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The Rainbow Connection: Hundreds of families with sick children receive essential food support

By Ingrid Todt, Executive Director, The Rainbow Connection

The Rainbow Connection grants wishes for Michigan children with life-threatening medical conditions. In addition, support services are provided for the Wish Child and their family before, during and after the wish.

One of those crucial support services is the Special Response Program. When a child is sick, families often need support beyond receiving a wish. A parent may need to quit their job to become a caretaker for their child which can create financial strain for the family. The Special Response Program was created to provide emergent and timely assistance for needs such as utilities, clothing, food, transportation, and housing with these families in mind.

Over the past two years, Special Response Program requests have quadrupled. The greatest need is access to food. With $15,000 in funding from The Children’s Foundation, The Special Response Program has developed numerous ways to distribute food including: fresh produce boxes, prepared and freezer ready meals, special holiday meal boxes and gift cards to the local grocery store. The need continues to be abundant and with assistance from community partners, we were able to make the $15,000 grow to support hundreds of Wish Family Members.

After receiving a food donation during the holiday season, a wish mom shared, “I was so overwhelmed at the generosity that it was tough to speak.  This year has been incredibly difficult and overwhelming with almost nine months in the ICU at Children’s Hospital and having Shayla’s siblings at home!  It is a blessing to have others that understand what we go through and I want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for everything! You truly help take stress and worry away.”

Our passion runs deep at The Rainbow Connection. Our staff work diligently and creatively to support the Wish Families that we work with. Once Wish Families become part of The Rainbow Connection family they are part of a continued support system and have a place to call home.

To learn more about The Rainbow Connection’s mission and read wish stories, visit our website at

Help us improve the health and wellness of more children and families.

You can help us reach more children and families by making a gift to The Children’s Foundation. Click here to make your gift.

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