Announcing OAMES 2023 Give-Back Recipient: Sunshine Communities
Meet & Support Sunshine Communities at OAMES Annual Meeting & Exhibition Oct. 18-19
OAMES started the tradition of community giving in 2019 by adopting an Ohio-based organization each year to support at the association’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition.
We’re pleased to announce this year’s recipient is Sunshine Communities located in Maumee, Ohio. Sunshine’s mission is to create community among people with developmental disabilities, their families, friends, and staff. They do this by offering services that enable individuals to build relationships that enhance their lives through mutual caring and growth embracing the vision of their founders, Roy and Georgette Engler, to strengthen their community by serving the underserved.
Roy and Georgette Engler had five children with developmental disabilities at a time when, in the United States, people with developmental disabilities were institutionalized. The Englers cared for their children at home and visited state institutions to see what other care options were available. Those institutions were appalling to the Englers, who decided they could better serve children like their own, with better living conditions and a loving environment. In 1950, with the help of a nearby Mennonite congregation, the Englers founded Sunshine Children’s Home next to their own house, serving children with developmental disabilities in the greater Toledo area. The first, simple cement structure was built using donated material and labor.
By 1978, many of those first children who came to live at Sunshine grew into adulthood, enabling Sunshine to open its first Family Care Home in the community. As Sunshine continued to grow, vocational services opened at the Maumee campus, enabling individuals to work and earn money. Today, Sunshine Communities lives out the Engler’s mission to provide opportunities for individuals to work, live, and thrive in their community.
Past recipients of OAMES give-back program include the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, 4 Paws for Ability, and Flying Horse Farms. Guests from Sunshine Communities will attend OAMES 42nd Annual Meeting & Exhibition on Oct. 18-19 in Columbus to share their story which aligns in many ways with OAMES' mission! Please join us at the conference to learn more about this incredible group and click here for information about giving.