Mr. Lewin and Dr. Andrea McDonald were born in Kingston, Jamaica, came to the USA and have been married for over 40 years. They have added to their union four daughters and five grandchildren.
Dr. McDonald's calling is ministry to the "hurting", while Mr. McDonald is gifted in the Ministry of Helps.
Dr. McDonald started in the field of Early Childhood Development in 1988 while her husband was employed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She ran a Family Child Care program from their home in South Minneapolis nurturing and mentoring children while their parents attended classes at Sabathani Community Center or went to work.
Transportation was a major problem for the parents who were mostly young and single, so a van was purchased to assist with transportation of the children to the program. The first pick-up was scheduled for 5:00 a.m. beginning in North Minneapolis then continuing to the southside so that everyone would be at the facility by 7:00 a.m. There was one particular family with seven children and they were the first to be picked up in the mornings so that mom could be at work at the Minneapolis/St. Paul lnternational Airport by 7:00 a.m.
Dr. McDonald picked up parents and children for 3-1/2 hours to 4 hours every day, Monday -Friday, to establish the business. Dr. McDonald and her husband had to take these parents and children back home when they got out of school beginning with drop-off at 3:30 p.m.
Dr. McDonald saw the need for more space, but the task was overwhelming. She addressed the need on a broad scale in order to nurture and care for more children, They purchased the building - McDonald Sunshine Place, Child Care Center which was located at 621 E. 38th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407-2571.
This former Sunsine Place center is now known as TL Graphics. The space is currently leased to this new company due to decreased budget cuts at the city level.
Greater Minneapolis Day Care Association (GMDCA) & Minneapolis Community Development Association (MCDA) were very instrumental in the purchase of the building in 1993 to house the McDonald Sunshine Place Child Care Center.
Dr. McDonald has retired and has passed the torch to her daughter Ms. Evette McDonald-McCarthy. Ms. McCarthy and the staff operates a safe, loving, caring, nurturing, clean environment for children. We stress clean environment, because a clean environment is a healthy environment.
The same year (1993), Dr. McDonald and Dave Raymond (partner) applied and won the Bid to operate a Drop-In center for Hennepin County located in the Century Plaza building on 3rd Avenue currently known as:
Sunshine Time Drop-In Center
330 South 12th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404
FAX: (612) 348-4786
This center is strictly for the County. Clients that are applying for aide or assistance can drop their child/children off at no charge to them and take care of County related business with their Caseworker and return to pick up their child. The maximum time allotted per client is 3-4 hours per day
Dr. McDonald still needed more space to care for children as calls continued to come in daily for slots.
In 1999 she responded with the addition of a Family Child Care in the home where her children were raised and where she officially started in the business of Early Childhood Development. The Childcare facility was known as Sunshine Too Child Development. This location was filled within the first month it was opened and provided quality service to the community for 5 years.
Then on January 2, 2001 the next center was opened:
Sunshine Tree Child Development
3641 Chicago Avenue
South Minneapolis, MN 55407-2540
To ALL Director's, Assistant Director's Teachers, Assistant Teachers Aides, Volunteers and our Early Intervention Specialist, Ms. Gloria Sims formerly of Urban Eyes. "Thank you, thank you, we could not have made it without you! We Love you!" and to God be the Glory!