Built on the belief that adults with disabilities can lead rich, meaningful lives, Sunshine Village is a thriving, vibrant community where nearly 600 adults and their families come to connect, learn, contribute—and shine.
At our main campus in Chicopee and at additional sites in Agawam, Chicopee, and Three Rivers we offer a range of day programs and employment services. Our day habilitation programs are medically-based, yet delivered with warmth and creativity. Physical, speech and occupational therapies are incorporated into music, culinary, art and sport therapy programming. Each day we provide opportunities to develop life skills, enhance social skills, improve coping strategies and increase independence.
Our employment services are built on five decades of enduring partnerships with businesses and organizations throughout the region. We help prepare individuals to work in industrial and commercial settings, where their contributions are valued and they’re able to experience the satisfaction of a well-earned paycheck, the camaraderie of a workplace, and a sense of pride in a job well done.
We invite you to learn more about our unique programs and services and to meet the people who make them so exceptional.
A Message from the Executive Director
In 1967, a small group of parents with children with developmental disabilities came together, wanting what all parents want for their children—a great life. Together, these parents created a warm and welcoming organization that would improve the lives of children and people with developmental disabilities, regardless of the level of disability. Fifty years later, Sunshine Village is an award-winning agency, staffed by more nearly 300 caring, creative, steadfast, inventive, passionate and compassionate professionals. Throughout the years, we’ve developed innovative programs and employment partnerships that tap into potential, build confidence and offer everyone a chance to shine. We believe that great lives are made up of great days, and a great day is a collection of small, proud moments. For some, it’s learning to write their name or to use a spoon. For others, it can be going to a job and taking home a paycheck. Whether it’s riding a bike, using a computer mouse, practicing yoga, or learning to shake hands, it all counts. We are dedicated to providing those opportunities, creating possibilities and celebrating victories, every single day. Fifty years after that small group of parents dreamed of something more for their children, our continual goal and our ongoing promise has not changed: Sunshine Village is a place where everyone shines.
Board of Directors
Ernest Laflamme, Jr., Chairperson
Stephen Melnyck, Jr., Vice Chairperson
Michael Siddall, Esq., Clerk
Ernest Laflamme, Jr., Chairperson Stephen Melnyck, Jr., Vice Chairperson Cliff Bordeaux, Treasurer
Michael Siddall, Esq., Clerk Peter Benton Marie Laflamme
Debra Schneeweis Frank Stellato Teri Szlosek
Sunshine Village provides transportation to and from the homes of participants in the Employment Services division. Life Engagement Services’ participants are transported by privately owned, local transportation companies. Please contact us for more information on the various transportation options available.
Funding and Accreditation
We are a non-profit organization operating with a budget that exceeds 16 million dollars, comprised of state, federal and private funding. All programs operated by Sunshine Village have received the highest level of accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a national non-profit accrediting body, since 1986. Sunshine Village has been commended by state licensing as well as the national accreditation agency for our many strengths—most recently in the areas of financial accountability, employee relations, risk management, human rights and innovative service provision.
Awards and Recognition
Over the years, Sunshine Village has been honored by numerous business and human service organizations for its success. Most recently, we were honored with: an “Employer of Choice” Award by the Employers Association of the Northeast, a “Humanitarian Award” by Jericho The Bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults, and “Nonprofit of the Year” Award by Chicopee Chamber of Commerce. Sunshine Village maintains memberships and members of the management team promote the organization and its mission through participation in business, non-profit, civic and trade organizations, including: Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, Providers’ Council, Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers, Human Service Forum, Employers Association of the Northeast, Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Human Resource Management Association of Western Massachusetts, Professional Women’s Chamber, MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, and West of the River Chamber of Commerce.