Serving People With Developmental Disabilities Since 1950
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.