Before and after his wish was granted The Rainbow Connection kept in contact with him ... he has a friend for life. THANK YOU!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

These are the nicest people you will ever meet. We love the Rainbow Connection and are so thankful for all the opportunities they have given our family. Such a wonderful organization and I love to support them.

MeShall C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Real people who cares! they go over and beyond for their wish families not just support for the sick child but for the whole family. my son had end stage renal failure and they were so thoughtful, these children who are confined needs something to look forward to. it gave my son hope. every time things got ruff they were there to let me know I was not alone! Thank God for The Rainbow Connection!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got in contact with the Rainbow connection February 2016 and my daughter's wish trip to Disney was granted and we went in May of 2016. She was three at the time and will be five very soon and still talks about it. She got sick while on the trip and our wish coordinator called to make sure she was going to be ok. Their events are wonderful as well. Very accomdating and generous to all. Can't say enough good things about this organization. They are doing great things.