Sandcastle Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, provides children who have endured a challenging battle with cancer a week vacation with their families on the beautiful beaches of Destin and South Walton, Florida.
Witnessing several friends walk this daunting path, and seeing what these children and families go through, Shelley Joiner, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse, and Casey Joiner, a local realtor, had a decided heart to provide a way for these families to be together in a beautiful environment, while having much needed rest they so richly deserve. After looking around at the beautiful place we are blessed to call home, we decided to create a relaxing retreat for these children and families. In that moment the vision for Sandcastle Kids was created.
Our hearts have always gone out to children who face devastating illness so early in life. What we have also seen up close is the additional toll on the lives of everyone around them. Families uprooting themselves for the best treatment, parents leaving jobs behind, and families living separately to try to make ends meet while seeking care. These are only a few examples of the many hardships that can accompany such devastating illness. Sandcastle Kids brings families with children between the ages of one and eighteen to the Destin and Santa Rosa Beach Florida area for a week vacation. Children are referred to our program through doctors, healthcare providers, and hospital/clinic social workers. The families are provided with a beach house or condominium during their stay. To make their vacation enjoyable as possible, the families will receive additional items such as gift certificates to local restaurants, grocery stores, and other area amenities. We are determined to create an experience that offers relief, reunion and loving memories.
“What a beautiful destination and extraordinary experience you shared with our family. After struggling through our daughter’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, the chance to create so many happy and fun-filled memories together was key to our family’s healing process. We are so grateful to Sandcastle Kids and to the entire community for the generosity and kindness we were shown during our stay.“
~Taylor Family, November 2015
HOW IT WORKS
There are so many moving parts to any charity. Below is our effort to help you understand how and what we do to accomplish our goal. This effort involves an incredible team of very generous people that share the same mission.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES YOU SERVE?
Sandcastle Kids has relationships with various social workers and physicians who provide our charity with applicants. We then receive the application and begin the process of reviewing and coordinating for a match.
WHERE DO THE ACCOMOMDATIONS FOR THE FAMILIES COME FROM?
In short, from very generous condo/home owners who donate a week stay for our cause. A very big reason this can take place is through our amazing partnership with the Sonder Project. They not only have big hearts for our cause, but give us access to leading vacation rentals and homeowners in our area. The Sonder Project assists Sandcastle with contacting owners and coordinating weeks for stay. Through their relationship with 360 Blue, a leader in vacation rentals along the coast, they coordinate incredible concierge service to our children and families for their stay. We could not do this without them, and invite you to learn more about their cause as well.
Also, feel free to contact us directly if you wish to donate a week stay in your home or condo. We will explain the process, ideal time of year, and make this easy for all involved.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU PROVIDE THE CHILDREN ON THEIR STAY?
Everything we can. In addition to the beach houses and condos that are donated, our cash donations are used to provide the basic needs and also afford children access to all of the amazing amenities in our area. The items include, but not limited to, gift cards for groceries, gift cards to restaurants, beach chairs, beach toys, dolphin cruises, family beach portraits, etc. We work to not just provide accomodations, but to provide an experience that lasts.
“YOU HAVE TWO HANDS. ONE TO HELP YOURSELF,
THE SECOND TO HELP OTHERS.“
Sandcastle Kids, Inc
PO Box 6156
Miramar Beach, Fl 32550