Sunshine Communities, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in northwest Ohio supporting people of all ages with developmental disabilities.
We do this through residential, vocational, clinical, therapeutic, and recreational services. These services are offered in various locations including at our Maumee, Ohio campus and at homes within the community. In addition to programs on campus, Sunshine individuals and staff operate Georgette’s Grounds and Gifts, a coffee shop and gift store located in downtown Maumee. Right down the block lies Sunshine Studios, an art studio space and gift store offering a work environment to individuals and classes to the community.
Sunshine’s mission is to create community among people with developmental disabilities, their families, friends, and staff. We do this by offering services that enable all of us to build relationships that enhance our lives through mutual caring and growth. In pursuit of this mission, we practice Christian values in the tradition of the Mennonite faith, embrace the vision of our founders, Roy and Georgette Engler, and strengthen our community by serving the underserved.
Tenderness gives expression to love and creates true family, accepting our differences in the course of our daily lives. Our community offers mutuality through the opportunity for us to join together in giving, receiving, teaching and learning. As a Christian ministry we practice spirituality and reach out to all people and honor the faith traditions of all. We are committed to the highest form of integrity by being open and honest with each member of our community, providing a mirror of truth. We are committed to stewardship, using all resources available in the best interest of those we support.
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.A short video history