Dream Drives for Kids was founded in 2014 by Eric and Amity Peterson in Portland, Oregon when they decided that they wanted to do more with their small collection of sports cars than just own and drive them.
Thanks to encouragement from a family friend who worked at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Peterson's worked with medical professionals, social workers, and other non-profits to create a unique opportunity for children undergoing medical treatment.
While the idea seemed incredulous at first — driving other people's children who were undergoing treatment for serious disease around in high horsepower sports cars — the Peterson's refused to take "no" for an answer, and instead kept asking everyone "why not?" The result is an organization that brings joy to hundreds of children every year!
Dream Drives for Kids in 4 Minutes
The story of Dream Drives for Kids was featured by Brad Formsma and his I Like Giving organization in a short video titled "I Like Fast Cars". If you will take four minutes to learn a little more about us in this inspiring video I Like Giving created you will learn first-hand why we created Dream Drives for Kids and why we do what we do. We are grateful to Brad and his organization for spreading the word.
Dream Drives for Kids Amazing Partners
Dream Drives for Kids works in partnership with OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Children's Cancer Association, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Without all of their support our job of connecting with children and their families would be much more difficult.
If you know of an organization in Oregon or Southwest Washington that we should be talking to and adding to this list, please let us know!
Frequently Asked Questions
Having done this for several years now we know there are some questions folks have. If you have one that is not asked and answered here, please email us directly since we're always happy to explain our work.
How Much Does a Dream Drive Cost?
Nothing. Dream Drives for Kids is totally free. All we ask in return for a tour or Dream Drive is that families share their experience with other families with children in similar circumstances.
Can We Share Photos of Our Child's Dream Drive?
Of course! We love when families take and share photos of the fun their kids are having and it's definitely okay to share those photos. All we ask is that families don't share the location the photos were taken ...
Where is the Dream Garage Located?
The Dream Garage is in an unassuming warehouse in Northeast Portland. The exact address is something that we only share with families who are coming for a tour or Dream Drive.
Can We Bring Family and Friends to a Dream Drive?
Definitely! We love it when siblings participate in the Dream Drive since we find that brothers and sisters also deal with whatever medical stuff is going on. Families and friends are welcome, we just try and limit the number of folks joining so we can be sure that everyone can follow the Dream Drive.
Will my Child be Safe on the Dream Drive?
Absolutely. We have more detail about our focus on safety here but in a nutshell the child's safety is our number one concern on a Dream Drive. We ensure that everyone is comfortable with how seatbelts are used, have several booster seats when needed, and adhere closely to posted speed laws at all times.
Will my Child Have Fun on the Dream Drive?
We guarantee it! While we are super focused on safety, everyone having fun is the goal of the event. The Peterson's are parents themselves and know a thing or two about getting a smile out of even the most quiet child.
Can I Start Something Like Dream Drives in my Town?
Sure! Our efforts today are focused on Oregon and Southwest Washington, but we are happy to help similarly-minded individuals replicate our efforts via our Dream Drives Consulting efforts.
Who Pays for Dream Drive for Kids?
Dream Drives for Kids is funded by the Peterson family as part of their philanthropic efforts. We typically do one fundraiser per year, largely to offset the costs of the gifts we give to children at the end of a Dream Drive, and for the most part do not take donations.
Who Owns the Cars in the Dream Drives Collection?
The cars are all owned by Dream Drives for Kids, an Oregon non-profit corporation and an IRS registered 501(c)(3).
My Grandma is Sick, Can She Get a Dream Drive?
We get this question a lot. While we love helping people and showing off our cars, our registration with the Internal Revenue Service is very specific with respect to the work we are able to do. Unfortunately that does not extend to adults, regardless of the situation, or children who are not sick or have an illness that isn't life threatening.
How Can I Help Dream Drives for Kids?
If you'd like to help Dream Drives for Kids here are three things we suggest since they help us a ton!
- Share this website and our Facebook page (facebook.com/dreamdrivesforkids.com) with your community to spread the word about the work we do. Families from around the world come to Portland, Oregon for treatment ... and it's great when they know to reach out to us in advance!
- Tell any pediatrician or medical professional who works with children about us. Our marketing is all word-of-mouth so the more people we have talking about us, the better!
- Email us directly if you have other ideas or suggestions about how we can improve. We know that we don't know everything, and we love hearing from similarly minded folks!
We get email all the time from folks who want to share their cars with us and that is awesome — but unfortunately our insurance doesn't allow for that unless you'd like to donate your car to Dream Drives for Kids fully and completely (and, to be honest, we have enough cars right now.)
If you have any questions about Dream Drives for Kids we'd love to hear from you! We'd love to talk about our Dream Garage tour, the Dream Drive itself, or how you can do what Dream Drives for Kids does in your community.