Our History & Mission

Shine Foundation changes the lives of young people living with severe physical disabilities, across Canada. 

We serve youth aged 11-21, helping them build confidence, independence and optimism to boost their mental health and future goals. 

Our vision is that every Shine recipient lives their dream.

Shine's values: Employing integrity, compassion, and respect in everything we do, and having the courage and commitment to achieve our goals.

The Beginning of a Dream

Shine was established in 1987 by a London, Ontario father as a legacy to his son who passed away from muscular dystrophy. He wanted young people like his son to be able to live their dreams. In October of that year, the first Shine DreamLift flew 203 youth from London to Walt Disney World® in Florida.

By 1990, Shine was truly national, fulfilling Shine experiences and DreamLifts for kids across Canada in BC, Alberta, Yukon, Ontario, New Brunswick and PEI. Volunteers from Ontario and British Columbia founded eight local Shine Chapters.

Spreading the Shine

In 1994, Shine trekked across the country on the “Sunshine Highway to Dreams.” The tour visited 33 communities and resulted in more new volunteer chapters. By December of 1994, Shine fulfilled 2,630 dreams.

The Shine Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 21st, 1997, with a Walk for Dreams held simultaneously in 31 communities. By 2000, we officially became known as “Sunshine Dreams For Kids.” Celebrities ranging from hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky to Barney the Dinosaur were helping us fulfill Shine experiences, and Sunshine DreamLifts were winging kids away for day-long adventures out of cities across the country, including Edmonton, Sault Ste. Marie and Halifax.

Shine Today

Headquartered in London, ON, Shine is a national charity with programs that help young people all across Canada. For over 35 years, Shine has changed the lives of more than 8,800 recipients across Canada and coordinated 64 Sunshine DreamLifts. 

Bright Futures Ahead

Approximately 60,000 young people across Canada medically qualify for a Shine experience. Many of them have endured more than we can ever comprehend. We continue to grow and to raise awareness of Shine in communities throughout the country. Together, we can change the lives of even more young people across Canada.


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