Our History

The Sunshine Kids Foundation was founded by Rhoda Tomasco in 1982 while she was serving as a volunteer in the pediatric cancer unit of a hospital in Houston, Texas. After seeing the loneliness and depression among children during their extended hospital treatments, Rhoda had a vision to provide these young cancer patients with opportunities to participate in positive group activities which promoted self-esteem, personal accomplishment and just plain old fashioned fun! Today, that vision has been realized many times over, as thousands of children from hospitals across the country have reaped the benefits of The Sunshine Kids Foundation’s many programs and national and regional events. Funded by personal contributions, corporations and foundations, the Sunshine Kids continues, as it has since its inception, to provide all of its activities completely free of charge to the children and their families.

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Our Mission and Goal

The Sunshine Kids Foundation adds quality of life to children with cancer by providing them with exciting, positive group activities, so they may once again do what kids are meant to do...have fun and celebrate life!

We look forward to the day when The Sunshine Kids Foundation will no longer need to exist. Until that time, the entire Sunshine Kids family is dedicated to providing the most exciting activities, trips and events for as many young cancer patients as possible.

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The Sunshine Kids Pin

The original yellow Sunshine Kids Pin was designed in 1982 so that the children would have a way of expressing their love to their friends. The sun was chosen as their symbol because of its positive life giving force, its bright hope for the future, and the warmth that good friends bestow upon each other. Each pin was hand pressed, painted, and baked by the children themselves.

Throughout the years, as the demand for these special pins grew, the parents were enlisted to help keep up this tradition. Today the pins continue to be a symbol of love, life, and hope to each Sunshine Kid.

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Video - Hear from our Sunshine Kids!