Going Beyond Dreams with Our Friends at Sobeys Inc.
You might be surprised to learn that these days The Dream Factory is about more than just making dreams come true. In fact, we are going “Beyond Dreams” to create more special moments for kids battling life-threatening illnesses in our province.
“Going ‘Beyond Dreams’ is something that we’ve always done - whether it’s sporting events, trips to the zoo, art workshops, etc.,” says Shannon Patterson, The Dream Factory’s Dream Coordinator, “But recently we’ve really tried to take that to the next level and create some really awesome experiences for families right here at home, while also providing a little extra support during a really tough time.”
One of the biggest ways that “Beyond Dreams” supports Dream Families is through our Dream Family Funds. Each Dream Family has access to $2500 in funding to help cover some of the unexpected costs of having a sick child. Whether it is time off work, childcare for siblings, or hospital parking, the funds are our small way of providing peace of mind to our families in advance of their child’s dream come true.
When our long-time friends at Sobeys Inc. (local Sobeys, Safeway and IGA stores), learned about our Dream Family Funds, they knew there was a very special way they could help support our Dream Families.
“At Sobeys we are proud to support our local communities by investing in programs that help increase access to nutritious, affordable food,” shared Renée Hopfner, Director Community Investment with Sobeys. “As a family nurturing families the Dream Family Funds were a unique opportunity to make one or two grocery shops this year a little bit easier for Manitoba families going through a very difficult experience.”
Sobeys has generously donated $10,000 in Sobeys gift cards (to be used at Sobeys, Safeway or IGA stores in Manitoba). That means every Dream Family in 2019 will receive $250.00 to put towards their groceries, extra supplies they might need, or just an occasional treat on a tough day.
The first family to receive one of the Sobeys Gift Cards was Dream Kid Karsen, and his parents Jinelle and Jeremy.
Karsen is 3-years old and currently battling stage 5 kidney disease. He has three siblings, and he and his family live in Winnipeg. Last fall, Karsen received a kidney transplant from his dad and it has been a difficult journey for the family.
Karsen’s family has a special connection to Sobeys, visiting the Kenaston location frequently throughout their treatments to have their prescriptions filled.
“We love our Sobeys. Our pharmacist goes above and beyond for us at every opportunity,” says Karsen’s mom Jinelle, “Whether it’s ordering in special equipment, making visits to the hospital, or celebrating when they learned Karsen got the transplant. It was a place that gave us a lot of comfort during some of our hardest days.”
Today, Karsen and his family are looking ahead towards a dream come true. Early next year, Karsen and his family will be heading to Disney World on a family vacation to check out the rides, meet his favourite characters, and have a week of pure fun where he can focus on what is really important: just being a kid.
Karsen and his family are just one of 40 Manitoba families that will receive this incredible support from our friends at Sobeys Inc. Thank you for helping to make a very challenging time just a little bit easier for families in our community going through some very tough stuff!