Children’s Projects


Cedar Lake Boys & Girls Club

Cedar Lake Boys & Girls Club is an after-school and summer youth development organization providing positive, educational, leadership, and character building programs for youth ages 6 to 18.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation partners with the Cedar Lake Boys & Girls Club to host celebrations throughout the year.  Volunteers serve food & drinks, deliver toys & wish list items, and partake in games & activities. Dawn's Garden Party takes place at the end of school in May and the Holiday Party takes place in December.

The Foundation funded a complete kitchen and dining room remodel and dedicated Dawn’s Dream Big Diner to the delight of the children.

CL B & G Club 2019
Horizons for youth 2019

Horizons for Youth

Horizons for Youth helps children from low-resource areas of Chicago achieve success in school and in life. Through scholarships, a summer academic program, one-on-one mentoring, enrichment outings, tutoring, counseling, and high school and college preparation services, students gain access to the resources they need to graduate high school, continue on to college, and successfully enter the workforce. Their students overcome the challenges of their neighborhoods to achieve academic and personal success.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation helps Horizons for Youth by sponsoring students each year, providing backpacks for all of the students, and organizing an annual field trip to the University of Notre Dame DNA Learning Center.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is a children’s charity dedicated to providing a solution for abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Chicago, Illinois. They pave the way to a brighter future for troubled children and teens in Chicago. Mercy Home saves young lives by providing a safe, nurturing residential treatment home.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation improves the lives of the children of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls throughout the year. The Foundation provides scholarship money annually. In addition, Foundation volunteers help maintain Dawn’s Garden at Mercy Home for Girls in Beverly, provide backpacks and wish list items, and host a special event of the girls’ choice.

Mercy '19
Sojourners 2019

Sojourner Truth House

Sojourner Truth House is a ministry of hope and help for homeless and at-risk women and their children sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Through hospitality, advocacy, integrative services and collaboration, participants improve their quality of life and that of the community in a safe, trusting environment.  Sojourner Truth House empowers women and their children to improve their quality of life and become contributing members of their communities.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation helps to supply personal care products for the clients of Sojourner Truth House and assists with community service projects.

The Foundation funded a commercial playground for the children residing at the Village of Hope and dedicated Dawn’s Playground for all to enjoy.

St. Jude House

St. Jude House, located in Crown Point, serves as a safe shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their dependent children. They offer support to victims as they pursue violence-free lives. Nearly 400 adults and children go to St. Jude House seeking safety and peace every year. Since opening in 1995, more than 9,400 people have been served by St. Jude House.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation is a Community Partner of St. Jude House.  We provided funds for the installation of a new commercial playground, supplied an adult & a kids picnic table, and started planting for a butterfly garden. Foundation volunteers help to clean and organize the home and maintain the landscape throughout the year.

Nazareth home 2019

Nazareth Home

Nazareth Home is a licensed foster home in East Chicago, Indiana. It strives to give both medically at risk and victimized infants and toddlers a second chance by ensuring they receive vital medical care, a stable environment and a loving home.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation works throughout the year to provide much-needed items for the Home. The Foundation also contributes to celebrations at the Home and hosts the children at our Dream Big Walk.


The Sanctuary is a transitional housing program for women and children experiencing homelessness who have also been impacted by domestic violence. In addition to providing temporary housing, the program focuses on providing comprehensive, supportive services to help participants achieve their individual goals and prevent future homelessness.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation works to brighten the lives of the children with a back-to-school shopping event followed by lunch at Portillo’s. During the holidays, the families are treated to a movie of their choice. As the families transition out of the Sanctuary, The Foundation takes them on a shopping spree to purchase the essentials they will need to set up their new home.

Sanctuary '19

Roseland Christian Ministries

Roseland Christian Ministries provides places where all are welcome and programs that care for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of Chicago’s Roseland community. They give each individual the support they need to face their challenges while learning from one another and growing together.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation recently completed a makeover of the family room & children's play area at RCM's Women and Children's Shelter. The Foundation also provides backpacks for the children at RCM's Back-To-School Celebration, provided shopping carts for food pantry participants, and provides needed items for the Roseland community throughout the year.


edgewwod 2020

Edgewood Children's Ranch

Edgewood Children’s Ranch is a nonprofit Christian childcare organization helping children, teens and their families address behavioral issues. Their live-in facility offers spiritual guidance, academic remediation, and behavioral training to children and teens ages 7-17.  Edgewood Ranch believes that bringing children and their families to a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the only way to effectively meet all their needs.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation helps fulfill some of the needs of the children and families each year by taking them on a home-improvement shopping spree. Each January, The Foundation hosts the entire Ranch for a day of education and fun at SeaWorld Orlando. They are also guests at the Dream Big 5K and most of the children compete in the event.  Throughout the year, The Foundation provides equipment and supplies, helps maintain Dawn's Garden located on the Ranch, and sponsors the children’s birthday celebrations.

Give Kids the World

Give Kids the World is a nonprofit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and enjoy the magic of Give Kids the World Village for as long as there is a need.

The Adopt-A-Villa program is a unique group volunteer opportunity that helps the Village continue to be the place where “Happiness Inspires Hope”. The Dawn Brancheau Foundation is proud to be a part of this program. Dawn Brancheau Foundation volunteers spend two afternoons each year to spruce up, clean, maintain and decorate the truly unique villas the special families call home while on their dream vacation.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation contributed towards the renovation of our villas during The Extreme Village Makeover, provided the Adopt-A-Villa Cleaning Cart and purchased Dawn's Cookie Cart for the enjoyment of all the guests.

Each year, The Foundation identifies and fulfills one of the needs at the Village. This year we provided funds for character costumes.

gktw 2020
matthews hope 2020

Matthew's Hope

Matthew’s Hope fosters the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the homeless men, women and children of the West Orange community by meeting basic needs, developing skills and restoring dignity and independence.  It benefits from more than 50,000 volunteer hours a year and works with more than 60 churches, civic organizations and area businesses.  Together, they love the homeless community of West Orange County and help move their guests forward.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation’s first project benefiting Matthew’s Hope was to build Dawn’s Playground for the children staying in transitional homes.  New tables, chairs, picnic tables, and a bench have been provided for Matthew’s Hope Firm Foundation Preschool.  Most recently, the Foundation helped purchase learning materials for the newly opened Daycare. The Foundation will continue to support Matthew’s Hope and its’ growing needs.

Central Florida's Children Home

Central Florida Children’s Home’s mission is to care for children whose parents either cannot or will not provide for them due to certain circumstances in the child’s life, and/or difficulties in the parents’ lives.  They provide a Christian atmosphere and a real ‘home’ environment, place an emphasis on academic achievement, and assign chores and responsibilities to help develop character
and discipline.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation helps fulfill the needs of the children at Central Florida Children’s Home throughout the year. Each January, The Foundation hosts the entire Home for a day of education and fun at SeaWorld Orlando. They are also guests at the Dream Big 5K.  In the fall, Foundation volunteers take the children shopping for back to school shoes.  The Foundation also provides wish list items for the Home each year.

cfch 2020
Howards phillips

Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families

The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families partners with parents and families in promoting wellness and prevention. They educate parents and family members to better understand their child’s challenges, whether developmental delays, illness or disabilities.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation funded a recent lobby renovation, donated toys to their holiday party and will continue to provide needed items for the children.


Orphanages for Africa '19

Orphanages for Africa - USA

Orphanages for Africa is an international humanitarian and development organization.  They offer a hand-up, rather than a handout to Africans caring for orphans through orphanages and home-based care.  Orphanages for Africa’s vision is to see God glorified by a world where Africa’s orphans can fulfill their potential.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation honors Dawn’s dream of going on a mission trip by supporting Orphanages for Africa.  The Foundation funded a soccer field and 5th Grade classroom, sent footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs, and continues to sponsor Celine at Mercy for Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Matanya's Hope

Matanya’s Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on eradicating poverty and educating Kenya’s future: the children, as well as providing other life sustaining programs and opportunities.  Their mission is to impart the knowledge and resources necessary for the community members in areas of Kenya to increase their standard of living and establish self-sufficiency through educational, psychological and material support as needed.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation became associated with Matanya’s Hope after a rainwater storage tank, a cow, a porridge program, a scholarship, and a Sacred Fig Tree were donated in loving memory of Dawn. Since that time, Dawn’s Foundation continues to sponsor Newrine and Wilfred, provide backpacks filled with school supplies and blankets made at our Dream Big Walk. The Foundation also provides funds to meet the most urgent needs of the children.

Matanyas hope '19
Savior '19

Savior Children Foundation

Savior Children Foundation was founded in 2011 in Kasoa Ghana. Their work is designed to bridge the gaps between rich and poor, gender inequality and human rights. They are an orphanage, a school, a church, a playground and a home to the children.  Savior Children Foundation hopes for better opportunities for the children of Ghana and the staff strives to help these children experience all the happiness, love and possibilities life has to offer.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation provides Dream Big shirts, soccer jerseys, and clothing for the children of Savior Children Foundation. Volunteers have also spent time in Ghana taking caring of the orphans, shopping for needed clothing and personal care items for the children, and working on projects to improve the school and dormitories. Most recently, the Foundation provided the funds needed to rebuild the dormitories for the orphans.

All God’s Children

All God’s Children is dedicated to the orphaned and disadvantaged children of Honduras. The ministry helped to build and create Hogar de Ninos Nazareth, where the children are given food, shelter, medical care, spiritual training and love.

The Dawn Brancheau Foundation supports the children in Honduras by supplying shoes, backpacks, clothing and other needed essentials.

All God's children '19