Feb 7, 2023

Qualico Helps Make Kids’ Dreams Come True through Long-Term Partnership with The Dream Factory

Winnipeg, MB – As part of its ongoing support for the non-profit organization The Dream Factory, Qualico recently presented a cheque to the charity for over $9,000, much of which was raised through fundraising efforts by Qualico employees, trades, and suppliers throughout 2022.

The Dream Factory uses funds it raises in the community to make dreams come true for kids in Manitoba who are battling life-threatening illnesses. The funds Qualico raised in 2022 will be used to make a dream come true for Malcolm, a boy who fell ill when he was just 4 months old.

Malcolm was diagnosed with Infant Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and spent much time in hospital receiving chemo treatments. The Dream Factory provided support to the family during that difficult and frightening time and has committed to making Malcolm’s dream come true.

Malcolm is now doing much better and because he loves the outdoors, his chosen dream is a trip to Churchill, which he and his family will take this summer.

Malcolm is just one child whose dream will come true thanks to donations from Qualico employees, trades, and suppliers.

“We have a long-standing relationship with The Dream Factory and our partnership’s legacy of giving has supported many families in our community over the years,” said David Eggerman, Regional Vice-President, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, Qualico. “Our employees, alongside our trades and suppliers, generously raised the money last year to help Malcolm experience his dream with his family through this great organization, and Qualico’s proud to see his dream become a reality this summer.”

According to Andrew Kussy, Executive Director, The Dream Factory, the relationship between Qualico and The Dream Factory has been ongoing for over 20 years.

“After our 2022 campaign, Qualico and their team will have donated more than $300,000 to make dreams come true over the years,” he said. “Each dream here at The Dream Factory costs about $15,000 on average. That means Qualico alone has brought 22 dreams to life for kids in Manitoba who are battling life-threatening illnesses. Given that we’ve met with over 900 families in our 40 years, to have one organization support 22 different dreams is substantial. Qualico is an incredibly important pillar in our community and part of our Dream Factory family.

Qualico connects with The Dream Factory every year and the two organizations discuss what each year’s campaign will look like. According to Andrew, since the 2000s, the campaign has been structured as the Qualico Dream Builder campaign, through which Qualico will raise funds internally and reach out to partners in the community to also raise funds.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without support and relationships like this,” Andrew shared. “We don’t receive any kind of core funding. All of the funds that we spend on dreams, and all of our operating revenue is from fundraising in the community. It’s the lifeblood of our organization. When we say that the team at Qualico are dream-makers, we mean it. Their work is enabling dreams to come true.”

Something Andrew said he would like Qualico’s employees, trades, and suppliers to know is that while their donations help make a child’s big dream come true (such as a trip to Disneyland, a shopping spree, or a bedroom makeover), The Dream Factory also has a number of additional programs that help support a family through their medical journey.

“Every family we meet is able to access our dream family funds,” he explained. “We provide every family with $3,000 in financial support to cover costs associated with having a sick child – if they need additional childcare, have to pay for parking at the hospital, or need to cover time off work. It’s our way of saying to a family, we are here to support you beyond your child’s big dream.”

The Dream Factory also holds a number of events in the community throughout the year, such as renting out a movie theatre and taking families out to a movie, going to sporting events, and hosting craft workshops. Andrew said it’s important that the experience of coming to The Dream Factory isn’t a one-time thing. It’s also about building community and providing support, allowing kids and families to have fun, and reminding them of what it means to be a kid.

A playhouse donated by Qualico through The Dream factory organization inspired by the design of the sponsored child.

Being a Manitoba-based organization, all the funds raised for The Dream Factory stay in the province to help families who live there. This provides a local connection between Qualico and the families in the community the company’s donations help to support. The Dream Factory often receives updates from families, which are passed along to Qualico, so there is an ongoing connection.

Qualico’s support goes beyond financial support as well. Employees have and continue to contribute through volunteering their time and services, whether it’s taking the reins on organizing fundraisers on Qualico’s end, having one of Qualico’s employees sit on the board and investment committee, or building and donating playhouses to fulfill kids’ dreams in years past. Qualico employees’ volunteer efforts and support can have just as much of an impact as financial donations.

Andrew noted there has been an increase in demand for The Dream Factory’s services lately, making Qualico’s support more crucial now than ever before.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect,” he said, “but 2022 ended up being our busiest, biggest year on record. In terms of dreams delivered, we made more dreams come true in 2022 than any other year, with 44 dreams. Also, while we were delivering more than ever, we were also meeting more families. We met 42 new families who were starting their child’s medical journey in 2022.”

And that hasn’t slowed down, meaning The Dream Factory anticipates that 2023 will be the biggest year it’s ever seen. The support from Qualico has never been more critical in terms of allowing The Dream Factory to say yes to every child in need of the organization’s services.

“We couldn’t be more grateful,” said Andrew. “To be able to work with the team members at Qualico, who bring so much energy and enthusiasm and passion for what we do and who our Dream kids are. They have the care and compassion that makes it feel special every time.”

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